Berlin is a hub of knowledge and culture that hosts very successful Soapbox Science events every year since 2017, with an increasing interest both from the “berliners” and the different institutions. The diversity of the city is reflected in the different research institutes focusing on a wide range of fields. Despite all this, less than one third of the professors in Berlin are women. We want to bring science closer to society and to promote gender-equality in academia by providing women scientists with a platform for promoting their own work and discipline.
Soapbox Science Berlin is integrated by an amazing group of female scientists from all over the world, working in different fields and with a myriad of interests, reflecting the same diversity that Berlin has. All this has translated into a perfect working Team.
This year, after the successful September 2020 event, and despite all the challenges that 2020 has brought, the Team has decided to dust off the soapboxes and to take them to the streets of Berlin to talk about science again. The event will take place on the 26th of June in Washingtonplatz (Hauptbahnhof).
Read the blog about bringing Soapbox Science to Germany!
Meet the team
Dr. Carolina Doran, Postdoc researching the development of collective patterns of behaviour in group living animals. Fed up with inequalities and double standards in academia. 100% committed to promoting women* in science.
Marta Alirangues is a researcher focusing on the development of aquatic plants in lakes and the role they play in water quality. Since January 2021, she has also taken on her new role as central equal opportunities officer. Working to bridge the gap between science and society. Advocate for women* in science and promoting diversity and inclusión in academia.
Dr. Ana Alonso-Serrano is a postdoc researcher in Theoretical Physics. Her research is mainly focused in the study of quantum effects in gravity. She is very involved in science communication and supporting diversity in academia.
Dr. Beatriz Noriega-Ortega, aquatic scientist on maternity leave. Passionate about diversity and inclusion in academia and beyond.
Dr. Franziska Stressmann is a microbial ecologist working on bacterial communities in different sites in the human body, and what effects antibiotics have in the environment. She really wants science to be for everyone and to remove the current and systemic inequalities in the scientific professions and beyond!
Dr. Florencia Yannelli is a researcher at the FU Berlin, working on what makes alien plants successful in urban environments. Looking to make academia a more equal and diverse place to work and a place where more women inspire future scientists. Adding some perspective from the Southern hemisphere.
Julia Lorenz is a biologist specialized in Ecology, Biodiversity and Evolution. She mapped urban bats in Berlin and is now working in Citizen Science. She wants women to thrive in STEM fields. We rise by lifting others.
Franziska Ellen Walther is currently studying for a master’s degree in Global Change Geography (HU Berlin) and interested in systems of human-environmental interaction and emerging conflicts. Fighting for environmental justice goes along with uncovering the structural oppression of women*.
Dr. Dubravka Vučićević is a postdoc at Berlin Institute for Medical Systems biology in the Computational Regulatory Genomics group where she uses a combination of CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering technologies and genomics to probe regulatory landscapes and dissect the logistics of genetic regulatory elements in neuronal differentiation and disease.
Franziska Sattler is a Vertebrate Paleontologist and Evolutionary Biology Master alumna of Freie Universität Berlin where she now works as an academic student advisor. Besides Soapbox Science, she has her own educational program at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, called “Kaffeeklatsch mit Wissenschaft” (Science Communication Café). Franziska has a strong interest in making education and research more accessible and works tirelessly to give Women in STEM a platform to share their research
Alice Di Tucci is a PhD student in Theoretical Physics interested in understanding the role of quantum mechanics in the expansion history of the universe. She fights for a world where gender plays no more role in people’s professional life.
Dr. Eleftheria Saplaoura is a postdoctoral researcher in Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology. She is interested in RNA biology, currently focusing on how messenger RNAs are involved in cell-to-cell communication in plants. Passionate for equality and justice, if she wasn’t a scientist she would probably be a lawyer.
Dr. Anna Henschel is a research assistant at the Gender in Medicine Institute of the Charité Berlin. Previously, she completed her doctoral degree at the University of Glasgow, where she investigated the perception of and interaction with humanoid social robots. Anna feels passionate about transparent and open science, inclusive communication and diversity in STEM.
Dr. Annita Louloupi is a postdoctoral researcher in love with RNA biology and good wine. She is currently working at the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology, after having completed her doctoral degree at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics and Freie Universität Berlin.
These founding sponsors are the reason Soapbox Science now has the opportunity to grow not only in Berlin but also throughout Germany. Without their support and belief in this cause, we would not have been able to reach so far.
It would not have been possible to organize the Berlin events without the support of the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure and the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin. Their substantial financial contribution allowed us to invite speakers from different parts of Germany through travel reimbursements and the organisation of a post-event networking dinner. Both of these are crucial for promoting good scientific discussion across different STEMM fields. We are particularly grateful for their availability in working closely together with the team and providing indispensable support throughout the organisation process.
The Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology & Inland Fisheries (IGB) has been a tremendous supporter of Soapbox Science Berlin since the beginning. IGB is a research institute with a highly interdisciplinary profile, researching questions of high scientific and/or societal relevance, such as those related to fish behaviour, freshwater quality and the effects of climate change on both. By providing substantial logistical and financial support, the IGB contributes to the success of this initiative.
Additional Event Sponsors
With the support of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation we will be able to sponsor speakers based outside of Berlin to join us in sharing their work and inspiring the future generations of scientists. We are extremely grateful and proud to join forces with this foundation in continuing to break the walls between science and society and in creating spaces where scientists and the public can talk and share knowledge, much like Alexander von Humboldt used to do over 200 years ago.
We are very excited about our partnership with the Lise Meitner Gesellschaft e.V. and with this, the unique opportunity of joining forces to bring awareness about the inequalities in science and empower minorities to stand up and share their work. Through this connection we can share our experiences and prove that some actions can bring more equality to STEM. We are humbled by their initiatives such as I,Scientist (https://www.iscientist.berlin/) and are looking forward to the new challenges we can face together.
From 2020 we welcome the support of the Frauenbeauftragte (Women’s representative and gender equality office) from the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy at the Freie Universität Berlin. This office has a very important role in promoting women and gender research at the Department, not only by providing financial support for projects but also by representing women’s interests at the higher levels of the University. The office also provides support to deal with cases of sexual harassment and discrimination. Much in line with their work at the Department, we are grateful for their financial support and the continuous commitment to the promotion of women at the Freie Universität Berlin.
The DFG collaborative research centre CRC 1114: Scaling Cascades in Complex Systems supports us from 2020. With a very strong interdisciplinary approach from fields including Biochemistry, Physics and Geosciences, the CRC aims to develop methods for the modelling and simulation of complex processes involving cascades of scales in nature. We are excited to share the aim to contribute to awareness of the importance of diversity and equal opportunities in academia. Their commitment to this goes also beyond our event, since the CRC also supports the annual I, Scientist Conference.
The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine
The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine is one of the world’s leading biomedical research institutions. At the MDC’s locations in Berlin-Buch and Mitte, researchers from some 60 countries analyze the human system – investigating the biological foundations of life from its most elementary building blocks to systems-wide mechanisms. By understanding what regulates or disrupts the dynamic equilibrium in a cell, an organ, or the entire body, we can prevent diseases, diagnose them earlier, and stop their progression with tailored therapies. Patients should benefit as soon as possible from basic research discoveries. The MDC therefore supports spin-off creation and participates in collaborative networks.
The Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics research concentrates on understanding function and regulation of the genome in important processes of embryonic development, tissue differentiation, organ formation, and etiology of disease. We are extremely grateful for their support.
Find out about past events and speakers in Berlin: