German Chancellor Angela Merkel Quantum Theoretical Chemist He is stepping down, marking the end of his 16 years in office and 30 years in politics.
The world's focus has shifted to the need to eliminate fossil fuels and, of course, the Corona epidemic. Now world politics will lack an influential scientist and without him, scientific approaches to politics will be less.
There are brilliant examples of scientists around the world who are entering the world Politics has had many successes. But what are the characteristics of scientists that can make them powerful and influential leaders? This is something that should be taken into account when reviewing Angela Merkel's scientific approaches to politics. Merkel leaves a strong legacy for evidence-based research and thinking, and although this cannot be achieved by He gave a brief explanation, but his profession and education as a scientist provide a good insight into the reasons for his popularity and effectiveness.
Over the years, his management, German science Has strengthened it and made it more international. Every government has weaknesses in protecting the rights of the people, raising the level of security and social welfare, and administering justice, but Merkel had uncompromising compassion and insistence among politicians, even during the Corona epidemic, and showed that paying attention to scientific evidence is in the interests of decision-making.
Angela Merkel at the MEP In 2019
Credit: European People's Party
he, on the other hand, retained the outstanding features of scientists. He is patient and understanding, and with his vision and strategy, he understands the value of long-term planning. Merkel has a logical and empirical personality and seeks to build cooperation and partnership.
Merkel is also known for setting a certain boundary around the known. He does not exaggerate the facts, but often promotes an understanding of uncertainty as long as the data are sufficient for decision-making. And that is why he attaches great importance to interacting with scientists. In an interview with Nature, German researchers have talked about how he, as Chancellor, has prioritized regular meetings with scientists and research directors.
He chairs meetings every few months. He conducted informal science in a variety of fields and with particular interest set the agenda for meetings in new and futuristic fields such as hydrogen technology, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence.
To be carefully prepared for their presentations at these meetings because Merkel comes to the meeting with questions at the level of an expert. Meetings also gave Merkel a better understanding of the impact of scientists' ideas on German economics and politics and beyond, on the world.
Angela Merkel Visits Max Planck Institute for Quantum
Credit: Guido Bergmann/EPA
These conversations are periodic "Innovation" became popular and formed the core of initiatives such as the $ 2.4 billion program for quantum computing and related technologies. They were also so influential in the development of German research that it invented the first Covid-19 diagnostic test, and the German company BioNTech, in collaboration with Pfizer, developed the first vaccine based on m-RNA technology. But Merkel was equally committed to research based on human curiosity. In a 2010 speech at the Royal Society of London, he asked his audience to be skeptical of politicians who claim to be able to predict the process of scientific discovery.
With Merkel's extensive scientific work, one can easily forget that when He became Chancellor in 2005, only 15 years after the reunification of East and West Germany. The two nations and their different scientific systems slowly re-learned how to function as a single nation. Science in Communist East Germany was organized in hierarchical research centers affiliated with the Centralized Academy of Sciences of the German Democratic Republic. In contrast, science in West Germany was promoted through publicly funded research institutes as well as universities. However, there was a hierarchy and male domination in this section as well. An issue in which Germany is still lagging behind some of the European Union states and must continue to make progress. However, it still needs further development. According to Eurostat data in 2018, only 33% of German researchers were women; While the EU average is 42%. Nearly one-fifth of Germany's top research leaders are women, more than double the 2005 figure, which is close to the EU average of 26 percent.
Has increased up to 5%. The annual cost of federal science is now $ 24 billion, which goes even beyond the European integration goal that member states should spend 3% of GDP on research and development.
Merkel's Scientific Background
Angela Merkel received her PhD in Quantum Chemistry.
Credit: Ralph Orlowski, Reuters
Carbon Pollution Policy
Merkel sought to have a fair and bold leadership in establishing new technologies to reduce carbon and create new science-based economic sectors. But some of his decisions were not entirely in line with the demands of scientists, and despite his close connection to the world of research, his decisions in this area of fundamental policy-making are not fully supported by science. Some have even criticized him for not doing enough.
Although his policies have led even large industries such as the Volkswagen Group to eliminate internal combustion engines, Germany is still a pioneer in phasing out fossil fuels. is not. In the past, Merkel has even once expressed her displeasure with the intergovernmental climate warnings, or much with the acceleration of the construction of the controversial German-Russian gas pipeline known as the "Nord Stream 2". It could not, which had just ended, be adhered to.
In addition, after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Merkel decided to phase out nuclear energy in Germany by 2022. , Has made it even harder to achieve carbon neutralization. All of this prompted the German Federal Constitutional Court in April to ask the government to explain how it can meet its climate targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 88 percent by 2040 and neutralizing carbon by 2045. p>
with Angela Merkel's approach to science, in the era He has
invested heavily in energy-related innovations.
Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty
Merkel once noted that her strategy was to take very small steps and avoid drastic reforms. In his view, great strides can be made by citing scientific models (where multi-year projects are common) and by making decisions based on the best available evidence, by determining cause and effect, and by developing and testing models multiple times. In this way, it is possible to take advantage of the sustainable integration of reliable knowledge, the details of which are increasing day by day. Turn to renewable energy. He aimed to achieve industry-free pollution by 2045 and to make Germany the fourth largest economy in the world in terms of gross domestic product (GDP).
The Covid-19 epidemic posed even more challenges in balancing science with politics. In March 2020, the Center, under expert advice, enforced quarantine rules to control the spread of the epidemic, but Germany still experienced other waves of the disease along with other countries.
Merkel, on the other hand It also emphasized reliance on scientific research into the disease, which led to Germany's first access to m-RNA-based treatment technology. Even at the time of vaccination, he was the first leader in the process of using different doses of vaccine to volunteer to inject another type of vaccine as a second dose to help speed up vaccination and related research.
Management Angela Merkel showed that science like a candle in the dark can help and make major positive changes. Germany will undoubtedly change after Merkel's departure. However, some of his activities have been accompanied by protests. For example, many voters are already worried about climate change, especially after the deadly July floods in western Germany, and are calling for more carbon offsets. There is no doubt, however, that his administration has been accompanied by pragmatism and intelligent assessments.
Cover photo: Angela Merkel visits a lab during a diplomatic trip to Nairobi, Kenya Credit: Michael Kappeler/DPA/Alamy
Sources: Nature, The Conversation, Impact