Arbeitsbereich: Board

Dr. Katarina Boland

6. December 2023

Dr. Katarina Boland has been a research assistant at the Chairs of Computer Networks and Data & Knowledge Engineering at the Institute of Computer Science at HHU-Düsseldorf since July 2023. She studied computational linguistics with minors in psychology and computer science at the Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg and initially worked as a research assistant at the GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Cologne. In June 2023 she received her doctorate in computer science at HHU. Her research focuses on natural language processing and the development of AI-based methods for social science use cases.

She is currently involved in the interdisciplinary projects “AI for All” and “NewOrder – Understanding the erosion of the traditional knowledge order in scientific online discourse and its impact in times of crisis”.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Gabriella Lapesa

23. October 2023

Gabriella Lapesa is a Junior Professor for Responsible Data Science and Machine Learning at the HHU-Düsseldorf and the leader of the Data Science Methods team in the Department for Computational Social Science at GESIS Cologne. She also leads the BMBF-funded group E-DELIB (Powering up E-DELIBeration: towards NLP-supported moderation) at the University of Stuttgart.

She is a computational linguist who applies NLP in interdisciplinary settings, with a strong focus on Social and Political Science (i.e., supporting decision making in forums with NLP; capturing the dynamics of political debates in newspaper reports). Further domains of interest are the application of NLP methods for cognitive modeling and linguistics.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Zerback

27. April 2023

Thomas is Professor of Political Communication and holds the Chair of Communication and Media Studies IV at the Institute of Social Sciences at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf with a focus on “Democratic Will Formation in the Digital Society”.

In the research field of political communication, his focus is on the processing and impact of media-mediated diversity, persuasive political communication, and the perception of political opinion.

Juliane Feustel

20. October 2022

Juliane Feustel holds a master’s degree in communication research and phonetics, psychology, and sociology. Since September 2022, she has been responsible for third-party funding administration, personnel management, and various organizational tasks at the DIID.

Previously, she worked as a project manager for various language service providers.

Anna Linstaedt

11. April 2022

Anna-Maria Linstaedt has been working as a research assistant at DIID since April 2022. At HHU-Düsseldorf, she is studying for a Master’s degree in Political Communication. As an assistant in the core team, she supports the institute in various organizational tasks.

She is particularly interested in online deliberation research and its impact on political processes in democracies.

Lena Wilms

7. June 2021

Lena Wilms is a research associate in the junior research group “Deliberative Discussions on the Social Web” at HHU-Düsseldorf. She studied political science, sociology and communication science in Düsseldorf and Budapest. As part of her work in the “KOSMO” project, she develops and evaluates measures to improve online participation processes using AI-assisted moderation. She is particularly interested in the design of inclusive democratic online environments in the context of deliberation and participation on the Internet.

Her research interests also include media sociology as well as quantitative methods in the social sciences and applied statistics.

Prof. Dr. Susanne Hahn

21. March 2018

Prof. Dr. Susanne Hahn has been an adjunct professor at the Institute of Philosophy at HHU-Düsseldorf since 2016. She has held a professorship there since 2017, focusing on theoretical philosophy. She is the recipient of the German Prize for Philosophy and Social Ethics of the Max-Uwe-Redler Foundation. Her main research interests are rationality, normativity, and business ethics.

In the context of DIID, she is concerned with the normative challenges posed by digitalization. These include, for example, the need to rethink the justification of forms of representative and direct democracy in light of technological possibilities.

Prof. Dr. Marc Ziegele (Speaker)

19. March 2018

Marc Ziegele has been Professor of Communication and Media Studies at HHU-Düsseldorf since February 2024. He previously held the Junior Professorship for Communication and Media Studies with a focus on “Political Online Communication”. At the same time, he is head of the junior research group “Deliberative Discussions on the Social Web” funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Previously, he was a research assistant at the Institute for Journalism at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and studied media economics at the same institute. His research focuses on participation and discussions of citizens on the Internet. In the junior research group based at DIID, he is investigating measures to improve the quality and impact of users’ public discussions about political media topics – so-called online public-political connection communication.

It also researches the causes and consequences of media trust as well as various aspects of citizens’ social web use at the interface of communication science and psychology.

Marc Ziegele was elected speaker of the Institute by the DIID General Assembly in December 2023.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rosar (Vice Speaker)

12. March 2018

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rosar has held the chair of Sociology II at the Institute of Social Sciences since 2010. From 2015 until 2019 he has been Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at HHU-Düsseldorf.

In research and teaching, he is primarily concerned with questions of political sociology, sociological inequality analysis and the methods of empirical social research.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rosar was re-elected as Deputy Spokesperson of the DIID by the DIID General Assembly in December 2023.

Dr. Nadja Wilker

9. March 2018

Nadja Wilker is a research assistant at the Chair of Political Science II at HHU-Düsseldorf. She studied Communication and Political Science (B.A.) in Münster and Political Communication (M.A.) in Düsseldorf. In her master thesis she analyzed participation- and representation-theoretical dimensions of the online-based participation concept of a ‘Liquid Democracy’. In the context of her doctoral thesis she deals with questions of acceptance and legitimacy of online-based participation processes from the perspective of political actors.

Her research and teaching interests lie in the field of political (online) communication and participation in the context of concepts of political representation.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Conrad (vice speaker)

9. March 2018

Prof. Dr. Stefan Conrad has held the Chair of Databases and Information Systems at the Institute of Computer Science since 2002. He has been a member of the Senate of HHU-Düsseldorf since 2015. In his research, he works on issues related to the analysis of large data sets, especially in image retrieval, time series analysis, clustering, and text mining.
He has been cooperating with practice partners for many years, especially in several BMWi-funded ZIM projects on opinion mining, extraction of product features important for users, and automated text summarization.

At DIID, he is interested in researching techniques for automated topic detection and content analysis of text contributions as well as the identification of argument structures, subjective evaluations, and emotions.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Conrad was re-elected as Deputy Spokesperson of the DIID by the DIID General Assembly in December 2023.

Dr. Dennis Frieß (Coordinator)

5. March 2018

Dr. Dennis Frieß is coordinator of the DIID. Since May 2019, he was coordinator of the NRW Research College Online Participation. From 2014 to 2019, he was a research assistant at the Chair of Communication and Media Studies III at HHU-Düsseldorf and a staff member at DIID. He studied Social Sciences, Law and Communication Science at the University of Erfurt (B.A.) and Political Communication in Düsseldorf (M.A.). His doctoral thesis focused on the analysis of deliberative online publics. His research focuses on political (online) communication, online deliberation, and online participation.

At the DIID, he is particularly interested in online-supported deliberation processes and the democracy-relevant expectations associated with online participation offerings.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Tobias Escher

5. March 2018

Tobias Escher leads a BMBF-funded junior research group investigating the effects of participation processes on the quality and legitimacy of political decisions, especially in the context of the transformation to sustainable mobility in the local context. Previously, he supervised the DIID as well as the NRW Forschungskolleg Online-Partizipation at the HHU-Düsseldorf as scientific coordinator. He is a social scientist and holds a PhD from the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. He can also draw on his basic knowledge of computer science when assessing the possibilities and limits of digitization.

His research focuses on the evaluation of political participation online and offline. In particular, he addresses the question of the extent to which citizen participation contributes to higher quality and legitimacy/acceptance of political decisions. He has developed a teaching module on the theory and practice of online participation, from which, among other things, a project on student participation in teaching has emerged.

Photographer: ©Tilman Schenk