Members involved in counselling

Heinz G. Fehrenbach

I have a doctoral degree in biology and worked for 10 years as a postdoc in human medicine before habilitating in human anatomy. From 2008 to 2023, I was a W3 professor at the University of Lübeck, working at the Research Center Borstel. I have been on standard retirement leave since October 2023. Scientifically, I have been shaped by electron microscopy. Going into detail and asking how the smallest things are shaping the very large ones is my driving force. Through my involvement in the ombudsman system, I have come to realize that some of what I had accepted as "normal" academic interaction bore hallmarks of abuse of power. Since 2021, I am a certified Systemic Personal & Business Coach (ECA, QSA). As a member of our network, I would like to support you in recognizing where abuse of power is occurring and to assist those who are experiencing abuse of power.

Heinz G. Fehrenbach on LinkedIn

Jana Lasser

Currently, I am professor for Computational Social Sciences and Humanities at RWTH Aachen. In my research I deal with emergent phenomena in complex social systems. The functioning of the academic system and its weaknesses have been on my mind for some time. Besides my commitment to Open Science, I am particularly concerned with the impact of working conditions in academia on mental health. During my time as spokesperson for the Max Planck PhDnet, I came into contact with the issue of abuse of power in science, which underlies many of the problems of the current academic system. That is why I am involved in the Network against Abuse of Power.

Personal website of Jana Lasser

 

Daniel Müller

From 2009-15, I was head of the TU Dortmund University's graduate program for supporting doctoral students, and from 2012 I was also a member of the Scientific Staff Council. I have headed the newly established graduate center "House of Young Talents" at the University of Siegen, which supports doctoral students, postdocs, and junior professors at the University of Siegen. Since 2019, I have also been one of the three elected spokespersons of the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Mitglieder des Wissenschaftlichen Mittelbaus". In these roles, I have repeatedly been confronted with power imbalances and abuses and address them in my events as well. I would like to support scientists of all career levels who are affected by power abuse.

Daniel Müller on LinkedIn

Sophia Hohmann

I work at the Zentrum für Lehren und Lehren at Bielefeld University. During my studies of philosophy, German language and education, I focused on different forms of discrimination in academic philosophy and philosophy teaching. This perspective and various university activities have made me aware of various forms of abuse of power in academia. It is particularly important to me to raise awareness among students, student assistants, technical and administrative staff of abuses of power in order to strengthen solidarity among each other, to make countermeasures visible and thus to promote a more inclusive and power-critical academic culture.

Sophia Hohmann on LinkedIn

Nicole Merkle

I am a postdoctoral researcher and scientific coordinator at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). My scientific interests include machine learning methods, generative methods, semantic knowledge representation and agent-based systems. Due to personal experiences, I had to deal with the topic of "abuse of power in science". My insight is that even ombudspersons and bodies such as "equal opportunities" or "conflict counselling" do not appear to be free of dependencies and prejudices and are subject to certain constraints and conflicts of interest. In addition, there are no regulatory control mechanisms for department chairs and professors. For this reason, I recognise the need for external, independent contact points. I want to raise awareness of the issue and support people who are affected by abuse of power in academia. Openness and transparency are important to me, because only if abuses are highlighted can they be counteracted and something changed in the long term.

Annah Keige-Huge

I have a PhD in chemistry and work as a postdoc coodinator. In addition to coordination and conceptual development of the postdocs program, I offer consulting and workshops on career perspectives, leadership skills, good scientific practice, diversity and critique of power.
Through my research, own experiences, and consulting work, I encounter various forms of abuse of power in science. I have come to realize that BIPOC in particular face and are particularly affected by social and systemic abuse of power, its denial and invisibilization, tabooing and academization. As a certified systemic coach and member of the network, I would like to support scientists of all backgrounds and career stages in recognizing and addressing abuse of power and empower them to take action to counteract it.

 

Sagi Schaefer

I am a lecturer in Modern German History at Tel Aviv University, currently on leave in Berlin. The working of power and especially the abuse and oppression of disadvantaged groups concern me in many aspects of life, but ever since I accepted a tenure track position, I engage in fighting against such abuses in academic life in particular. I have done so as part of several organizations, including Academia for Equality but also just using my position in the university. In recent years, I have been especially involved in the struggle to push academic institutions to tackle more effectively the endemic problem of sexual harassment and sexual abuse. I am involved in many initiatives on this front in Israel, in particular I support victims in negotiations with their institutions. I have recently founded a group in my home institution which works to mobilize the campus-community for this struggle. I have joined MaWi with the hope to pursue the same goals in Germany as well.

Tanja Hagedorn

With a PhD in German studies, I have been working in research management at German universities since 2008 in positions ranging from doctoral support to management. In my line of work, I had to observe abuse of power in many constellations. As a member of the MaWi network, I would like to work with victims of abuse of power in science to find individual ways out of their situation.

