When science meets art

First joint interdisciplinary conference of the N2 network.

Early Career Researchers of the Helmholtz Association, Leibniz Association,  and the Max Planck Society join forces to advance the communication of science.

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The official conference logo.
The official conference logo.

'Poetry and Art break down the hierarchies of intellect,' said keynote speaker Sam Illingworth, astrophysicist and science communicator at Manchester Metropolitan University, thus perfectly summarizing the mission of the first joint conference of Ntaking place in Berlin from Nov 6th to 8th, 2017. In a bid to cross boundaries between both art and science as well as research organizations, the organizing committee of international volunteers arranged an interdisciplinary array of keynote talks, workshops, and poster sessions, which culmulinated in a panel discussion with the President of the Helmholtz Association, Matthias Kleiner. To ensure that people living in Berlin could also take part in the discussions, the more informal evening activities such as the science festival, art contest, and pub quiz were also open to the public.

As the opening speaker, Johannes Vogel, Director General of the Naturkundemuseum Berlin emphasized the importance of including the public in communication strategies, such as the March for Science: 'You need to get off of your ivory towers and march!' In his welcoming speech to the audience, the botanist and advocate for open science stressed the necessity of every scientist to shape their research environment, instead of adapting to detrimental policies. 'You know what they say: it's either deep change, or slow death -- and if you're on the side of deep change, you're the drivers.'

Launching an interorganizational network of doctoral researchers, organizing the network's first joint conference, and serving the PhDnet steering group -- all of that while doing a PhD. "It's been a busy year," summarized PhDnet steering group member Lisa Scheuermann. "But all of the things I learned I can effortlessly apply to my next career steps and that is a big bonus." "You just become so much more organized because everything happens on a much higher level of energy." adds PhDnet steering group member Jana Lasser.

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Berlin Science Week Press conference participants, as explained in the text.
Berlin Science Week Press conference participants, as explained in the text.

"After all, it is due to us being a great team and Leonard Borchert being an excellent PhDnet spokesperson that all of the achievements this year were possible." concludes PhDnet steering group member, Teresa Hollerbach. She represented the N2-initiative during the Berlin Science week press conference that was held together with Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mlynek (Coordinator Berlin Science Week, Chair of Falling Walls Board of Trustees), Michael Müller (Governing Major of Berlin), Prof. Dr. Sabine Kunst (President Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), and Dr. Stefan von Holtzbrinck (CEO Holtzbrinck Publishing Group), from left to right, respectively.

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