Scientists in Society, Academia and Industry - Barriers and Opportunities

The lecture series "SciSAI" (short for "Scientists in Society, Academia and Industry") deals, in a broader sense, with the fact that scientists are (only) humans after all and how this affects their research and their living and working together. It takes place during the winter semester, every Wednesday usually from 11:40 am to 01:10 pm. All members of TU Darmstadt as well as external listeners are dearly welcome!

The module „Scientists in Society, Academia and Industry – Barriers and Opportunities“ (short: SciSAI) approaches the fact that science is made by humans, which can not always live up to the aspiration of objectivity as easily as hoped for.

This affects

  • the results of scientific research (selection of topics, interpretation of data, (non-) publication of certain results, …),
  • the career paths scientists can take (selection processes in applications or promotions, mental load, …),
  • the way in which scientists are perceived publicly (credibility, comprehensibility, …).

Therefore in the lecture series initiated in 2020, topics like the following are discussed: Perception of scientists in media and society, networking and equality efforts in academia and industry, different types of communication behaviour, compatibility of family and profession, power abuse and harassment, mental health, unconscious biases, discrimination, stereotypes and diversity.

The invited speakers all have a scientific background and work in a diverse range of fields, including professorships of physics/chemistry, business and career consulting, science journalism, science slams as well as research in neuroscience and artificial intelligence. Of course, apart from guest lectures, there is plenty of time for discussion and questions in every session.

The lecture takes place every Wednesday, starting from October 20, 2021, usually at 11:40 am (CET) and is held via Zoom. It is valid as an elective subject for all bachelor's and master's degree courses and can be found on TUCan by its code 07-00-0052-vl. The Zoom link, recordings of the sessions as well as discussion option are available for participants in the respective Moodle course.

External listeners may also access the Moodle course if they log in via guest account prior to clicking the course link.

If you experience any difficulties accessing the lecture, feel free to contact the responsible people via e-mail (button “Contact”).

We are looking forward to meeting you!

20/10/21, 11:40 am- 01:10 pm Ethics in science
  • Dr. Denise Müller-Dum
  • Ethik in den Wissenschaften
  • Prof. Dr. em. Kathryn Nixdorff
  • Ethik der Dual-Use-Forschung. Was ist akzeptierbar?
27/10/21, 11:40 am- 01:10 pm Scientists in society
  • Dr. Jess Wade
03/11/21, 11:40 am- 01:10 pm Science language: Unitary language or plurality of languages
  • Prof. Dr. phil. Olga Rösch & Prof. Dr. med. Ralph Mocikat
  • Nur noch Englisch als Wissenschaftssprache?
10/11/21, 11:40 am- 01:10 pm Language as a tool for exclusion and inclusion
  • Dr. Erika Linz
  • Leichte Sprache – eine Möglichkeit zur Partizipation?
  • Prof. Dr. Anatol Stefanowitsch
  • Rassismus in der Sprache
17/11/21, 11:40 am- 01:10 pm Mental health
  • Lara Wieland & Anna-Lena Eckert (Berlin Scholar Minds)
  • Mind your Scholars – Aktiv für die psychische Gesundheit von Wissenschaftler*innen
  • Beatrix Heinemann-Gill, Gaby Ruschka, Ursula Lemmertz (Studierendenwerk Darmstadt)
  • Einblick in den Beratungsalltag mit Studierenden
24/11/21, 11:40 am- 01:10 pm Roles of family & disability in academia
  • Dr. Sigrid Arnade
  • Behinderung: zwischen Selbstbestimmung und Ableismus
  • Dr. René Krempkow
  • Die Vereinbarkeit von Wissenschaft und Familie aus Sicht von Hochschulen und Nachwuchsforschenden
01/12/21, 11:40 am- 01:10 pm Hierarchies, classism and power abuse
  • Dr. Riccardo Altieri
  • Klassismus und Wissenschaft
  • Martin Schrader (N², Helmholtz Juniors)
  • Hierarchien & Machtmissbrauch in der akademischen Welt
08/12/21, 11:40 am – 01:10 pm Racism an academia
  • Angelo Camufingo
  • Rassismus in der Wissenschaft
15/12/21, 11:40 am- 01:10 pm Queer in Science
  • Dr. Clara Barker
12/01/22, 11:40 am – 01:10 pm Error culture
  • Salomé Wagner
  • Fehlerkultur: Ausstieg aus der Negativspirale
19/01/22, 11:40 am – 01:10 pm Finding allies & being an ally
  • Dr. Gabriele Schambach
  • Leaders for Equality: Gleichstellung braucht Männer
  • Annika Spahn
  • Mit queeren Menschen verbündet sein
26/01/22, 11:40 am- 01:10 pm Equal opportunities, quotas and tokenism
  • Robert Franken
  • Vom Privileg zur Haltung – Herausforderungen für Organisationen im Kontext Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)
02/02/22, 11:40 am- 01:10 pm Creating scientific careers individually
  • Prof. Dr. Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser & Prof. Dr. Alke Fink
  • Flexible Arbeits(zeit)modelle in der Wissenschaft – Top-Sharing: Beide zusammen oder gar nicht
  • Dr. Neela Enke
  • (Wissenschaftliche) Karrieren zwischen Zwang, Erwartung und Freiraum
09/02/22, 11:40 am- 01:10 pm Ways into the career
  • Dr. Lisa Steinhauser
  • Promoviert – und dann?
  • Katrin Ludwig & Mele Degel
  • Gemeinsam nachhaltige Zukünfte entwickeln
10/02/21, 11:30 am – 01:00 pm Closing session
Detailed information on the German lectures are only available on the German version of this page.
Portrait von Dr. Jess Wade

