Bold ideas and critical thoughts on science.

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Are researchers the better politicians? Probably not. Or at least not necessarily. Politics and science work in fundamentally different ways and strive for their respective rationales. So being a good scientist does not necessarily qualify you to be a good politician. But at the same time, scientific advice can be crucial for well-founded and informed decision making. Providing scientific advice to politics and society has therefore long been part of the scientific community’s job description and has gained tremendous momentum in recent years. Elaborate systems for providing scientific policy advice have emerged in many countries, and in crises – such as Covid 19 – they have once again been able to demonstrate whether they can withstand such a stress test.

In the course of the pandemic, familiar problems became visible again. And while for a long time only experts and practitioners debated the work mode of scientific policy advice, it has suddenly become a public debate. What does good scientific advice for politics look like? Who is legitimately asked for advice and who offers it? How does good advice find its recipient? Is it better to give advice publicly or confidentially? How does the scientific system reward such commitment? How does quality assurance work? These are the questions we want to explore and find the holy grail of the best advice possible…  

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Wikipedia as Science Communication: A Step-by-Step Guide

Wikipedia as Science Communication: A Step-by-Step Guide

The Wikipedia community has become a source of information for a broad and global public. Paul and Max argue that contributing to the encyclopedia as a scholar can be a powerful way of achieving a strong societal impact of their own expertise. Furthermore they provide a guide on how to write your first contributions.

On creating a good research environment

On creating a good research environment

Sabine Müller on the hierarchical system of German academia and why it could be a problem for the wellbeing of young academics and Ph.D. candidates. She compares it to her experiences at Oxford University and sheds light on the differences between the two research cultures.