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Challenges for Research Integrity

First International Symposium of the Berlin University Alliance on November 24, 2021

News from Nov 03, 2021

Diversity and Universalism, Evidence and Reflexivity – On November 24, 2021, the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) will host its first international symposium in the topic area of Research Integrity / Research Quality. The conference addresses issues of national and international quality debates in science. In particular, the tension between disciplinary, geographic, and geopolitical diversity and the demand for universality will be discussed. This tension also includes the question of reconciling unambiguous scientific evidence with reflection and plausibility. The symposium will be offered as a hybrid event in live stream and on-site in Berlin. It is organized by the objective Advancing Research Quality and Value of the Berlin University Alliance.

The event brings together stakeholders from the fields of research, politics, research funding, and science management, among others, to contribute to a differentiated understanding of the multi-faceted subject of research quality, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to discuss existing practices and potential developments in terms of their effectiveness and sustainability with an international audience.

Four thematice blocks will address different dimensions of the current debate on research quality and research integrity:

  1. "Diversity as an Engine for ‘Good Science’?”
    The question of the importance of diversity for research and science will be explored in a hybrid world café format and followed by a discussion. The goal is to include different voices, consider distinct aspects of the topic such as gender or interdisciplinarity, and develop different strategies for addressing the lack of diversity in science.
  2. "Science Literacy – Taking ‘Good Science’ in and out of Academia"
    How can science be communicated so as to enable people inside and outside of academia to distinguish between "good science" and "fake news" or "post-truths"? The last few months and the COVID-19 pandemic in particular have shown that practices of scientific work are not always comprehensible, especially to the general public, and can raise doubts about scientific results, if not about "science" as a whole. The session will open with a keynote address by Dava J. Newman (MIT Media Lab), followed by a roundtable discussion.
  3. "Objectivity, Transparency, Validity – Establishing Assessment Criteria for ‘Good Science’”
    Evaluability and appropriate evaluation criteria of "good science": The plurality of research traditions is reflected in the discussion about universally applicable standards for robust evidence in contrast to the diversity of research cultures, mutual criticism and learning from it. Criticism of traditional evaluation criteria such as publications and external funding acquired has increased in recent years. The fact that these indicators do not take into account, for example, openness and transparency in research, as well as the promotion of young scientists, exacerbates the question of what can objectively be considered "good science" and how it can be evaluated. The session will open with a keynote by Lorraine Daston (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science / University of Chicago), followed by a round-table discussion.
  4. Einstein Foundation Award for Promoting Quality in Research – Category Early Career Researcher Award
    Four finalists will present their projects for improving research quality. The best idea will be selected by the award jury and funded by the Einstein Foundation with 100,000 euros. With this new award the Einstein Foundation would like to annually honor researchers and institutions from all areas of science and all parts of the world who are committed to enhancing research quality. The prize is awarded in three categories and is endowed with a total of 500,000 euros.

"The symposium is an excellent opportunity to bring together diverse stakeholders concerned with research quality and research integrity and to discuss the current status at an international level. The interweaving of the symposium's content with the presentation of the Einstein Foundation Award for Promoting Quality in Research shows how relevant the topic is and how well the members of the Berlin hub of research are networked with each other," says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Dirnagl, Director Experimental Neurology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and spokesperson of the steering committee Advancing Research Quality and Value.

Interested parties can participate in the symposium via live stream. For further details and the program of the event, please visit our website. The event language is English.

Contact

For questions, the CORe team is available at: core@berlin-university-alliance.de 

The Berlin University Alliance

The Berlin University Alliance is a consortium consisting of three major Berlin universities – Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin – and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, established to shape research and education in Berlin. The four partners joined forces to further develop Berlin as a research hub with international drawing power. Together the partners explore major societal challenges, increase public outreach, promote the training of junior researchers, address issues of quality and standards in research, and share resources in the areas of research infrastructure, teaching, diversity, equal opportunities, and internationalization. The Berlin University Alliance is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the state of Berlin under the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the Länder.

Joint press release from Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin along with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Press contact
Hans-Christoph Keller, acting press spokesperson for the Berlin University Alliance and press spokesperson for Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Email: medien@berlin-university-alliance.de 

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