Two GYA members working in the social sciences – Alexandra Dmitrieva (Support, Research and Development Center, Ukraine) and Alma Hernández-Mondragón (Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico) – were selected to attend, participate and take part in networking opportunities during the Volkswagen Foundation Symposium for Breakthroughs in Social Sciences and Humanities at the 2021 Falling Walls Summit. The symposium was organised by the WZB Berlin Social Science Center.

Finalists for the “Science Breakthrough of the Year” in Social Sciences and Humanities presented their innovative work and research questions. GYA alumna Sabina Leonelli (University of Exeter, UK) was one of the finalists and speakers. Currently a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin, Sabina presented on her theoretical and empirical research on data use, governance and ethics.

Sabina Leonelli presents at WZB-Volkswagen Foundation Symposium

Impressions from GYA members:

During the symposium, I joined an open fishbowl discussion to emphasise how important it is for early career researchers to communicate the results of our research outside academia. The lectures for inspiration and career trajectories for early-career researchers with a focus on breakthroughs in the social sciences and humanities provided valuable perspectives.

Alma Hernández-Mondragón (Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico)

Alma Hernández-Mondragón at the 2021 Falling Walls Science Summit
Alma Hernández-Mondragón at the 2021 Falling Walls Science Summit

The Social Sciences and Humanities Summit offered a great space of opportunities for in-depth discussions and easy networking finally happening offline. The former was especially in demand since for many of us this was the first chance to travel and to meet with scientific peers in person after the COVID-19 pandemic had begun. The panel presentations were incredibly interesting and raised very timely questions: on the geographically-based differences in forms of capitalism, on the relevance of developing the concept of “infosphere” by analogy to “biosphere”, on the politically-driven issues of “independence” in conducting research and interpreting data, and many others. Besides all, the workshop format was an opportunity to speak about self-reflections and localized thoughts and concerns about scholarly work in the pandemic times.

Alexandra Dmitrieva (Support, Research and Development Center, Ukraine)

 

Sabina Leonelli, Alexandra Dmitrieva, Alma Hernández-Mondragón and Jennifer Plaul at the 2021 Falling Walls Science Summit.