The digitalization of society has many facets: It includes the transformation of the world of work, new forms of learning, the transformation of public space through digital media and platforms, changes in how democracies work, and challenges for the legal system. In light of these developments, which often imply profound social transformations, the WJDS intends…

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Throughout history, pandemics have been identified as causing a specific impact on the evolution of societies, triggering different social behaviours in urban environments. The current context of the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception and affects the way our identities continue to develop. As the COVID-19 crisis forces academics to re-organise scientific activity, historians and social scientists are now sharing their insights into the current crisis which adds a new page to the history of pandemics in our societies.

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While people spend 80 to 90% of their time indoors, it is not common knowledge that this is where we receive most of our exposure to air pollution. As our indoor activities have significantly increased in the current context of the pandemic, it is essential to better grasp in what circumstances the concentration of air pollutants could be higher indoors than outdoors. This is the purpose of COST Action “Indoor Air Pollution Network” (INDAIRPOLLNET) that specifically focuses on improving our understanding of the cause of high concentration of indoor air pollutants.

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Uwe Hasebrink hat das Institut nach innen und außen entscheidend geprägt und in zahlreichen internationalen Kooperationsprojekten die Kommunikationswissenschaft, vor allem die Mediennutzungs- und –wirkungsforschung, folgenreich vorangebracht. Auch die Bereiche Jugendmedien-, die Radio- und Journalismusforschung sowie die Medienwissenschaft haben von seinen Arbeiten profitiert. Seine durchdachten und anschlussfähigen Impulse schätzen Schüler:innen und Kooperationspartner:innen in Wissenschaft und Praxis.…

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COST scientists turn to genomics – digging for solutions to beat plant parasites, helping farmers protect their valuable crops. Keeping crops healthy is a costly business for farmers worldwide. Plant parasitic nematodes or roundworms are responsible for global agricultural losses estimated at over $ 100 000 million annually.

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Almost half of the adult online users in Germany (46%) state that they have seen false or misleading information about Covid-19 within one week. The greatest concerns about encountering false information about the coronavirus are towards Facebook (28%) and messenger apps (14 %) as well as towards activists as senders (31%). Journalistic actors play only a minor role from the respondents’ point of view (6%). These are the results of the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2021, for which the Leibniz Institute for Media Research in Hamburg conducted the German part of the study. The study is based on 92,372 respondents from 46 countries on six continents.

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On 24 June 2021, German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will be attending the “Toward an African Narrative on Digital Sovereignty” research sprint via a live online connection. Together with the participants, he will talk about new solutions for Africa’s digital economy in order to realise the national and individual interests of the continent’s citizens. The sprint is part of the “Ethics of Digitalisation” research project at the Global Network of Internet and Society Research Centers (NoC). The Federal President is the patron of the project.

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Millions of people across the world now work remotely for freelance and microwork platforms, creating a largely invisible workforce, often based in low-income countries, that offer outsourcing services to international clients and help power AI systems. While online work has been associated with freedom and empowerment and a borderless labour market, a new report by from the Oxford Internet Institute, part of the University of Oxford, reveals that these ‘ghost’ workers often face low pay, risky and exploitative conditions, opaque disciplinary systems and little to no bargaining power. The Oxford report calls for greater protections for gig workers across the globe.

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The transformation of democracy through digital public spheres is the topic of a virtual conference on June 17 and 18, 2021. The “Weizenbaum Conference” is being organized by the research area “Democracy – Participation – Public Sphere” of the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society and Freie Universität Berlin under the direction of Professors Barbara Pfetsch, Jeanette Hofmann and Professor Martin Emmer of the Institute of Journalism and Communication Studies. Under the title “Democracy in Flux – Order, Dynamics and Voices in Digital Public Spheres,” speakers from several countries will discuss digital technologies and their effects on democratic orders, political actors, and social practices on virtual panels. Interested parties can follow the presentations and discussions via livestream. Registration is required and participation is free of charge.

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