Virologist Alexander Kekulé Fired from University

The dismissal of Prof. Kekulé was carried out in a brutal fashion. The university president Christian Tietje initiated an investigation into trivial workplace contract violations, two colleagues sent a letter to 50 directors of the university’s hospital complex, a letter that was quiet on the charges, but loud in its support of the action taken against their colleague, and thus the professional relationship was ended. The ‘preliminary dismissal’ is particularly aggressive as it does not only remove the suspect of a disciplinary enquiry from his duties with immediate effect, but signals that the authorities are confident to strip him off of his pension scheme and his protected legal status (Beamter) that is attached to the professorship.

Alexander Kekulé suspects that his dismissal is politically motivated, yet only connected to his requests for a better funding of his field. Chances are that some of his public positions may also have played a role. In general his positions are very much in line with the WHO (and I don’t share many of his positions at all), but there are also some inconvenient views. The aggressive nature of his removal indicates that he follows the likes of Tim Hunt, Alessandro Strumia and (shirtgate) Matt Taylor as another victim of academic cleansing.

My little addenda: The booster shot risks are not represented with an iid random variable and we should not treat the risk of continuous vaccine shots as if they were binomially distributed. We need an open discussion and debates are stymied when academic witch hunts take place. I don’t need to agree with Prof. Kekulé to defend him as a scientist.

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