Something you realised recently?
First of all: I am repeatedly amazed by how difficult it is for researchers to start a chat with members of the general population. Science is so concerned with internal issues of getting and publishing data. But it should also be capable of listening: What are people out there concerned about? What does the general populace expect from science, who funds science through their contribution to public funds? Science should not only be disseminated through heavy books, but in a personal exchange between all members of society – also those who may be harder to reach and those that do not have an academic background. We have to communicate in ways that all can understand, and enable anyone to participate.
Second: It is disillusioning to read that discrimination of women is on the rise again. The world economic forum has noted concerning steps backwards in 2017 in its study about the "Gender Gap" – especially in the areas of politics and economy. For everyone to have equal rights regardless of gender unfortunately still can't be taken for granted.
Which science policy problem can be solved without money?
Less arrogance and more approachability in science. Open and respectful treatment of others. Listening. And: gender equity. All of these things don't cost anything. Financial means can, however, speed up progress.
Again and again, I enjoy reading "The Tobacconist" by Josef Seethaler: Vienna in the 1930s. The time before the war. An unusual friendship between the 17-year-old Franz Huchel and an aging Sigmund Freud. I recommend it without any reservations! It is smart, funny, melancholic and well written. But these books equally worth reading: "Unterleuten" by Juli Zeh, "Die hellen Tage" by Zsuzsa Bánk, "Sandy Mountain" by Joanna Bator and " Arbeit und Struktur" by Wolfgang Herrndorf.
A phase like the season: stormy. Busy bustling on the one side, melancholic autumn mood à la Rilke on the other: "Who now has no house, builds no more. Who is now alone, will long remain so, will stay awake, read, write long letters."
(© Anna-Lena Scholz for the newsletter ZEIT CHANCEN Brief; translation by Michaela Maya-Mrschtik for AcademiaNet)