Breaking the Binaries: Diverse & Excellent in Academia?

A Film Trilogy Re-thinking Diversity, Gender, and Equity

Unveiling the gender gap, celebrating diversity, and forging a path to equity in science, this film trilogy challenges norms and fosters inclusivity. Join the conversation in our engaging podium discussions.

Dr. Nakeema Stefflbauer © Tara Todras-Whitehill

Film 2: Coded Bias

Screening on May 29, 2024 @ROTUNDE (Cartesium) 12:00 -15:00

"Modern society sits at the intersection of two crucial questions: What does it mean when artificial intelligence increasingly governs our liberties? And what are the consequences for the people AI is biased against? When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that many facial recognition technologies do not accurately detect darker-skinned faces or classify the faces of women, she delves into an investigation of widespread bias in algorithms. As it turns out, artificial intelligence is not neutral, and women are leading the charge to ensure our civil rights are protected." Source:

We can also observe such biases in the academic field. Algorithms are increasingly playing a role in research and teaching, being powerful and discriminatory, even affecting individuals' academic career paths. The second part of our film series focuses on how artificial intelligence shapes research and teaching and what implications this holds.

Join us for a film screening of "CODED BIAS," followed by an engaging presentation by Dr. Nakeema Stefflbauer. She will delve into the realms of AI, gender, diversity, and discrimination in scientific contexts, followed by a Q&A session. The film will ignite discussions on both the challenges and benefits of AI in academic settings. Dr. Stefflbauer, an expert in strategies for enhancing the positive impact of AI and leading commercial IT product development teams, will offer insights into inherent biases in AI and its implications for teaching, scientific research, and even staff recruitment processes within academia.

Past events

Movieposter Picture A Scientiest

Film 1: Picture a Scientist

Screened on Oct. 10th, 2023 @ROTUNDE (Cartesium)

PICTURE A SCIENTIST chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. Biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries - including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists - who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all.

The event was opened by Prof. Dr. Michal Kucera, Vice President for Research and Transfer. In his opening speech, Prof. Kucera addressed the relevance of diversity in academia and excellent research. The screening was followed by a captivating discussion moderated by  Dr. Cassandra Ellerbe, who is an expert in ethnography, gender studies, and social justice, and brings over 10 years of research experience from EU funded projects. The discussion gave the participants an opportunity to gain valuable insights on diversity, discrimination, and social justice. Together we discussed potential causes of the leaky pipeline, amongst other issues such as unconscious bias and the nuances of social exclusion within academia.


What the participants had to say:

 “I liked how warm and respectful the atmosphere was. People were comfortable to share personal experiences which made the discussion rich and interesting.”

“[The] Choice of film and Cassandra as leader of the discussion round were really great! The atmosphere was encouraging. It was important that Michal Kucera as Kon1 was there to show that the topic is of importance for the University Executive Board.”

“I liked that this event addressed the - oftentimes horrible - working conditions in academia instead of suggesting to 'fix' the women/people from marginalized groups.”


Dr. Saumya Pant & Dr. Cindy Roitsch

Administrative Unit 04/Equal Opportunities Office

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