Profile personly: I did my MD 40 years ago. How has the understanding of science changed since then?
collar: The scientific facts were less questionable. But I am not at all sad because this is happening so much more today because we have avoided as many accidents and scientific disasters as Contragan. A certain amount of control within the sciences is both useful and necessary. But what I condemn is the fact that the results are now being questioned beforehand.
Profile personly: Sociologist Max Weber once spoke about “science as a profession” in a famous lecture. Is the world still a dream job?
collar: Science is terribly rewarded. Who will be the scientist? a curious person an intrusive person. Curiosity that can be satiated is a beautiful feeling. Science used to be fun in many areas. Today it is becoming more and more difficult to do science because financial concerns lurk in the background. The phrase “Science and teaching is free” is written on the Alma Mater in Vienna. Unfortunately, that’s only half the story.
Profile personly: Weber also spoke of “the world’s disappointment” with science.
collar: The magic of some things is not broken by making them explainable. We can better understand phenomena that used to be unexplainable today – and that don’t remove any of their magic.
Profile personly: what are you thinking about
collar: For example, some immune processes in our body. What happens when vaccinated? This is still a great process, especially if I can explain some of it today. How does this work? How complicated is all this? What is involved? How can we take advantage of what has been achieved by evolution over the course of 400 million years? This is still a miracle, even if it becomes a little easier to explain.
“The moment you think you know everything and can do it, it falls flat on your face.”
Profile personly: As a scientist, it doesn’t hurt to know Socrates: “I know that I know nothing.”
collar: Modesty is essential to the profession of science. The moment you think you know everything and can do it, it falls flat on your face.
Profile personly: Can you imagine the end of the day in such a way that you are excitedly browsing through the Rilke Bar?
collar: naturally. As a scientist, you wouldn’t be wise if you weren’t willing to open up about other things besides your job, be it in art, culture, or sports. Everyone should live according to their preferences. Seven days a week, 24 hours only science would be so boring.
“We are theorists who become practitioners overnight.”
Profile personly: You have officially retired since the end of 2019. You are likely to be retired.
collar: I also imagined it differently. At the start of the pandemic, Health Minister Rudolf Anschober asked me to join the Covid advisory body. When does a world have a chance to experience a pandemic? We are theorists who become practitioners overnight. The pandemic is amazing, despite all the human suffering it has brought with it. Working on committees is still fun, even if it’s sometimes discouraged by the fact that there are people who question the members’ seriousness or goodwill. We know ourselves that we’re not perfect, and that doesn’t have to be passed on every day.
Profile personly: “Stupidity has ceased to be shameful,” forensic psychiatrist Adelheed Kastner recently stated. Do you agree with her?
collar: definitely. Of the many emails I’ve received, perhaps ten percent of those were nonsense but it’s complete nonsense. The rest was verbal abuse. If someone calls me an “idiot” in a letter, this is neither good nor good, but at the same time he does not have professional qualifications. There were also letters between them in which the missionaries wished I could go to Guantanamo. Threatened with shooting and hanging.
Profile personly: The World Health Organization tweeted that too much information is harmful. Is she right?
collar: definitely. Political scientist Peter Felsmayr said a clever sentence on TV: Complex content is difficult for many to understand. Therefore, a part of the population tends to follow those who prepare complex content as simple as possible. Then Felsmeyer paused for a moment and said coarsely, “That could be the biggest idiot.” Thus, he hit the nail on the head. Opponents and skeptics of vaccination argue plainly, simply – and often – wrongly. But that still stuck with people. If we have to confront this in our language, which is complicated by the act of science, we are often lost. Opponents of vaccination claim, for example, that there is a risk of sterility after a Covid-19 vaccination. a period. But this is complete nonsense. However, I cannot answer in this way, I must say: It cannot be because the first, second, third, fourth. But this brings me back to a complicated situation. Last minute at the first point of controversy, many shut down because they are incomprehensible. It is much easier to say: “A vaccination makes you sterile.”
Profile personly: Over ten years ago, the Hamburg weekly Die Zeit asked twelve “big science questions”. I would like to conclude with three of them. The first question: Can all diseases be defeated?
collar: never. This is absolutely impossible because the new will continue to appear. In the past few years alone, countless new infectious agents have been discovered as many of the animal kingdom have overcome the species barrier to humans. We will never defeat everyone. This would also be tedious, because medicine would be largely superfluous.
Profile personly: Will science one day answer all questions?
collar: number. It would also be very unfortunate because there would be no more secrets then.
Profile personly: Why are we not immortal?
collar: Fortunately, we are not, the Earth will not last long. Once we get older, bugs creep into the “human system”. One day, the number of bugs will exceed what we can tolerate, either from illnesses we can’t deal with or from the end of our lives. For me, it is still a miracle that it works for that long at all.
Profile personly: At the end of life, does it look as if someone turned off the light?
collar: I can’t answer this. However, I realize that nothing will follow after that. As a fictional person, however, I cling to the idea that the opposite is also possible.
Profile personly: How long do we have to fight this damn virus?
collar: The answer to that is very simple: forever. The virus will not go away. It may change its properties, but it will not depart from humanity. Maybe it will turn out to be such that at some point it will become a relatively harmless disease, and maybe we will control it with vaccines to the point that it is no longer a health problem for us. When that is exactly, he will be in the stars. She will live with us and we have to live with her.
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