What do you take with you when you travel? What do you bring back with you? And, above all, why do you travel in the first place? The members of the Junge Akademie are constantly on the go, doing research or presenting their results in other countries. Some have to cover considerable distances between home and work on a regular basis if they want to have a career as well as a private life (see Junge Akademie Magazin, English Edition, December 2013, pp.4–15). Even going on holiday does not necessarily provide a respite from work – inspiration lurks everywhere.
In our Dossier, JA members address the most diverse aspects of research trips. Ethnologist Silja Klepp describes what it means to ‘walk a tightrope between proximity and distance’ in an interview on her undercover research in Libya and her experiences with refugees landing on the shores of Lampedusa. Agricultural and environmental economist Jadwiga R. Ziolkowska, who was recently awarded the Berliner Wissenschaftspreis (an academic prize for young researchers), shares her thoughts on the impact of research trips on the environment. Mediaevalist Klaus Oschema discusses the connection between travel and historical research on travel with his colleague Folker Reichert, arguing in favour of historians travelling to original sites, even in these days of digitisation. Things that members of the Junge Akademie find indispensable on their travels are featured throughout the Dossier. And then there is the story of sinologist Lena Henningsen’s German railcard that did her a great service in China.
As usual, the second part of this issue reports on conferences and projects organised by various Research Groups at the Junge Akademie. The street theatre ‘Speakers’ Corner’ shows just how relevant historical texts are to the present day. Cornelis Menke comments on doctorates in Germany, and the RG ‘Science Policy: After the Excellence Initiative’ continues to examine the performance of the German acade- mic system. Europe is the focus of this round of the Junge Akademie’s international ties: JA members got together with members of other European Young Academies to launch joint activities on – exactly! – Europe.
The editorial team and I hope you’ll enjoy this issue! Evelyn Runge