General meeting and winter retreat

On Friday, December 8, 2023, the DIID held its winter retreat and at the same time invited members to a general meeting at the Haus der Universität. Christiane Eilders was also officially bid farewell at this meeting.

After the obligatory kick-off coffee, the members’ meeting was on the agenda (only available in german) at 11.00 am. DIID coordinator Dr. Dennis Frieß first reported to the members on news from the DIID and took stock of the last two years. DIID founding spokesperson Prof. Dr. Michael Baurmann then bid farewell to our long-standing spokesperson Prof. Dr. Christiane Eilders, who has been working there as Scientific Director since October 2023 following her appointment at the CAIS. We would like to thank Christiane Eilders for her work as spokesperson and wish her all the best for the future at CAIS (Farewell Note). This was followed by the election of a new Executive Board. Prof. Dr. Stefan Conrad, Jun. Prof. Dr. Tobias Escher, Prof. Dr. Susanne Hahn, Jun. Prof. Dr. Gabriella Lapesa, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rosar, Prof. Dr. Thomas Zerback, Jun. Prof. Dr. Marc Ziegele, Dr. Katarina Boland, Dr. Nadja Wilker, Lena Wilms, Juliane Feustel and Anna-Maria Linstaedt were elected for a term of office of two years. We would like to congratulate the candidates on their election and thank them for their commitment. In the subsequent constituent board meeting, Prof. Dr. Marc Ziegele (Communication Studies) was elected as the new spokesperson and Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rosar (Sociology) and Prof. Dr. Stefan Conrad (Computer Science) were confirmed as deputies.

After the lunch break, the first block started with presentations by (potential) new members. Prof. Dr. Thomas Zerback (Communication Studies) reported on the “Perception and processing of diversity of opinion by citizens”. Prof. Dr. Steffi Haag (Computer Science), holder of the Chair of Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship (DIE), presented the work of her chair and gave a lecture on the topic of “Fields of tension in digital innovation”. The central question was what constitutes digital innovation and how it can be used positively for society.

The second thematic block dealt with contributions from guests and potential cooperation partners. Dr. Dagmar Kern (GESIS) reported on “Human Information Interaction @ GESIS”. The second presentation by Prof. Dr. Detlef Sack (only available in german)(University of Wuppertal) on the role of artificial intelligence in citizens’ councils unfortunately had to be canceled due to the GDL strike. After a short break with coffee and cake, the last block began, in which Dr. Dennis Frieß presented the recently launched BMBF project “IndI (Innovative Interventions for Discursive Integration)”. The project investigates how artificial intelligence and digital innovations can help to make online discourse more inclusive (read more here). The final presentation by our former member Dr. Katharina Esau (Queensland University of Technology) on “Destructive Polarization; Concept, Research Agenda and Empirical Findings” also had to be cancelled due to health reasons. The retreat ended with a drink together at the Christmas market.

We would like to thank all speakers for their exciting input and all participants for the insightful discussions.