FFor everyone who only knows him from radio and television, the current personality of Alexander Kekulé may be a real surprise. When the rector of the University of Halle now pronounces a “temporary dismissal” to the “virologist known throughout Germany”, as reported by the “Mitteldeutsche Zeitung” as one of the first media outlets, it is almost a Christmas miracle for everyone who looked critically behind the scenes. A message that would have been expected months, if not years ago, we know the details.
Because it is by no means a “political process”, as the story suggests to the media and declares itself to be a victim of the circumstances – even a conspiracy – as if some authorities feared his voice. What a hubris, because he was still allowed to express himself on talk shows as usual, just no longer as an institute director or professor at the University of Halle. A label that Kekulé used to adorn himself with, as it once did with a sonorous but false “von” in the name, without, however, being very committed to research or his employees.
He wrote a book on the corona pandemic; He evidently preferred to keep his hands off serious studies, and seemed to have lost interest in it a long time ago, if you look at his very short list of publications. If virology is to have a future in Halle, pipettes must finally be more important than prestige, i.e. science again instead of show and craving for recognition.