The Impact of Diversity on Research Quality: Exploring the Knowledge Gap

Panel discussion, 3 Nov 2023, 6:15pm (CET)

On November 3, 2023 our panel discussed the impact of team diversity, or the lack thereof, on the rigor, reliability, robustness, and transparency of research by exploring insights previously gathered from a global community at a virtual unconference.


Greater biodiversity enhances stability and robustness in ecosystems, species, and individuals. But do similar principles apply to the research ecosystem? Despite numerous programs, statements, and discussions advocating for increased diversity in academia, empirical data and evidence on the effects of diversity on research quality remain limited. This knowledge gap is particularly concerning given the entrenched biases within the research system and persistently low levels of diversity in academia across dimensions such as gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background.


  • Tracey Weissgerber, Group Leader, QUEST Center for Responsible Research, Berlin Institute of Health at Charité – Universitätsmedizin


  • Marietta Auer, Vice President German Research Foundations (DFG), Professor Private Law and International and Interdisciplinary Foundations of Law, Universität Giessen und Frankfurt, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory
  • Gowri Gopalakrishna, Assistant Professor at Maastricht University, Research Fellow at the Department of Epidemiology and Data Science, Amsterdam University Medical Center
  • Isolde Karle, Vice Rector for Diversity, Inclusion and Talent Development, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Professor of Practical Theology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • Lydia Rhyman, Computational Chemist, University of Mauritius, Member of the Global Young Academy and co-organizer virtual brainstorming event
  • Gertraud Stadler, Director Institute of Gender in Medicine, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Professor of Gender-Sensitive Prevention Research, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin

The panel discussion took place at Museum für Naturkunde Berlin as part of the internationally renowned Berlin Science Week, an annual science festival that brings together thousands of people from the worlds of science, business, politics, the arts, and society.

Sharing lessons learned: Following the event, we will draft a paper highlighting insights gained from the event to share lessons learned with the global scientific community. All unconference participants and panellists will have the opportunity to contribute to this collaborative work.

Participating organizations: This initiative is made possible through the partnership of the Einstein Foundation Award for Promoting Quality in Research, the BIH QUEST Center for Responsible Research, the Berlin University Alliance, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Together, we aim to shed light on the multifaceted relationship between academic diversity and research quality, thereby propelling the advancement of robust scientific practices.