Tanja Hagedorn on LinkedIn

Kerstin Lenk

I studied computer science with a focus on medicine. Currently, I am an assistant professor of computational neuroscience at TU Graz. In my research, I focus on biophysical dynamics in different brain cells like astrocytes and neurons. Over the years, I have seen many forms of abuse of power in science. Already during my time as spokesperson of the advisory board for young scientists in the Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (German Informatics Society), we repeatedly drew attention to various issues for young researchers in academia. In our network, I would like to directly support and strengthen those affected.

Personal website

 

Daniel Leising

I am a professor for diagnostics and intervention at the TU Dresden. In the past, I was repeatedly confronted with quite drastic examples of how colleagues handled the power given to them in a highly problematic way. This almost always remains without serious consequences, because the hierarchical dependencies in the scientific system create a climate of fear, and as a consequence: silence. The MaWi network offers those affected independent advice and, if necessary, support. We also strive for a clear communication about the topic with the public and strive in the long run for a change of the structures in the science system - because it can't stay the way it is. 

Personal website at TU Dresden

Leila Dedial

After finishing my master`s in “anthropology and sociology” (University of Konstanz), I am currently working as a project coordinator in the DAAD-funded Hilde Domin Training Programme, at the University of Konstanz. The programme is designed for refugee scholarship holders. I have seen different forms of abuse of power and learned that the backstop for people affected and the thematization at universities is fragmentary. Abuse of power in science appears in short encounters and decisions concerning the study/career trajectory and therefore an individual's psychological condition. With this everydayness comes a habit, to practice and accept behaviour like this. To achieve change, we must name this taboo. To me, it is important to provide a space for people affected by the abuse of power and to provide clarification, both, to people causing and supporting the system behind the abuse of power and those affected by it. Personally, I want to strengthen student concerns as a highly relevant part of the system.

 

Elisabeth Flucher

I am a researcher in the field of German literature and currently employed at the University of Siegen, having finished my PhD at the University of Osnabrück in 2021. Before moving to Germany, I studied philosophy at the University of Vienna. With my engagement in the network MaWi I would like to actively work towards a more transparent and fair working environment in academia, as well as to offer support for those affected by power abuse. I think that making power abuse visible and talking about it is one fundamental step toward change.

Elisabeth Flucher on ResearchGate

Pavlos Leußler

I am a research assistant at the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Bonn and a candidate for the priesthood of the Diocese of Essen. I studied Catholic theology and political science, therefore, my research focuses on the intersection of these two subjects. Currently, I am working on the field of religious truths in politics and of power in the church. The latter is also the subject of my dissertation and the way I came to MaWi, as patterns of abuse of power in church and academia are often similar.

Institute website of Pavlos Leußler

Jan Zöllick

I am a psychologist by training and I work as postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Medical Sociology and Rehabilitation Science at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. In my research, I focus on the impacts of digitalisation on healthcare, i.e. I evaluate new apps, sensors, telemedicine applications, etc., in terms of their effects on the health of patients and users. Furthermore, I lead the research project “Studimeter” on mental health and stress in academic studies and I am a member of the Charité doctoral committee. Unfortunately, I frequently encounter the issue of power abuse and its effects on those affected, which is why I am involved as an advisory member to support them. Besides these specific support options for those affected, I advocate for a scientific culture that critically examines its hierarchies and structures, thereby reducing the likelihood of power abuse.

Personal website

Jan-Christoph Heilinger

I hold the Chair of Practical Philosophy at the University of Witten, researching, among others things, theories of responsibility and structural injustice. During my own academic career, I have seen a lot: exemplary academic practice, collegial cooperation and committed support of young academics – but also blatant misconduct, favoured by academic structures. Above a certain career level, the concentration of power is so great (and control and accountability so small) that the responsible use of power requires awareness for the possibility of abusing it, as well as a functioning moral compass. In the network, I would like to support those affected by abuse of power, raise awareness, and encourage preventative measures and structural reforms.

Personal website of Jan-Christoph Heilinger

 

Astrid Weiß

Since 2011, I have been working as a postdoctoral scientist at JLU Giessen in the Department of Medicine in the field of lung research. During my career, I have gained many insights into difficult situations with a high potential for conflicts. In order to effectively counteract possible abuse of power, it is of central importance to create an independent counseling opportunity for those affected. For this reason, as a MaWi member, I would like to offer my support to those seeking for advice to help them to find a way out of such stressful situations without losing the enthusiasm for science.

Astrid Weiß on LinkedIn

Supporting members

Sandra Beaufaÿs

I am a social scientist and work as a research associate in the coordination and research office of the “Women's and Gender Research Network NRW” at the University of Duisburg-Essen. My focus is gender-related higher education research. Through my research work, I have become aware that science is a field of power and that women are particularly affected by this. I would like to support female and male scientists in de-tabooing the topic and becoming capable of taking action.

Sandra Beaufays at Network FGF-NRW

Claudia Staab-Weijnitz

I am a scientist in lung research and spokesperson of a graduate program. As a person of trust in my many years of work with doctoral students, I am repeatedly confronted with abuse of power on the part of the supervisors. However, due to the well-known dependence-relationships, the doctoral students hardly ever dare to initiate measures beyond the conversation with me. I would like to support the MaWi network in making the topic more visible and sensitizing others to it.

