Comments and Impressions about RUB Research School.
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Peter Grünberg, Forschungszentrum Jülich
Prof. Dr. Andreas Bartels
Talk: "Personal Responsibility of Independent Researchers" at Science College 2008
"My most enduring experience from the discussions with School fellows was that they were able to express themselves very easily and well on such ‚difficult‘ matters as their personal situation as a postgraduate and their professional expectations. The participation in the School programme seems to contribute to their self-confidence, their ability to speak frankly to others and – perhaps most important – to listen to others. Such are positive characteristics that even the brightest Ph.D. students often do not possess. Thus I got the idea that the Research School may improve the scientific career chances of their fellows not by conveying more knowledge to them, but by reducing the effects of seperation that often accompanies the young scientist."
Andreas Bartels, philosopher and mathematician, professor for philosophy of nature and science at the University of Bonn.
Prof. Dr. Nicole Frankenberg-Dinkel, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Dr. Michael Anacker, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Talk: "Underdeterminacy - A Metatheoretical Problem as a Challenge for
Interdisciplinary Research" at Science College 2007
"Interdisciplinarity is a main requirement of today's scientific research which not only depends on teamwork within one discipline but also on the ability to grasp the methods, results, and especially the scope of a multitude of different disciplines covering the whole field of the sciences and the humanities. Thus, it is very important to get familiar with the different styles of research and of the presentation of this research which belong to the traditions of each of the various disciplines. The aim of interdisciplinarity should not be to rule out these differences but to embrace them and make them a fertile element of research and scientific communication. The approach of our Research School to integrate and encourage interdisciplinary communication at a very early stage of its fellows' research cannot be cherished enough. The discussions with the fellows showed that this approach falls on fruitful grounds but, it also showed that interdisciplinarity is not a matter of a Sunday speech. It's rather a long process which needs continuous and steady work - accompanied by philosophical reflection."
Michael Anacker, philosopher, Institute of Philosophy, RUB.
Dr.-Ing. Martin Wagner, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Talk: "Memory - and amnesia - in 'smart' metals" at Science College 2007
"Having a large number of bright young students - and fellow scientists - attending my talk was a great pleasure. Despite (or probably because of) their diverse backgrounds, they proved to be willing to engage in interdisciplinary discussions, and open for broader (or simply different) perspectives when I met some of them during a break. The RUB Research School is clearly about more than simply improving one's 'soft skills' or presentation techniques (as important as these are): The school provides a unique forum for young minds, a place of exchange, learning, and gaining new interdisciplinary knowledge across traditional and cultural boundaries. This abstract concept is successfully brought to live in Bochum, as is evident from the enthusiasm exhibited by everyone involved in the school - staff and students alike. Both the school and its students are in an excellent position today and can confidently face the future."
Martin Wagner, mechanical engineer with a focus on materials science, heads the Emmy Noether Research Group "Twinning" at RUB, he is a member of the newly founded "Young College" of the North Rhine Westfalia Academy of Science.
Dr. George E. Walker, Florida International University, USA
Prof. Dr. Dr. Gerhard Vollmer
Talks: "Scientific cultures - how many are there?" and "How do you recognise nonsense? Hints for the interdisciplinary dialogue" at Science College 2007
"Being both a physicist and a philosopher, I am even forced to combine science and humanities in one person. Thus I cannot help thinking about the problems of interdisciplinarity. To put it crudely, but simply: Interdisciplinarity is absolutely indispensable, but - alas! - it is also impossible. Saying this, fortunately, I am exaggerating a bit in both directions. The best way to see this is to collect and to study good examples of fruitful interdisciplinarity. Try to find out why in such cases interdisciplinarity was necessary and why it was fruitful. And then try to do the same trick! Being a member of the Research School, ask other members what they are doing! What is new about it? Why is it a good problem? And try to tell them what you are working on! What is your problem? Try to put your problem in one question or, if it is a very complicated problem, in several questions! If you don't understand - dare to repeat your question! If need be, ask again. You will learn from it, both of you."
Gerhard Vollmer, philosopher and physicist, professor for philosophy at the University of Braunschweig, in 2004 he recieved the Culture Prize of the Eduard Rhein Foundation.
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Claudia Trepmann, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Talk: "Academic Careers" at Science College 2008
"It was a pleasure to participate at the second Science College of the RUB Research School. The discussions in the workshop were lively and focussed especially on the differences during the PhD study in the humanities on the one hand and engineering and natural sciences on the other. Despite the differences, however, it became also clear that the general problems and questions PhD students have to face are very similar. My impression is that the students profit very much from this contact beyond the disciplines. One focus during the Science College was on the future perspectives and the career in academia after the PhD. The four lectures on the personal experience of my colleges and me, as young scientists of the RUB, showed how very different careers are. To enjoy research and teaching is, from my perspective, one of the most important prerequisites for a successful career in academia. There are many different possibilities to get funding after a PhD. Being a woman in science, I can just encourage women to choose a career in academia. To date, I have not experienced any gender-specific differences in my career compared to my male colleges."
Claudia Trepmann, Junior Professor at the Faculty of Geosciences, RUB, she returned to the RUB after a DFG-post-doc stipend at the University of New Brunswick, Canada.
Prof. Dr. Ferdi Schüth MPI für Kohlenforschung, Mühlheim/ Ruhr
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Lars Leichert, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Talk: "Academic Careers" at Science College 2008
"Having been a member of the Ruhr-University Bochum junior faculty for just a few weeks, taking part in the Science College 2008 was a great way for me to get to know the RUB and its students. It was very stimulating to discuss scientific independence and freedom with Ph.D. students from disciplines as diverse as engineering and social sciences. Talking to Research School fellows about their studies and their goals gave me the chance to reflect on my own career path and the reasons why I enjoy working in science so much. The support and interdisciplinary exchange that the Research School provides to young scientists shows the dedication of the RUB towards fostering excellence on all levels."
Lars Leichert, Junior Professor at the Medical Preteom Center RUB, he returned to Germany with the NRW-Returnee-Programme from University of Michigan, USA.