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The traveling exhibition

The traveling exhibition is a continuation of the project “Berlin – Capital of Women Scientists,” which was launched under the auspices of Science Year 2021 as a cooperation between the Berlin Senate Chancellery and the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH). It all began with several edit-a-thons and writing workshops in which interested citizens, from pupils to pensioners, composed new Wikipedia entries and edited existing articles. Based on these new and improved biographies – more than 50 in all – a traveling exhibition was created that succinctly portrays the lives and careers of 22 women scientists and scholars from different eras and disciplines who were or are based in Berlin. The exhibition has already been shown at various locations in Berlin, such as at universities, libraries and town halls, and is also available online.

“In addition to dismantling structural barriers and supporting individual women scientists, it is very important to us as a research institute to play our part in increasing the visibility of women scientists through various projects” says Karin Höhne, Equal Opportunities Officer at the BIH. “Women scientists who are made visible can change perceptions and serve as role models.” She is thrilled about the international collaboration, adding: “With 35 percent of professorships across the city held by women, Berlin is the capital of female scientists and scholars and the exhibition is a way to give some of them a voice.”

Exhibition opened in Prague and Tokyo in May, and in Budapest in June

In Prague, the joint project was kicked off in the Rectorate of Charles University by Prof. Milena Králíčková, the university’s rector, and Dr. Helena Reichlová, an outstanding solid-state physicist. Reichlová currently heads the prestigious DIOSCURI research center at the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, a program to promote scientific excellence initiated by the German Max Planck Society. The exhibition was on display for a month in the former cloister at the Rectorate of Charles University and included a particular highlight for school classes: a specially designed digital rally via the app Actionbound, which enabled kids to explore the exhibition interactively.

The exhibition in Tokyo

As part of the anniversary “30 Years of City Partnership Berlin-Tokyo 2024,” the Goethe-Institut hosted the exhibition in Tokyo. It was displayed in Japanese, English, and German in the foyer of the Goethe-Institut Tokyo from May 7 to 17 of this year. As a side program, a Wikipedia edit-a-thon was held in Japanese on May 7 and 8 at the Goethe-Institut’s library. And on May 15 in Tokyo, under the motto “Capitals of Women Scientists: The Gender Gap in Research and Society,” the edit-a-thon participants presented the results of their workshops; experts from science and media provided valuable insights on the topic in the discussion that followed. This event was attended by the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Kai Wegner, and the President of the Berlin House of Representatives, Cornelia Seibeld.

In Budapest, the exhibition opening at the local Goethe-Institut was held in conjunction with a panel entitled “What women know – the role of women today in science and academia.” The aim was to examine the situation of female scientists and scholars in Hungary and Germany through two exhibitions and a discussion.

Prof. Christopher Baum, Chair of the BIH Board of Directors and Chief Translational Research Officer of Charité stresses: “As a research institute, we are delighted through this exhibition to be able to promote international exchange and raise the visibility of women scientists, which is something that is absolutely necessary.”

Further stops are planned in London and other partner cities.

Visit the exhibition online.