What would you do when you are forced to leave the country you have lived in all your life? Leave your family, your friends, and your house? For many people worldwide, this is a real question. They left their homes because of war, drought, hunger or persecution. And they arrived in a new place that was less than welcoming, even hostile, to them.
This does not only happen now. Many refugees from Germany in the 1930s and 1940s ended up in countries that did not want them. Among them were many scholars, people who had to leave good positions at universities. With leaving the positions, they also left their scientific specialties. In the new countries, they had to adapt to the new circumstances.
This was not easy. I do research into this complicated process of scientific adaptation and sometimes reinvention. How did scholars change their scientific specialties? Were they successful? Did they fully change or were there remains of the old context? And can we perhaps facilitate the process as it occurs now, by looking at the pitfalls and successes in the 1930s and 1940s?
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