Podcast Episode 2: Hope Bretscher

In our second podcast episode, Hope Bretscher, Postdoc at the MPI for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, reflects on objectivity in science.

Photograph of Hope Bretscher, a young woman similing in front of mostly white blurred background.
Hope Bretscher is an experimental physicist and postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg.


What does objectivity mean in science? Why does this matter both to all scientists, including in more basic-sciences like physics?  How do we attain it? How can we make our science better? In this podcast, physicist Hope Bretscher talks with scientist and podcaster Michael Buker about different conceptions of objectivity in science, and why this discussion matters.

Recommended Reading

Transcript (pdf)


Hope would like to express Thanks to Dr. Ankita Anirban and Dr.  Hannah Tomczyk (https://profiles.ahrcdtp.csah.cam.ac.uk/directory/hannah-tomczyk) for discussions about philosophy, science, and the work of Helen Longino. She also wants to thank TIGERinSTEMM (https://www.tigerinstemm.org) for their amazing work and for connecting her with Dr. Erinma Ochu (https://www.digital-science.com/blog/2021/02/bhm-2021-erinma-ochu/) and Dr. Lia Li ( https://www.raeng.org.uk/grants-prizes/grants/support-for-research/case-studies/uk-intelligence-community-postdoctoral-research-fe/ying-lia-li).


Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that

1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Further information on a recent comment that expanded on the interpretation of this can be found here: https://ijrcenter.org/2020/05/20/new-cescr-general-comment-25-analyzes-right-to-scientific-progress/

Science Chatter Hamburg is a project by PIER, the strategic partnership between Uni Hamburg and DESY. It is coordinated by Theresa Schredelseker. Michael Büker is the podcast host. The intro music uses these sounds from freesound: “physics note.flac” by arseniiv (https://freesound.org/s/241046/) and “Weird_Shark_Noise.wav” by Shaddius (https://freesound.org/s/450619/) both licensed under CC0 as well as “Turn On – Science Fiction.wav” by ApolloJavras (https://freesound.org/s/269082/) licensed under CCBY-NC 3.0.

Theresa Schredelseker

As a molecular biologist by training, Theresa is currently trying to share her enthusiasm for science communication with early career researchers at DESY and Uni Hamburg.

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