How family-friendly is Germany’s science system?

together with Veronika Lipphardt and Giesela Rühl, with the collaboration of Karoline Seifert. A publication of the Junge Akademie, Berlin 2016

Science and family are compatible – in part The Junge Akademie presents the results of an online discussion on the question: How family-friendly is Germany’s science system? With the help of the interactive dialog platform “Science and Family,” the Junge Akademie wanted to find out in the summer of 2015 how compatible science and family are in Germany. From June to September 2015, scientists and interested parties were therefore invited to contribute to the discussion. The initiators now present selected blog contributions in a brochure and evaluate the results: From the perspective of those affected, what is the status of the compatibility of science and family between doctorate and professorship? What changes – in the interest of a high-performance and family-friendly science system from the perspective of those affected – could contribute to improving the situation? Numerous reports on experiences, opinions and wishes, most of them posted anonymously, describe how things can be done, what often causes them to fail, and what needs to change. Conclusion: Numerous wishes remain unfulfilled The editors’ conclusion is sobering. “Despite good approaches, Germany is obviously still far from the ideal,” summarizes Veronika Lipphardt. The contributions printed cannot claim to be representative. However, it is noticeable that, in addition to reports on experiences, wishes and suggestions for improvements were predominantly posted. In addition to the individual contributions, the editors therefore also present a compilation of reform proposals. Giesela Rühl emphasizes, “With the blog and with this publication, we want to initiate a broad discourse on the compatibility of science and family and raise awareness of problems, but also of possible solutions.”