The SOEP group is not only active at scientific conferences; we also work hard to bring our work to the broader public. We had an opportunity to do so on the evening of May 28, 2011, at the twelfth annual “Long Night of the Sciences” in Berlin. It was the second time that the SOEP and DIW Berlin participated in this event, in which the capital city’s scientific institutions open their doors to the public for workshops, lectures, and activities. Once again, the “Long Night” proved to be a very successful one for the SOEP!
With the support of the SOEP team from TNS Infratest Sozialforschung in Munich, which carries out the SOEP fieldwork, we invited visitors to take part in a truly “hands-on” experience with the SOEP. More than 300 visitors visited the DIW and the SOEP. They filled out various questionnaires, either on paper or on the PC. They took the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and the grip strength test, and listened to lectures by members of the SOEP staff.
Visitors also found general information on the SOEP, including flyers, brochures, and posters, and had the opportunity to discuss their questions directly with members of the SOEP staff. Elisabeth Liebau, SOEP survey manager, and other members of the SOEP team answered questions on the survey, the production of scientific results, and issues ranging from data protection to the anonymization of survey responses. Jürgen Schupp, Head of SOEP, described the event as an outstanding success, since once again this year, a large number of visitors attended and gathered information on the SOEP study.
Two members of the SOEP staff gave lectures: Markus M. Grabka spoke about wealth inequality and the finding that civil servants are the wealthiest group of retired workers (“Vermögensungleichheit: Im Alter sind Beamte am reichsten”). Elke Holst talked about the issue of gender inequalities in the boardroom (“Frauen und Männer in Führungspositionen” Wann kommt Frau Ackermann?”). Ingrid Tucci presented a poster to the visitors comparing the life courses of second-generation immigrants in Germany and France (“Erfolgreiche Verläufe von Migrantennachkommen – ein deutsch-französischer Vergleich”). Gert G. Wagner, now Chairman of the Executive Board of DIW Berlin, gave the final presentation of the evening on the use of indicators of happiness and life satisfaction in policy-making (“Die Glücksformel in der Politik—wie ein Indikator die Zufriedenheit der Bürger messen soll”).