Building bridges of academic exchange between Mainz and Israeli universities
17 April 2023
Dr. Baruch Shomron is the new holder of the Israel Professorship at the Department of Communication at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). He will be teaching courses at JGU starting in the 2023 summer semester. Dr. Baruch Shomron succeeds Professor Yossi David, who has been appointed to a full professorship at Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva in Israel. "We congratulate Yossi David on this success and are pleased that we have gained in his place a highly qualified top-level researcher in the person of Dr. Baruch Shomron," emphasized the Dean of the JGU Faculty of Social Sciences, Media, and Sports, Professor Gregor Daschmann. "The Israel Professorship is thus fulfilling the very purpose of its establishment, i.e., bringing highly promising young scientists from Israel to Mainz and support their international career so that they can then continue their successful academic path in Israel. This will create sustainable academic exchange between Mainz and Israeli universities over the coming decades."
Innovative empirical research concepts
Shomron's research focuses on the communicative realities in Israeli society, especially regarding political and health communication: What role do media and communication play in improving individual freedom and well-being? Who has access to the media? Who is entitled to control digital and traditional media? Who is left out of the Israeli media despite legitimate concerns? What does this mean for marginalized populations such as Palestinian Israelis, ultra-Orthodox Jews, migrants, and refugees? Shomron addresses these and similar questions with innovative empirical research concepts and brings his findings to bear on the current political debate.
Dr. Baruch Shomron is 33 years old and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication Science from Ariel University as well as a Master's degree and a PhD in Communication Science from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In 2021, he earned his doctorate under Professor Amit Schejter with his dissertation on "The Participation of Palestinian-Israelis in Public and Commercial Television and Radio in Israel as Capability." After completing his doctorate, Shomron came to Mainz University in 2021 as a post-doctoral fellow, supported by fellowships from JGU and the Minerva Fellowship Program funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). "Shomron thus had the opportunity to become familiar with the JGU Department of Communication, the Israel Professorship, and its academic environment even before submitting his application," said Professor Gregor Daschmann.
Shomron's research has been published in top-tier journals, including New Media & Society (2022), Feminist Media Studies (2021, 2022), and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2021). He received the Walter Lebach Award from Tel Aviv University in 2019 and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean's Award for Outstanding Doctoral Candidates from Ben-Gurion University in 2021. In addition, Shomron has presented his work at international conferences, such as WAPOR, ICA, and the Israeli Communication Association Conference. "It is Baruch Shomron's stated goal to maintain existing collaborations and further expand JGU's network in research and teaching with other faculties and departments in Israel," emphasized Daschmann.
The Israel Professorship in Communication Science
The Israel Professorship in Communication Science was endowed by the Minister President of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer, in 2018 to foster collaboration and exchange between Israeli academics and Mainz University in the field of social sciences. The goal is to regularly bring outstanding Israeli postdocs to JGU, giving them the opportunity to distinguish themselves here for an appointment to a full professorship back in Israel. The researcher selected for the Israel Professorship is assigned a position similar to a junior professorship at JGU for a maximum of six years.