Many colleagues are currently working in their home offices, exchanging information by telephone or video conferencing. Nevertheless, we still lack the opportunity to meet other colleagues simply in the hallway or in the kitchen. That’s why we are shifting “hallway conversations” to the digital. Today we present Klaus Jäger, a scientist in the Nano-SIPPE junior research group.

Where do you work during the corona break?

I left my small Berlin apartment and moved back to my parents. They live in a village, have a house with lots of space, and it’s a wonderful place to go for a walk in nature. I work in my former room; recently, for example, I took out my old biobook and was amazed at how precisely it treats the viruses.

Has your working day changed much?

Not really. I don’t usually work in the laboratory either, but I am “simulating”. This means that I sit at the computer and model how light interacts with the different layers in solar cells and in particular: How nanostructures can be used to increase the efficiency of solar cells. What has changed is that I don’t see my colleagues and I don’t go to conferences. But nevertheless I have now taken part in some conferences virtually. We are currently trying out completely different formats.

Has anything ever gone wrong?

Yes, of course. I held recently a workshop on solar energy for interested young people at the Museum of Natural History for their Friday series. They organized it on Zoom, initially without a password. Suddenly, there were unwanted posts, the dreaded zoom bombing. We then immediately stopped the workshop and started it again with the password.
Usually, however, this runs without any problems.

I also meet virtually via LGBTQ STEM Berlin (Science, Technologies, Engineering, and Mathematics) to a “STEMTable” during this time – this is a very nice and important exchange.

Do you see chances in this compulsory break?

I am in doubt. For the climate it is of course good that greenhouse gas emissions are much lower at the moment than before the crisis. But it remains to be seen whether we really will reduce emissions in the long term, for example because people are now getting used to video conferencing and no longer fly halfway around the world for a meeting. But there could also be a rebound effect, because after the end of the corona crisis people want to “catch up” on what they think they “missed”.

And what are you most looking forward to when the distance rules are lifted again?

The summer in Berlin and being outside with friends.