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Online and Offline

The covid-10 pandemic forces us to do experiments. However painful this episode might be, it offers the chance to learn and to question old habits. We often hear opinions like, „Online can only be a stopgap solution.“ Sorry, there will be no way back. Those who dream about an imaginary pre-corona-idyll misjudge how deep the crisis is uprooting all our lives and procedures these months.

Time leap. It´s the year 2030. The corona crisis and the concomitant lockdown dragged on for years, a vaccine was finally found in 2024. For lack of alternatives, we have learned to discuss even the most complex topics in teleconferences. The technology for doing so received an enormous push. „Flying to China with the entire team for just one meeting? That´s so 2019!“ There are better ways to use the time and energy for the trip and the jetlag, not even talking about environmental aspects.

The situation is similar in classroom settings. The first attempts 2020 appear almost comical in retrospect. Internet bandwidth was clogged by uncompressed video recordings of lectures in empty seminar rooms. When the lockdown was finally fully lifted in 2025, teaching was enriched by many new methods. In lecture theatres, seminar rooms and online-conferences, we profit from the experiments of 2020. Group size, learning preferences as well as private and professional circumstances can be analysed and considered for each event, so that a fine-tuned mixture of online and offline content can be compiled for that setting. Participants with care responsibilities? Let´s do evening webinars with compact in-person meetings in the morning.…

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My last day as postdoc

This is a guest post from Dr. Vera Chan. She showed me this text, which was originally a facebook blog after her last day of officially working as a postdoc. I was moved so much by it that I thought our readers might like to read it as well and maybe recognise parts of themselves in these lines. Luckily, Vera consented to share this very personal piece of courage and beauty. Thanks Vera!

   

 

Today I finished the last day officially being a postdoc. I cried when I saw a video from my supervisor sending thoughtful wishes for my next endeavour.
I cried partially because it felt like a breakup. I have truly enjoyed being a marine scientist in many ways.
It took 6 years and change of three continents to gain enough clarity that, working as an academic professor is not where I want to be personally and professionally.


Have I just failed? For a long time I worried that I will become a disgrace to my professors if I had plans outside of academia. As if all the hard work in the past won’t matter anymore.

And I will be used as a failed example in front of the other younger students.
„If she had pushed to publish in Nature communication, she would have made it.“
„She is not working hard enough“
„She is smart, but unluckily her data are not significant“
„She just needs to get one more postdoc“

I realized, I am not alone. In fact, my experience is shared by many postdocs who are seeing their contract ending soon.…

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WiWo Interview with our partner Dr. Lisa Steinhauser

An interview with our partner Dr. Lisa Steinhauser was published in WirtschaftsWoche as part of an article about university rankings (Link to the article).

The article deals with the doctoral thesis and academic careers at the university. From my experience as a coach in this area, I describe how the later career entry and a change to the free economy succeeds. For many scientists in the research, the last few weeks have looked corona-related, as some institutes have had to close their labs. Perhaps it is not easy to decide how to proceed with one’s own professional path. Lisa can give you more clarity: her 1-on-1 mentoring is of course also available with videocall, fully Corona-compliant.

 

Credits: Business Week, Issue 17, 17.04.2020; Philipp Frohn, Jan Guldner…

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