Where I’ve been

Always a pleasure: Heidelberg in spring.

NeckarThe castle

I was away in Frankfurt and Heidelberg for three days, to meet my PhD supervisor and colleagues. As most of you know, I live and work in Hamburg, but my employer is located in Heidelberg, so a trip now and then is unavoidable. This particular time was relaxed and pleasant, a welcome distraction from the everyday.

What keeps coming up in my work relationships is the question of status, the question of who is treating whom which way and why. I don’t know whether this is only me, but it seems that especially in academia, the question of degrees, publications and achievements is very very relevant. At the same time, there are huge differences in how institutions deal with that issue. For instance, my employer in Heidelberg is an island in this regard (and in many others). One example: In most academic institutions I know, the offices come with little signs that say whether it’s a doctor, a professor or “only” a master sitting behind that door. In my institute, when we finally decided to put up name plates, the sole condition was that they do NOT show any titles.

I really love that, don’t you?

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