Bold ideas and critical thoughts on science.

The Blog Journal

This blog is not about actual elephants. Sorry. It is about science.

We are passionate about science and made a blog about it. But we are not covering the latest findings in elementary particle physics or essays on Luhmann’s system theory. This blog is about those problems in science that everyone sees but nobody talks about: The journal system, the idiocy of authorship, citation cartels, career chances for young or female researchers. You name it.

Looked at in this way, this blog is about elephants after all. Elephants in the lab. One by one we will spot these elephants and write about them and as we go along, you are invited to participate in this great science safari. And: Every post on this blog is actually citable! We make this possible by giving each entry a separate DOI.

Did you spot an elephant in the wild? Do you have questions or recommendations?





Benedikt Fecher is heading the research project Open Science and the programme Learning. Knowledge. Innovation at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. The question that keeps him busy at night: What is the impact of research?







Christian Kobsda is an associate researcher in the programme Learning. Knowledge. Innovation. at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. He works as a political consultant in the president’s office of the Leibniz Association. Before joining the Leibniz Association, Christian dealt with Industry 4.0 and Smart Services at acatech and was scientific advisor to the innovation dialogue of the German Federal Chancellor. He spends his sleepless nights thinking about: scientific policy advice, digital innovation and prospective travel destinations.





Martin Schmidt is an agricultural scientist by training. He is an associate researcher at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in the programme Learning. Knowledge. Innovation. and does his PhD in environmental modelling at the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research. Recently he was a visiting scientist at the University of British Columbia. Beyond his interest in the functioning of science, he devotes himself to the people behind it as former spokesperson of the doctoral researchers in the Leibniz Association and co-founder of the biggest network of doctoral researchers in Germany. If he has not fallen asleep he thinks about the integrity of science.





Nataliia Sokolovska is a researcher at the programme Learning. Knowledge. Innovation. at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG). She has a background in international relations and worked for several years in journalism and PR. What keeps her up at night is the question of how knowledge and innovations can be transmitted on an international scale






Teresa Völker is a researcher in the research programme ‘Knowledge & Society’ at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG). She graduated with a Master of Arts in Social Sciences from the Humboldt University Berlin (Specialization Democracy and Transformation) and King’s College London. Her elephant mission is to re-connect the research community with the public and empower citizens by communicating research findings, giving information access and sharing knowledge.






Philip Nebe is working in the department of Knowledge & Society at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. He is currently studying sociology at Technical University Berlin, where he also graduated with a Bachelor’s degree. In his bachelor thesis he worked on voter participation of  the educationally disadvantaged. The question of how equal conditions for scientists can be achieved in order to enable good scientific practices keeps him busy from sleeping.




Dr Sam Illingworth is a Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at Manchester Metropolitan University, where his research involves using poetry and games to enhance dialogue between scientists and non-scientists. You can find out more about Sam’s wok by visiting his website.






Anne Schreiter is Executive Director of the German Scholars Organization (GSO), a non-profit that advocates for researchers and scientists, offering programs and training for academics to build impactful careers – in academia and beyond. Anne studied Communication in Social and Economic Contexts at the Berlin University of the Arts and Chinese Language and Culture in Nanjing und Shanghai. After her PhD in Organization Studies and Cultural Theory at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, she spent a year as postdoctoral researcher at the University of California at Berkeley. Anne is board member of the „Research Management Network“ („Netzwerk Wissenschaftsmanagement“) and a mentor for students in multiple programs.




Rebecca Lawrence is Managing Director of F1000. She was responsible for the launch of F1000Research in 2013, and has subsequently led the initiative behind the recent launches of Wellcome Open Research, Gates Open Research, and many other funder- and institution-based publishing platforms that aim to start a new trajectory in the way scientific findings and data are communicated and ultimately research and researchers are evaluated. She is a member of the European Commission’s Open Science Policy Platform, chairing their work on next-generation indicators and their integrated advice: OSPP-REC, and is a member of the US National Academies (NASEM) Committee on Advanced and Automated Workflows. She has been a co-Chair of a number working groups focussing on data and peer review, for organisations including the Research Data Alliance (RDA) and ORCID. She is also an Advisory Board member for DORA (the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment) and for the data policy and standards initiative, FAIRsharing. She has worked in STM publishing for almost 20 years for several publishers including Elsevier where she built and ran the Drug Discovery Group. She originally trained and qualified as a pharmacist, and holds a PhD in Cardiovascular Pharmacology.


Research on Scholarly Communication & the Humanities
Le Publikateur

Analyses from the inside: science policy and research assessment

A blog to facilitate a healthy debate and discussion on the relationship between science and policy making
Science in

On the impact of academic work in the social sciences and other disciplines
LSE Impact

German journalism on science and education

Library ideas (in German)

German blog on political theory, philosophy and intellectual history

German blog on Open Science, libraries
Leibniz-Informationszentrum Technik und


Institutional support and technical infrastructure
Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and

Conceptual support and design

Cooperation for events
impact distillery —



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