Skip to main content

Select by courses

Geosciences, Geology, Palaeontology, Meteorology, Geochemistry, Geophysics

Course: Geochemistry, Geology, Geophysics, Geosciences, Meteorology, Palaeontology
Group of courses: Mathematics, Natural Sciences



Course objectives:

Students should be taught basic epistemological and methodological knowledge and philosophy of science involving the category of gender alongside their studies, enabling them to deal with geoscientific teaching and research content in a self-reflective and critical manner. They should be able to recognise, categorise and ethically reflect the importance of the category of gender for applied geosciences in the light of social, political and economical processes.


Teaching content/subject-specific gender studies content:

There are very few existing studies in the geosciences that integrate the analytical category of sex or gender into their research. With this in mind, students should be familiarised with basic epistemology involving the category of gender at an early point, and confronted with gender-critical approaches to scientific research with direct relevance for the geosciences, for example sustainability research.

The following teaching content can therefore be identified:

  • History of the geoscientific disciplines from a gender-critical perspective

    • Contextualising analyses of the history of the geosciences and their societal and philosophical parameters. This should particularly address the links between natural philosophy, theology and gender politics.
    • Androcentrism in the historiography of the geosciences. Integrating some of the few research projects on female geoscientists, the dominant image of a gender-neutral history of the geosciences should be questioned by the invisibility of female geoscientists in the history of the geosciences. In this context, teaching should address the outsider status of female geoscientists and their research interests and styles.

  • Introduction to critical epistemological and feminist approaches and their significance for the geosciences

    • On the basis of theoretical knowledge of the geosciences, teaching should address the central nexus of gender and science in the natural and technical sciences, which feminist critique of science has articulated since the 1970s. Critical debate on the paradigms still dominant in the geosciences claiming objectivity and neutrality is particularly relevant, as is the dominant image of gender-neutrality of research objects and theoretical approaches in the geosciences.

  • Analysis of the methodologies of the geosciences in the light of feminist methodological critique

    • The methods and working patterns of the geosciences should be subjected to critical analysis on the basis of feminist critique of methodology.

  • Addressing the potentials, benefit and possible risks of geoscientific research from the perspective of social, political and economical processes

    • This area should address studies on technology assessment dealing with geoscience and technical applications, their effects on society and possible alternatives.
    • Ethics of science: This should address the relevant aspects of applied ethics for the geosciences, including feminist ethics debates. These issues include environmental ethics as a question of human behaviour towards nature, and professional ethics as a question of responsibility for the actions of individuals or a group, as well as questions on the boundaries of the freedom of the sciences and belief in scientific/technical in progress.

  • Addressing cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary theories and specific projects

    • Addressing the evolution of individual geoscientific disciplines from a historical perspective, mainly the division between natural and social sciences
    • Discussion of the factual importance of inter- and cross-disciplinary research for the geosciences today, involving specific cross-disciplinary approaches
    • Addressing the paradigm of sustainability for geoscientific research and the applied geosciences, and the issues of gender relations and sustainability discussed in this context.

  • Professional biographies and careers of female geoscientists

    • Professions in the geosciences and critical reflection of the professional cultures and habitus in the field (e.g. expectations of physical performance)
    • Gender mainstreaming in professional fields of applied geosciences: business structures, employment patterns, specialisation options
    • Careers, career development and entry/exit barriers for women in academia and other professional fields in the geosciences, discussion of statistical data on percentages of women in geoscientific professions.


Integration of gender studies content into the curriculum:


Degree Stage: