Not only the female researchers themselves but also their scientific findings are pushed into the background. This imbalance in science communication urgently needs to be remedied.
Anne-Kathrin Gerlieb is all about visibility. She works on two research projects simultaneously that look at the way females are represented within the arts as well as in the science communication.
Enhancing the presence of women scientists
With regards to women within the science, Anne-Kathrin Gerlieb, academic researcher and part of the research team lead by Prof. Dr. Judith Ackermann at the FH Potsdam, aims to enhance the visibility and recognition of women scientists as experts in the media. In the project, they undertake an analysis of the current situation, and develops "sustainable action strategies and support systems" that lead to "a significant increase in the presence of women scientists". To assure that the findings leave the realm of academia, the research team cooperates with print, TV and radio media partners. Equally, on their social media channels (Instagram & TikTok @diewissenschaftlerinnen, Twitter @bmbfwim), they present their research findings.
Why is this research important? Anne-Kathrin Gerlieb explains that "studies show that female scientists are much less present in the media compared to their male colleagues. They are less often requested as experts for media formats and less likely to get a word edgewise due to male self-dramatisation. Moreover, stereotypes still dominate media coverage and thus shape the public image of female scientists." In order to challenge this reality, the research project analyses the opportunities and challenges through an expansion of what currently is classical science communication.
A permanent increase of visible women experts means gender-equitable solutions for the future
Her vision is a permanent increase of the visibility of women scientists as experts in the public perception. She believes that this can happen "through a successful rise in their activity and presence in digital channels - and beyond that, also in classical media formats". By taking on an intersectional perspective, Anne-Kathrin Gerlieb's aim, as part of the team of Prof. Dr. Ackermann, is to contribute to "the urgently necessary multiperspectivity in science reporting and thus also in public perception, which shows a realistic picture of the complexity and diversity of scientific research, as well as gender-equitable and perspective-diverse solutions for future social issues and global crises". Striving toward a world in which the recognition of women as experts is common sense means to look into the ways that systems of inclusion and exclusion operate. Anne-Kathrin Gerlieb knows this and thus is also interested in female representation in other lines of work, beyond science.
Exploring gender equality beyond science; representation in the digitalized art market
In a second research project, she thus looks into the art and specifically, the digitalized art market from an intersectional point of view. She is interested in the equality of underrepresented artists. Hoping to find answers, she analyses the networks of relationships between the different actors in the field.
She argues that: "the art we see in museums and exhibitions so far is primarily European and white. We are thus imprinting a white, heteronormative, colonialist and patriarchal image on society." Connecting her research interests, she examines the underrepresentation to find answers to change - this time with regard to female artists in the contemporary art market.
The impact of social media on the relationship between women artists and collectors
Anne-Kathrin Gerlieb draws on her background as an art historian with many years of experience in the contemporary art market, including managing a gallery for Contemporary Art. Her dissertation "addresses the much-documented underrepresentation in the exhibition and art market and examines the impact of social media on the relationship between women artists and collectors. In addition to new strategies for making oneself visible, the role of the digital art experience on the art market is also examined."
She aims at raising questions about the materiality of the digital as well as how digital art is experienced by undertaking qualitative narrative interviews with key actors of the field. By employing a framework of a field study, she draws a connection between female artists and their collectors on social media.
Contributing to a diverse and equal image of society, across all spheres of life
Bringing together both projects, Anne-Kathrin Gerlieb's mission is to contribute to a diverse and equal image of society that is developed in educational institutions such as museums, but also through representation of women scientists on the media. She says: "I would like to use my research to find ways towards a more diverse and equal society."
We would like to thank Anne-Kathrin for contributing to IN-VISIBLE Academia and wish her all the best for her research.
If you are interested, please find more information about her website.
IN-VISIBLE ACADEMIA - a platform for Gender Studies researchers
This feature is part of IN-VISIBLE ACADEMIA, a platform for research from the fields of Gender Studies, with the goal to make it more visible and accessible to a broader public. The goal is to help Gender Studies research gain more visibility and thereby to build awareness about its meaning and relevance for society. We thus hope to provide alternative content to the anti-feminist hate speech and backlash that is increasingly associated with Gender Studies on social media.
Gender Researchers for Gender Equality
You can participate here. This project is run by IN-VISIBLE and MARGHERITA-VON-BRENTANO-ZENTRUM. For us, it is of secondary importance whether you are a professor, research assistant, or doing post-doc research - we are interested in your research if you feel like your results should be made more available to a broader public. We explicitly do not want to exclude anyone on the basis of their academic degree. The only criteria here is that you have had some sort of publication success with your topic and that, accordingly, our community could peek into it. If this applies to you, then you are welcome to participate. The incoming applications will be viewed by us and - if suitable - shared via our LinkedIn and Instagram in the form of features.