How the epidemic threatens science and teaching

How the epidemic threatens science and teaching

Anyone who comments critically on the coronavirus policy and its consequences puts jobs and security at risk. About the new witch hunt against academic freedom – and the questionable role of some media

You will be the target of the TwitterCampaigns can be found in malicious newspaper articles and must stand up to their tampering WikipediaSelfie defense: Scientists of all disciplines who deal critically with the politics of the pandemic and its consequences are facing tough times, and now more and more academics are defending themselves against the violent critique of the criticism.

Some of them only publish in groups of authors in order to make attacks against individual actors more difficult. Others – regardless of the pandemic controversy – recently joined the Network for Academic Freedom as a concern of the growing abolition culture. A growing number of scientists, clinicians and journalists are seeing a professional and democratic debate about measures to contain the Coronavirus and the social consequences at risk.

In February, nearly 300 academics participated, including around 70 German-speaking countries ‘Network of science’. According to a statement issued by the International Research Group, their motive lies in the “common interest in defending the freedom of research and education against ideological-motivated restrictions and contributing to the promotion of a free scientific climate.” One notes that the freedom of research and teaching guaranteed by the constitution “must increasingly be placed under moral and political reservations,” as he said; There are also attempts to place non-academic limits on the freedom to research and teach in advance of the limits of applicable law.

The call came from the liberal spectrum at times Maliciously commented, But one met Wide media coverage It cannot be seen as simply an attempt by the intellectuals of the New Right To reject against the left abolitionist culture. The problem is broader, more massive, and more alarming.

Twitter campaigns and war editing on Wikipedia

Although the signatories of the Freedom of Science Declaration do not directly refer to the ongoing Corona crisis, the pandemic acts as a catalyst for current trends against freedom and intellectual property. The director of the Institute of Virology at the University Hospital Bonn, Hendrik Strik, already felt this at the end of last year. After the researcher criticized the focus on death rates on a talk show, the trend rose Twitter Hashtag #sterbenmitstreeck.

That was taken up in this way He was in shock. Strick objected to them TwitterCampaign because the hashtag “calls for adultery or you die with me”. This is an example of “how widespread hate and defamation is on the Internet”.

This was not the first time that the virologist in Bonn had been targeted in media campaigns. In April of last year, his mass epidemiological study in the Heinsberg region was prematurely criticized by the private and public media – based on a poorly based ad hoc assessment by Berlin-based virologist Charité Christian Drosten. After the study later proved largely correct, some critics backed away, but not all.

Meanwhile, Austrian biologist Clemens Arvay has been fighting for him for months WikipediaAn account identification. A “small group of users” is responsible for the “constant changes” of the post. After his nonfiction book “We Can Do It Better” was published, a critical discussion of Corona policy, his job title was removed from the article.

Arvay says the user has deleted all words containing the “bio-” section from his article Interview with Blog Time nachdenkseiten.de: “Not even” biodiversity “was accepted – the topic of my life as a biologist! Arvay, who now has many on his homepage, says Proof of his academic qualification Deposit.

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