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Picture a Scientist – an interactive workshop to raise awareness for diversity

April 24, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Together with the SFB 1361 and GenEvo we are hosting an afternoon workshop to focus on empowerment and to raise awareness for diversity and against discrimination in order to promote a gender- and diversity-sensitive work and research culture.

Science careers are about the science, and they’re also about the people – including how people think about, and treat, each other. We all want a science system that rewards good ideas and good research and which treats everyone fairly. We also as a group have experienced or suspected (or maybe remained oblivious to) the reality that science systems are not always operating fairly for everyone. And when we lose good ideas and good people to injustices, we collectively hurt the quality of the science and our own ethics and values. Let’s look together at some of these themes that we inherited from the past and still live with today in order to change the system for the better.

We would like to invite all group leaders, postdocs and PhD students to join us for a productive discussion and lively exchange of views at our first event on Monday, April 24 2023 4.15-9 pm at IMB, followed by dinner. What we have planned is:

  • an interactive workshop led by Prof. Heather Hofmeister, looking at patterns in our own and others’ experiences in Germany and comparing German academic power structures to those in other countries, followed by
  • the screening of the documentary feature-length film from 2020 called “Picture a scientist” about the experiences of underrepresented groups in several fields of science, and afterwards,
  • work out conclusions and solutions together – and then we get to the pizza!


About the moderator

Heather Hofmeister is a Professor, Speaker, Leader, Coach, Writer, and Researcher. She holds a full Professorship for Sociology of Work at the Goethe University, Frankfurt and is co-director of the Center for Leadership and Behavior in Organizations (CLBO). She researches and speaks internationally on topics in work, gender, diversity, leadership, careers, and science, using a life course and international comparative perspective.

Hofmeister served three years as Vice-Rector at RWTH Aachen University as the first woman in the Rectorate from age 35 and held the first professorship of Sociology with the specialty in Gender and Life Course Research there. In Frankfurt, she served as Chair of the Department of Sociology, Chair of the Board of Examiners, and Dean of Studies at the Goethe University Faculty of Social Sciences. She has led and currently leads large interdisciplinary research projects as PI, serves on the Board of Trustees of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), and served on the Board of Trustees at the University of Bamberg. Hofmeister is a trained coach, and she facilitates groups and classes of up to 800. Hofmeister came to Germany from the USA with a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2002. https://www.heather-hofmeister.com/


About the Movie: Picture a Scientist

Who actually does science? And why is it often still “the male scientist” who wins prestige in our imagination? In PICTURE A SCIENTIST, a female biologist, a female chemist and a female geologist take on these questions and lead the audience on a journey through the experiences of their academic careers.

Using their biographies as examples, the film deals with a variety of problems that are also relevant in the German university system. These include sexualised harassment in everyday university and research life, exclusion mechanisms and unequal treatment, multiple discrimination and the role of leaders and institutions. The film shows the achievements of the past decades, but also makes visible the resistance women have to face at every level of the academic world. It has a disturbing, outrageous effect – and calls for action.


This workshop is open to to all members in our network(s). You may register by filling out our online form here: https://forms.office.com/e/900buyAJbv  Registration will come on a first-come, first-served basis.


April 24, 2023
4:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Institute of Molecular Biology
Ackermannweg 4
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