Social research is just as creative as Berlin!
Brain City Berlin ambassadress: Prof. Özen Odağ (Touro College Berlin)
Professor of Psychology
Prof. Özen Odağ's research interests include the intersections between media/communication and psychology, which she investigates at Touro College Berlin.
Please describe your focus of research:
My research focuses on the intersections between media/communication and psychology. I examine how social groups such as women, migrants, etc. use the media, for what purposes, and what type of emotional gratifications they obtain from this. I also examine potential effects of the media on users. Pressing questions in this area are, for instance, can the media mobilize toward political and collective action, can it empower underprviledged groups, can it provide spaces of identification....
What is the most exciting aspect of your research?
Every research is a creative process. We discover research questions and then design ways of answering them. Creativity is often underscored in the context of research, but every act of research is fundamentally creative.
What do you like about living in Berlin?
What collaborations does your research benefit from?
What are the advantages of Berlin in comparison to other research locations?
There are a variety of excellent research locations that are open for collaboration. I currently teach an interdisciplinary seminar on 'Academics on the move' (i.e. academics at risk who for sociopolitcial reasons have to relocate to other countries). The seminar is taught in collaboration with professors from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, and Touro College Berlin.
What is your advice to young people who are interested in studying in Berlin?
Get yourself an inspiring mentor! This can be a professor, fellow student, or artist you admire! Stay in touch with that person and communicate your personal career path with her/him.
What kind of development would you like to see in the city?
Better communication of research findings to the public.
What do you wish for the future of the Berlin sciences?
More art in the sciences!