The role of science and science communication for society

Dr. Jess Wade

The past year has shown how central science is to society; and how crucial scientific literacy will be in the future of our planet. Jess believes scientists have an important role to play in public policy: in communicating their research beyond seminars and technical conferences. Effective science communication can build public trust in research, as well as challenge outdated misconceptions of who actually does science. In this talk, Jess will talk about why who we talk about matters, and our role as scientists in building a more robust and respected scientific community. She’ll also discuss her efforts to increase visibility of scientists from historically marginalised groups on Wikipedia, her research in materials science and nanotechnology, the power of social media for early career researchers and her new picture book ‘Nano, the Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) Small,’.

Dr Jess Wade is an Imperial College Research Fellow working in the Department of Materials at Imperial College London. Her research considers new materials for optoelectronic devices, with a focus on chiral organic semiconductors. She previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Fuchter group at Imperial College London, where she optimised these chiral systems such that they can absorb/emit circularly polarised light as well as transport spin-polarised electrons. For her PhD Jess concentrated on new materials for photovoltaics and the development of advanced characterisation techniques to better understand their molecular packing. Outside of the lab, Jess is involved with several science communication and outreach initiatives. She is committed to improving diversity in science, both online and offline.

Portrait von Dr. Clara M. Barker

Scattering atoms, ions and perceptions

Dr. Clara Barker

In this talk I will discuss the state of equity and inclusion in the field of STEM, with examples from my own journey. I will discuss why it is something we should consider, how science can benefit from making STEM more equitable, and suggest some thinking points for bring about this change.

Dr. Clara Barker is a thin film Material Scientist who manages the Centre for Applied Superconductivity at Oxford. Clara is the chair of the LGBT+ advisory group at Oxford University, Dean for equality and diversity at Linacre College and in 2018 she won the first diversity role model award from the University. She is also a member of both the Royal Society and the Girls School Association E&D committees. In her spare time, she runs a youth group for LGBTI+ people, with a support group for their parents. She is the recipient of the Points of Light Award from the UK Prime Minister in 2018, has written for various publications, delivered many talks on LGBTI+ issues and diversity in academia, including a TEDx talk in 2018, and was highlighted in Nature in early 2021.