Power and Power Abuse in Academia
We look forward to hearing about your personal experiences as well as your reflections on the experiences of academics in general, institutional practices and system-level trends.
Scientists are increasingly expected to engage with the public. At the same time, they face increasing hostility when they speak out. Female scientists, as a more frequent target of sexist hostility, fear being attacked and enjoy speaking out less than their male counterparts. The question arises: Is science communication really feasible for everyone in the current hostile environment? This short analysis focuses on female scientists as a subgroup of a large survey sample and how their assessment of public engagement differs from that of their male counterparts.
In August 2023 Benedikt Fecher conducted an interview with Clemens Blümel from the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) on the topic of ‘what happens when science opens up and communicates’ and the emerging challenges for future scientific communication.
Niels Mede on how the rise of populist politics affects academic work, science communication practices of scholars engaging in public discourse and ways to address these challenges.
Kristin Eichhorn, co-initiator of #IchbinHanna, on fair working conditions in research and the failed reform proposal in Germany.
A call for an alliance between female academic leaders and early career researchers to improve the academic STEM system
This opinion piece draws attention to the disadvantage of the academic STEM system, especially for female academics.
A wrap up of 2021 on Elephant in the Lab by the Editorial Team
Zhao et al. on an individual’s role in the scientific system and some coping mechanisms to alleviate the stress of the precarious working conditions of early career academics.
Donia Lasinger on the contribution of the Vienna Science and Technology Funds (WWTF) as a compareably small funding organization to equality of all genders
Renke Siems on user tracking on science publisher platforms, its implications for their individual users and ways to face this issue
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.
Lucy G. Gillis on inequalities in science reproduced by letters of reference and how to encounter them
Kelsey Medeiros on sexual harassment, what role it plays in relation to power structures in academia, and possible ways to address it
A group of researchers from the German N² network presents the results of a survey among PhD students on the abuse of power in science and outlines ways to counter it
Ruixue Jia on the influence of administrative power in Chinese academia on researchers’ publication activity, their selection of co-authors, and the topics they are writing about.
Linda Jauch on powerful dependancies of academics to funding bodies, their supervisors and what to do about it.
Katrin Martens take on the struggles of transdisciplinary research.
A look backwards from the editorial team.
Katrin Frisch on encounters with the different forms of west german hegemony throughout her scientific training and everyday working life in academia.