Diversity and inclusion should be about recognizing people´s individuality, seeing the person beyond the label. Though, labels are an essential tool for D&I practitioners, and I am not sure there is an easy way out this paradox. It is a daily conundrum. Labels often perpetrate those same power dynamics that diversity and inclusion practitioners should be challenging. They are intrinsically divisive; they create artificial barriers harnessing a reality that is often more fluid and complex. Yet, labels provide an important framework to analyze and validate the experiences of an heterogeneous group of people sharing common experiences or characteristics – whether those are subscribed or ascribed.
Dr. Junbeom Park is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research, Fundamentals of Electrochemistry (IEK-9). In his blog article, the native South Korean reports on his time at Forschungszentrum Jülich and, in particular, on a workshop that not only opened up opportunities for collaboration, but was also balm for the soul after the long Corona period.
After only a few days, with many impressions in Togo, the travel group continued their tour on Thursday. By minibus they crossed the border into Ghana and drove through the streets in the direction of Accra. In Accra, the most important agenda item awaited the delegation: the signing of the MOU between the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University.
The past two days in Lomé, Togo, were impressive, emotional, hopeful and simply wonderful. The West African state was the second of three stops during the delegation trip of German scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University. Not only was an addendum drawn with the Université de Lomé, it also provided an impressive demonstration of the motivation and achievements of the 15 students from Track 4 "Biofuels and Bioenergy".
There are some problems we cannot solve alone: We need help from partners and friends. This applies, for example, to the current research and education situation in Africa, but also to the supply of energy, ressources and food. The two German institutions, Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University, therefore signed an agreement on Monday yesterday with the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD) in Dakar, Senegal, to help the university train the next generation of energy experts.
The nice thing about traveling is that you have the opportunity to get to know other countries and people. All parts of the world have different traditions and customs. It is important to be open to these habits and to get to know the culture and history of a country. On Sunday, the delegation therefore went to Gorée Island, a memorial to the hundreds of thousands of African men, women and children who had been sold into slavery.
Usually, a journey begins long before the plane, train or car is boarded to arrive at the destination. And this is also the case with the large delegation trip that will take colleagues from Forschungszentrum Jülich, RWTH Aachen University and the University of Rostock to West Africa. The objective is to visit the partners in Senegal, Togo and Ghana and to open up additional cooperation opportunities.
It is said that traveling broadens the mind. However, what is important for new experiences and a wider world view is the attitude when traveling. An enthusiastic traveler once said, ‚There is nothing wrong with setting goals, as long as you don’t let it keep you from setting interesting detours’. This little quote from Mark Twain describes quite well how Cole Wilson came to Forschungszentrum Jülich. The objective is quite clear in this comparison: gaining experience abroad and in research; the detour is the research field that awaited the young biochemist in Germany.
Science and scientific exchange can create the foundations for a peaceful society. That's the view of Dr. Sabreen Hammouda. The physicist lives in Garching and works as a postdoc in the PGSB Returner Program at the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science, Neutron Methods (JCNS-4). During her doctoral studies in Germany, the young scientist conducted research at Forschungszentrum Jülich. After her time in Garching, she has the opportunity to return to Palestine, however, she is already committed to supporting Palestinian students and actively shaping the research landscape in her home country.
Forschungszentrum Jülich has been dealing with solving social issues and the challenges of our time since it was founded in 1956. The mission of over 7,000 members of staff is to shape change – especially in the research fields of information, bioeconomy and energy. The staff at Forschungszentrum Jülich also include many female scientists. This is still not a matter of course. A survey by the Federal Statistical Office from 2019 shows that the EU average for female scientists in companies only amounted to 21 percent. Why is the proportion of women so low, what do prejudices have to do with this and how will their role develop in the future?
With the project extension "P2G++", the topic of hydrogen safety research made its way into LLEC. We do not only have many years of experience in nuclear safety research, but have also been active in the international HySafe network and the European Hydrogen Safety Panel for many years. Within the scope of the Living Lab, we will deal with scientific work on safety aspects of the hydrogen technologies developed and deployed at LLEC.
Pure studies are simply too theoretical for many people. This is also how Marie felt. Back when she chose her bachelor course, she opted for a dual study programme for applied mathematics and computer science at the Aachen University of Applied Sciences, which included vocational training as a technical software developer at Forschungszentrum Jülich. But it didn’t stop there: she liked the combination of theory and practice so much that she started a position as software developer at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research in addition to her master’s studies. There she is busy gathering data for her current project and investigating how energy management can be made as efficient as possible on the campus of the research centre.
The European Union is challenged with increasing global consumption, growing pressure on resources as well as the uncertainty of critical raw materials. Coupled with the goal to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 there is an urgent need to decouple economic growth from resource use and to ensure a swift transition to circular solutions.