Essays, news, and open questions

Jul 162015
 
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Dr. Andreas Fischer
Helmholtz Association

JUnQ, 5, 2, XXIII–XXIV, 2015

Science is not always clear. Take for example the robust climate change debate: “A big threat for humankind” says the one side, “Complete nonsense” says the other. How many meters is the sea level actually rising? And what about the extreme weather events, are they becoming more frequent or not? These are all questions both experts and laypeople are arguing about. After all, scientists agree about the existence of climate change itself, whereas its impact still splits the scientific community. But when even science has no clear opinion, how is the broader populace supposed to have one? Over time, doubts creep into both public perception and our trust in science.

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Jul 162015
 
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ResearchGate was founded in 2008 to support scientific collaboration and grew rapidly. Today it has more than 7 million members according to its website. The platform offers ways to share published and unpublished data, participate in open-review, and ask and answer questions.
To put ResearchGate simply as a social networking site, for researchers and others involved in the pursuit of independent research, would be an understatement. Not only has it enabled researchers connect across economic and cultural barriers and work towards a collaborative and global realm of sharing knowledge from Stockholm to Santiago and from Hokkaido to Hawaii but also enabled the labs in developing nations to get access to surplus equipment which would otherwise be an impediment to cutting-edge research for so many talented individuals.
We talked to Dr. Ijad Madisch, co-founder of ResearchGate and asked him about his motivations, the challenges he had to face and prominent examples of how ResearchGate influenced the scientific landscape.

Read the interview: [download id=”105″]

Jul 162015
 
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Peter R. Wich is an Assistant Professor (Juniorprofessor, W1) of Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Mainz (Germany) – Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry. His primary research interests are in the fields of bioorganic chemistry and the interface between nanotechnology and biomolecular materials (for more information: www.wichlab.com). His internet presence is always up to date, he is informing his followers about the latest ongoings in his lab and we were interested in his motivations in doing so, as well as his experiences in the field of communicating science.

Read the Interview here: [download id=”101″]

Jul 162015
 
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Science for the Masses was a biotech grinding think-tank, aimed towards altering the human condition in the pursuit of new abilities and leveraging pre-existing technologies for accessibility. Prior projects include mammalian near infra-red vision, next generation functional implant coating technologies and techniques, as well as bacterial modifications for the human and environmental microbiome. Both Jeffrey and Gabriel continue to biohack independently since its dissolution in 2015.

Read the Interview: [download id=”104″]

Jul 142015
 
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W. Seuntjens

Dutch Academy of ‘Pataphysics, Amsterdam

Received 21.05.2015, accepted 30.06.2015, published 14.07.2015

JUnQ, 5, 2, Views, 17-21, 2015

Collections of quotations are popular because they serve wisdom and wit in condensed form. Sometimes, though, their selected quotations are not quite understandable. Especially quotations from some German authors in a particular German collection seem to suffer from this false air of deep thinking and great intelligence. Is this an incidental one-off or is this a symptom of a general phenomenon?

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Jan 122015
 
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Katharina Landfester

Prof. Dr. Katharina Landfester is a director at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz. Together with her husband Dr. Volker Mailänder, she has two children. In a very personal assay, Prof. Landfester describes her experience as a woman and mother in the scientific world and how they managed to balance their scientific careers and family life showing us why instead of hesitating, sometimes it is best to just do it.

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Jan 122015
 
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Andreas Neidlinger

Till Opatz is full professor of organic chemistry at the University of Mainz. He took up his position in Mainz in 2010 after working as a professor in Hamburg, where his wife holds a position as professor for developmental neurophysiology. They have a 17 months old daughter and we were wondering how the family life with two parents in such demanding positions can be managed. In between his busy schedule as a professor and father, Prof. Opatz took the time to answer some questions about the difficulties that parents in academia have to face.

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Jan 122015
 
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Katharina Stockhofe, Kristina Klinker

Since 2011, the Family Service Center at the University of Mainz is the central institution for parents and university members taking care of relatives. It is dedicated to the support of students and university employees through the collection and improvement of services aimed specifically at parents. Stefanie Schmidberger is project manager at Family Service Center Mainz. She studied the History of Art, Book Studies, and German Language in Mainz. Furthermore, she is trained in career and educational guidance.

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Nov 112014
 
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Wolter Seuntjens

Dutch Academy of ‘Pataphysics, Amsterdam

Received 09.10.2014, accepted 03.11.2014, published 11.11.2014

JUnQ, 5, 1, Views, ### (not final page numbering), 2015

Sexual promiscuity can be studied quantitatively as a behavior. The qualitative study of the emotions and motives associated with promiscuity is secondary. When heterosexual behavior is studied quantitatively promiscuity is necessarily equal among males and females. In other words, contrary to contemporary popular opinion, the group of human males and the group of human females have the same average number of sex partners.

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