A Biochemist’s Discovery of Neurobiology

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. But let’s start right from the beginning.

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Dreaming big for a better future

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.

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Or: Insight into the culture, life and, of course, the science of Japan

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.

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The data described in this post were collected and analyzed as part of the project „Developing and implementing a D&I strategy for FZJ“

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.

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The data described in this post were collected and analyzed as part of the project „Developing and implementing a D&I strategy for FZJ“

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.

In order to obtain a detailed picture of the current D&I capabilities of FZJ, various tools were employed.. For example, an employee survey was conducted to obtain quantitative information on employees experiences and perceptions of the research center work environment. Further, semi-structured interviews were collected to better understand under-represented employees experiences at the Center. The main question we wanted to answer through qualitative interviews was, “How do underrepresented and minority employees experience their work life at FZJ?”

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By Philipp Schaps

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?

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South Korea is a highly innovative country. It is currently one of the world’s leading economies. Development and innovation already have a long history in this Asian state. Whether the production of silk and pottery products or letterpress printing, South Korea was at the forefront of handcraft and high-technology and was far ahead of many other countries. Today, the ambition and will for further development can be seen above all in the scientific and technical achievements.

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Hollywood has a clear answer to the question of what makes good science: It is about the scientific work of smart researchers, who together save the world or mankind at the last moment thanks to a clever idea. Action-packed and full of suspense, the team works under high pressure to develop the saving solution. Loosely based on a German nursery rhyme, science can also deal with seemingly more trivial issues: “Die Wissenschaft hat festgestellt, festgestellt, festgestellt, dass Marmelade Fett enthält, Fett enthält…” (Science has determined, that jam contains fat…). But who is right? Is science only valuable when huge challenges are met with a big bang, or is the solution of everyday tasks also important?

Both are correct! Science and research that addresses both the grand challenges of humankind (without the Hollywood action part, of course) and the small issues of everyday life is valuable. But „good“ science includes many more components.

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