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As I wrote, the last two weeks were mainly filled with relocating from Berlin to Regensburg. As in Germany only 13% of all those employed in research and teaching have permanent positions, offers of tenured professorships don't come often and I seized the opportunity, even though I really felt at home in Berlin these last nine years. Starting October 1 I'll be joining the ranks of approximately 25k university professors in Germany and you can have a look at the diploma they hand you on that occasion below:
I received this diploma just over two hours ago and the president of the university actually had a little bottle of champaign in his office for the occasion - at 9am...
Tenure (at least the German version of it) opens up a whole new range of possibilities. Now I can finally begin those infrastructure projects I was never able to tackle: I can now try to replicate the machine I use for my experiments such that I can multiply my experimental output. I can start thinking about a coherent software infrastructure that allows all experiments to generate interoperable data structures, such that all our data can be deposited in realtime in online databases for archiving and sharing. In brief, all those long-term projects which are impossible on fixed contracts with the pressure to publish continuously.
Now is the time to do science the way it ought to be done, which is impossible without tenure. I'm looking forward to that, after about 17 years in the business.
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