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.
Many people associate Japan with cherry trees in full bloom, snow-capped Mount Fuji, delicious food and friendly people. However, this highly technological country has much more to offer than these stereotypes. For example, Japan is also characterized by a diverse research landscape and top-class scientists. Felix Cüppers has the opportunity to get to know Japan's scientific landscape during his fellowship. He is a doctoral student at the JARA Institute Energy-efficient information technology (Peter Grünberg Institute, PGI-10) and will spend a total of six months at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
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.
About things you know and things you want to know... Assessing FZJ Diversity and Inclusion capabilities, Methodology II.
In the last post, we described how qualitative interviews were collected to better identify some of the Center´s strengths and weaknesses regarding D&I. . In addition to the personal experiences of members of marginalized groups, through the project we also focused on assessing FZJ ability to integrate diversity and inclusion perspectives into its main functions. Today, we would like to talk in more detail about the Diversity & Inclusion Audit that was run during the first stage of our project.
About things you know and things you want to know...Assessing FZJ Diversity and Inclusion capabilities,Methodology I
After the Diversity & Inclusion project was given the green light by the Board of Directors in August 2020, the first goal of the firstProject Board meeting in January 2021 was conducting a comprehensive assessment of the status quo at FZJ as it concerns diversity and inclusion.
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.
As diverse as the countries of this earth are, the people who inhabit them are equally diverse. The saying: 'Different land, different customs' sums this up perfectly. Of course, this difference can cause worries, especially if you plan to live in another country for a longer period of time. This was the experience of Dr. Nour Maraytta. The young scientist had the courage to leave her home country of Palestine to move to Germany for three years and complete her doctorate here.
"The most dangerous of all worldviews is the worldview of people who have not seen the world." Alexander von Humboldt. Stays abroad help to better understand project partners, their wishes, needs and opinions. To expand your own horizons - both personally and professionally - stays abroad are irreplaceable.
How can we incorporate the basic ideas of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our project work and fill them with life? How can we achieve the desired change as efficiently as possible? How can we take aspects of shared leadership into account?
Diversity and inclusion is not a project, it is a long-term commitment…or at least this would be my first reaction if someone told me that they were initiating a project to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion within their organization. There is no on/off switch. Committing to D&I is more like embarking on a life-long journey than a hundred-meter sprint. Still, this does not mean that we have to move forward like Alice, following a white rabbit down a hole with no clear goals or direction.
As a diversity and inclusion practitioner, I like talking about why organizations should commit to diversity, equity, and inclusion. I put my full hearth and energies in what I do and those around me probably know how passionate I am about helping research and educational institutions to build a more inclusive and equitable environment for students, employees and society at large. Nevertheless, once, a friend made me notice that I might come across as rather cynical in professional settings. I would call that pragmatism instead…It is true, however, that when I talk about diversity and inclusion (D&I) I tend to focus more on the business case rather than moral arguments. If I do so, nevertheless, it is just because I think they are more effective when I address a wide and composite audience with a variety of opinions and political leanings.
We are back in Germany – green, rainy, well-organised, toilet paper deprived Germany – oh how we missed you, or did we?! I`ll admit it dealing with the thought that we might not be able to get back was pretty unpleasant, but I can`t say that I felt particularly homesick over the last two weeks and I hope neither did the other fieldtrippers. Letting go of the excursion routine, the great outdoors and the people that surrounded you non-stop is easier said than done. So, to make our transition back into our everyday lifes a bit smoother and to say goodbye to our readers, I am writing one last blog.