All students, PIs and other interested parties are invited to gather for an open meeting and to discuss diversity and equality related issues. All ideas and suggestions are welcome. We look forward to new and innovative ideas and lively discussions!
Summary Open Meeting, 18 April 2018
We talked about what tools* are available to identify different personalities in the people around us and discussed how knowing about potential differences helps us to be better communicators. We acknowledged that personalities can be shaped by the more classical “extrovert vs introvert” or “male vs female” categories but also by country or region of upbringing or research subject and that there are never strict boundaries.
Summary Open Meeting, 17 January 2018
We discussed the differences between a role model and a mentor, with a role model being someone you aim to be like, either in the present or in the future and a mentor being the person helping you to achieve this. While role model maybe someone you have never met in person, the mentor is someone to interact with personally.
“A mentor is more than a teacher or advisor. A mentor is someone who guides you through a world that is still largely unknown and unintelligible to you. A mentor shares vital information and gives honest opinions. A mentor has your best interests at heart — and this occasionally means that the mentor must support your choices to do something that your mentor would not have chosen for you.” (for more see Cantor's Dilemma)
The “Science in fiction” novel “Contor’s dilemma” by Carl Djerassi introduces interesting characters and a variety of mentor-mentee relationships that will be interesting to learn about. The word relationship says it all - mentor-mentee relationships can be just as weird and dysfunctional as any other inter-human relationship, but nevertheless: Helpful guidance sometimes has peculiar origin such as Prof Lufkin in the book: For example pp 22-24: “You might as well get a female role model in graduate school and find out how she did it. What the costs are. How her male colleagues treat her.” He pointed to himself. “There are still so few women in academic chemistry, you’re unlikely to find one for your postdoc stint.”