Doctor title: The desired badge | TIME campus


What drives politicians in Germany to risk their heads and career in order to get in touch with Dr. Ing. to decorate?

Again, a politician is on fire. Franziska Giffey, the
      Family minister, is said to have cheated on her dissertation. Before that it was Annette Schavan. The Minister of Education lost office and title. The enterprising Margarita Mathiopoulos, the
      between politics, science and business has changed, no more "woman
      Doctor. "And so it continues on the pillory of academic morality.

The FDP politician Silvana Koch-Mehrin had to admit: "That my PhD thesis was not a masterpiece, I know for eleven years." Now she is no longer allowed to be addressed as a doctor. The most famous of the men is Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. The shooting star of the CSU and economics as well as defense minister called the Plagiatsvorwurf in the first attempt "abstrus". The University of Bayreuth put it this way: "The Baron … has deliberately deceived." He also deceived the Parliament. He disappeared in American exile.

Twenty more or less famous people have fallen into the trap of footnotes and quotes. Some, such as Frank-Walter Steinmeier ("artisanal weaknesses") or Norbert Lammert, the former parliamentary president ("avoidable weaknesses"), have been salvaged. Others lost title and office. And so many undiscovered will wonder in sleepless moments when he or she is caught as a mischief artist. The mills of academic justice grind slowly.

Fiat iustitia. The electorate nods satisfied when the big ones are trimmed to normal and with the title also lose power

Nevertheless, questions arise that make you think. Why in Germany, why not everywhere in a world where man as such likes to seek recognition and emphasis? Why did the exposed ones succeed in remaining unrecognized for so long? Did not the doctoral supervisor either, did not the university do the same? Finally, what drives the risers to risk their heads and careers to get in touch with Dr. Ing. to decorate?

Useful is a look into the Anglo-Saxon world. In America and the UK, the Ph.D. and the DPhil no rank insignia. Rather, they indicate that the subject has traveled the long way from the student through the B.A. (Baccalaureus Artium) and M.A. (Magister Artium) to the Ph.D. (Philosophiae Doctor) and achieved the highest professional consecration.

In the Anglo-Saxon world, the three letters attest to Ph.D. not social status, but intellectual achievement, coupled with exhausting research. Nobody talks these people "Mr. Dr." to – except for the doctors; the hot Dr. Smith or dr. Jones. The exception is Henry Kissinger. When Harvard got to the White House, his subordinates gave him the awesome "Dr. Kissinger." K. The anecdote: When Kissinger became foreign minister, the reporters asked him, "Henry, how shall we call you now, Dr. Kissinger, Mr. Secretary, Professor?" He corrected them: "I do not care about protocol issues. Your Excellency is enough."

Unlike the German Dr. are Ph.D. and DPhil the proof of teaching ability, which is why the Anglo-Saxons know no habilitation – this unspeakable diligence and Fronarbeit, which is to pass the way to the professorship. It follows that the Ph.D. raises a higher hurdle than the German doctor. The dissertation is meant to testify that the student picked up an original topic and mastered it with rigorous research.

In this sense, the Anglo-Professorate behaves like a German craftsmanship. The acquisition of the doctor's hat in the German craft corresponds to the tedious, strictly regulated course from apprentice to journeyman to master. Both systems jealously guard that Schlamp and Schund do not damage the honor and income of the guild. The way to the Master is rocky, the exams are hard.