Sabrina Schwarzmeier of the Junge Akademie
Students advise politicians
Sabrina, what project are you and your team working on?
Sabrina Schwarzmeier: We developed a website that aims to bring local politicians together with young researchers at Munich's universities. The basic idea is that a politician can log on to our site and create a project – stating in which period he/she needs an expertise on a specific topic and which scientific areas should be covered. Then, students who conduct research in this specific field can get in touch and provide their expertise as part of a project or Bachelor's or Master's thesis.
Where did this idea come from?
The theme of our project is "Truth and Lies", and we expanded it to "truth and lies in the communication of scientific insights" – especially in the area of ??policy advice. In our opinion, political decisions are sometimes gut decisions. The aim of our project is to increase the influence of scientific advice on political decisions.
How did you go about that?
We conducted many interviews with politicians, policy advisers, and NGOs – and we have come to the conclusion that the influence of science on the level of local politics is behind that on politics on the federal level, for example. This is where we saw our chance. Our website will go online in a few weeks, helping to connect politicians and young researchers first in Munich, and in the surrounding area.
How did you come across the Junge Akademie?
I became aware of the Junge Akademie through my boyfriend, and I applied with a letter of recommendation. Normally, however, it is the best students of a year who are nominated by the faculty.
What do you like especially about the Junge Akademie?
I can only recommend everyone to join the Junge Akademie. You will have to invest a lot of time for the projects, about 4-6 hours per week, but the added value is enormous. I really learned a lot about project management and teamwork. Over the course of 20 months, there were seven or eight workshop weekends where you could meet many great people and also get a lot of useful advice regarding scientific work in your course of study.
(Interview: Sabrina Czechofsky)
Sabrina Schwarzmeier (21) is studying at TUM to become a teacher of Mathematics and Physics. She is currently working on her Bachelor's thesis, which focuses on an optional course in differential equations for freshers. After that, she would like to do a Master's course at TUM. The TUM Junge Akademie is the university's program for especially talented and committed students who are exceptionally passionate about the world of science at an early stage. Information events for the coming year (as of November): May 22 at Main Campus and June 25 in Garching. More information: www.jungeakademie.tum.de