Stefanie Heidmann

I worked as an assistant in research groups for a total of 16 years. Through experiences shared by doctoral students, I gained an insight into how their dependency on the doctoral supervisor may invite the abuse of power and how difficult it can be for those affected to escape from such conditions. Accepting this as a structural fact does not help the individual. That's why I think awareness raising and support services of the Network Against Abuse of Power in Science are so important and necessary, and I would like to help drawing attention to it

Krutika Gohil

After the Ph.D. in psychology, I worked as a PostDoc in the developmental neuroscience field at TU Dresden. Since 2018, I have been pursuing my industrial career in digital health innovation to develop accessible and engaging applications where I can integrate creativity and problem solving while keeping my scientific flare intact. The transition to the industry was mainly caused by an environment penetrated with toxic hierarchies and hyper-competitiveness, amplified by an over-dependence on temporary contracts and power abuse. Therefore, I would like to support my fellow scientists with a helping hand and an open ear, so they are empowered with the knowledge of one’s rights and possibilities.

Personal website of Krutika Gohil

Christian Hopp

I was appointed Professor of Applied Data Science and Finance at Bern University of Applied Sciences in 2020. My research is on the topics of entrepreneurial finance, innovation, leadership and scientific misconduct (plagiarism, questionable research practice, replicability). Ever since my time as a mid-level representative at the University of Vienna, but also during my time as a W-2 professor at RWTH Aachen University, I have experienced many academic behaviors that I retrospectively would consider as abuse of power, but which were largely tolerated. As a member of the network, I would therefore like to contribute to highlighting these types of misconduct in the academic system, pointing out the consequences of abuse of power and offering counselling for those affected.

Personal website at BFH

Susanne Täuber

I have a PhD in social psychology. I have been working at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands since 2009. I do research on bullying, discrimination and abuse of power in science, with a focus on intersectionality. From my own experience and studies on the topic, I know that abuse of power in science is systemic, reproduces social inequality and enables corruption. At the same time, the taboo and denial of power abuse in science makes it difficult for those affected to disclose and report their situation. As a member of the network, I would like to support those affected, leaders at universities and politicians by providing information and advice. In the international context, I perform these tasks as a member of the Dutch Advisory Committee for Diverse and Inclusive Higher Education and Research and as an advisor in the Academic Parity Movement, among others.

Susanne Täuber on LinkedIn

Veronika Fuest

After decades of extensive experience in research and science management at various locations - most recently as head of the Ombudsman's Office for Good Scientific Practice at the University of Göttingen - I would like to support this important network. I have always been concerned with questions about how abuse of power occurs and how to deal with it. Particularly in the academic field, I am trying to promote conscious uses of power and a sensitivity to micropolitical action. I have a doctorate in anthropology and am self-employed as a trainer and certified consultant (systemic transactional analysis).


Veronika Fuest's website

 

Henriette Senst

I studied library and information science and work as a consultant at the Federal Ministry of Health. Before that, I worked in research institutions specialising in life sciences and cultural studies. My work and research focus is in the field of information infrastructure, especially in research data management. The increasing complexity of digital infrastructures presents researchers with new challenges in the comprehensive documentation and long-term storage of their research results. I would like to support scientists in recognising and consciously shaping their rights and obligations in the associated processes, as this documentation plays an important role in the context of good scientific practice.

Personal webpage of Henriette Senst

Manuela Tischler

In my research (regarding the role of trust in academic careers) as well as my work as a coach for scientists I encountered various types of abuse of power. This was deeply concerning to me as ways of disciplining these abuses of power were lacking and the psychological barriers to ask for help are high. I would like to counter this problem by creating more awareness and offering a safe space for scientists who have experienced power abuse to talk about their experiences and develop effective coping strategies. 

Being at heart an optimist, I believe in the amelioration of scientific institutions and would like to help develop better regulation mechanisms that effectively address power abuse.


Manuela Tischler on LinkedIn

 

Mareen Czekalla

As a doctor of geosciences and business psychologist, I have worked in very different scientific institutions and fields. Currently, I am working as an advisor at the Technical University in Dresden. During my professional years, I repeatedly came into contact with the issue of abuse of power and its effect on the mental health of the persons affected. This gave me the motivation to study destructive and constructive forms of power. Furthermore, I have delved into other topics, such as bullying and discrimination. In addition to my professional expertise, I also have experience in systemic coaching. As a member of the MaWi network, I would like to offer independent advice to persons affected. At the same time, it is my intention to help the topic gain more visibility.

Mareen Czekalla on LinkedIn

 

Your statement on the abuse of power in science could appear here!

Get in touch with us and join us as a supporting member.

Roles in the association

Board: Sophia Hohmann (chair), Jana Lasser (vice chair), Heinz G. Fehrenbach (treasurer)

Auditors: Tanja Hagedorn, Kerstin Lenk

See also the statutes of the Netzwerk gegen Machtmissbrauch in der Wissenschaft e.V. (German)

 

Previous Boards:

10/2022-11/2023: Heinz G. Fehrenbach (chair), Sophia Hohmann (vice chair), Jana Lasser (teasurer)

Auditors: Daniel Müller, Kerstin Lenk