Helen Sitar's blog

Spreading the Enthusiasm for Excellence in Research

“‘The intrinsic motivation of the researcher’ – that is what unites us,” asserted Dr. Christoph Sänger, quoting Goethe, at the Hans H. Ruthenberg-Graduate and the Josef G. Knoll European Science Award Ceremony on Friday. Sänger, who investigated small farmer dairy markets in Vietnam, was one of six young researchers who were lauded for the excellence, relevance, and social and scientific contribution of their Masters or Ph.D. theses.
Tropentag_2014_Day1_jpg025 Eva-Marie Meemken Receives a Hans H. Ruthenberg-Graduate-Award 2014 at Tropentag

When will we Discuss “Bridging Gaps” between Research and Practice? Reflections from the Conference Introductions

“Are we going to talk about nationality or internationality?” asked Michal Lošťák, Vice-Rector of CULS, as he welcomed the crowded assembly to Tropentag yesterday. Taking the conference theme of ‘gaps’ to be ‘bridged,’ he focused on gaps between perspectives from different cultures. “A scientific community operates across borders,” he continued, “[it is] interesting to hear how African students agree or disagree with European students.” While I agree that points of conflict are intellectually illuminating, for me something was missing in all the introductory speeches at the Plenary session yesterday. (Continue...)

Echoes of Voices from around the World at Registration this Morning

Voices from around the world fill the entrance hall of the Study and Information Center this morning, as Tropentag Conference participants line up for registration. The energy level is high, and colleagues greet each other with smiles and handshakes, many with poster tubes over their shoulders, ready to present their research in the coming days. But whom exactly might you find on the campus of the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague this morning?

Birgit Zipf, Student Reporter—Let's talk directly, across borders

Birgit When discussing challenges in tropical agriculture, is it actually necessary to talk to researchers from the tropics? Birgit Zipf, second-year student reporter for the Tropentag 2014 conference, certainly believes so! She's tired of attending conferences where German, British, and American presenters are “talking about the ‘others’” from developing regions, instead of inviting and “rather talking with them.” But why is this distinction particularly important to Birgit? (Continue...)
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