Maarten Hillebrandt

Postdoc, Bielefeld University - Bielefeld, Germany
Bielefeld, Germany
Maarten Hillebrandt

In comparison to other researchers, I suppose I do not fly very much (about 2-3 short-haul flights per year). Most of my academic career plays out in Europe, where in many cases good railway links exist. Yet over the past years, I have become more concerned about these flights, and have started looking for railway alternatives to flights more often. This is probably facilitated by the fact that my current position allows me to use a railway discount card.

I would like to introduce a policy at my university/faculty that requires staff traveling distances under 750 km to demonstrate serious inconvenience if they cannot travel by airplane. The railway network, especially the high-speed train network in Germany and neighbouring countries, is generally well-functioning and can serve as a reasonable alternative. The next step would be to work towards a genuinely European railway network comparable to the Japanese shinkansen trains, that can serve as a credible alternative to flying even for long-distance north-south train travel.

Researcher on the fault lines of law, regulation, public administration, and sociology. My research interests include transparency (freedom of information) and quantification (governing by numbers).