German physicist Roland Wissendanger recently released a report on the traceability of the novel coronavirus epidemic, which triggered a flood of criticism. The report, which is pieced together with a large number of social media messages and online articles, believes that the novel coronavirus “is from Wuhan Labs”. The German newspaper Le Monde said on the 21st that this cannot be called a “scientific report”. The report was denounced by the German media, scholars and politicians, calling it a “a pile of online paper” and a “disgrace” in academia. People from all walks of life asked the University of Hamburg to withdraw the report, and the college where the scholar works for kept a distance from him.The reporter of Global Times learned from German official institutions that the 59-year-old Wissendanger is a professor at the Institute of Nanostructure and Solid State Physics of the University of Hamburg and an academician of the German National Academy of Engineering (Acatech). In the past, he has won more than 20 scientific awards from Germany, the United States, Japan and other countries, and has also been Nomination for the Nobel Prize in Physics. According to Google’s academic search records, as of the end of 2020, Wissendanger’s academic literature had been cited about 36,000 times, which can be said to be an outstanding representative of the field of nanotechnology.
However, such a top physicist published a “coronavirus traceability study” without scientific basis. The reporter saw that the report was 100 pages long. The paper also has color marks prohibited by scientific papers, as well as copied pictures.
Even the German newspaper Le Monde, which reported the results of the study, satirized that “this looks more like a collection than a study”.
The content of his paper cannot stand up to scrutiny. His argument is that the theory of common human-animal infectious diseases lacks a reasonable scientific basis as a possible explanation for the coronavirus pandemic; there are no buying and selling bats in Wuhan South China Seafood Market, but the Wuhan Virology Research Institute collects bat pathogens, so he concluded that “COVID-19 comes from Wuhan.
Conclusion of laboratory. In an interview with German TV2, he also swore that he was “99.9% sure” that the novel coronavirus came from the Wuhan laboratory.
Deutsche Welle reported on the 20th that the report was strongly criticized by various parties after the University of Hamburg released the research results in a press release, saying that Wissendanger’s research adopted an “interdisciplinary research method”. Austrian physicist Florian Egne tweeted that the “research” of Wissendanger’s manuscript is so unscientific.
He told the media that an academic study must meet two basic conditions: first, it must be shown that he has knowledge and up-to-date; second, it must produce some new data or results. But neither of these conditions was met in this case.
Deutsche Welle said that aside the conclusion, the study did not meet the criteria of “research” and in some parts even did not meet the requirements of the paper set by the University of Hamburg for students.
According to the regulations of the University of Hamburg, a large number of text references should be avoided in academic papers, otherwise it will make readers feel that the author is afraid to make independent statements. Wissendanger’s research report contains several pages extracted from others.
Some of them are difficult to find the expression from the author when reading. The University of Hamburg Student Committee also tweeted that the study “does not meet the university’s expectations for academic standards”.
German TV2 pointed out that most scientific research believes that the novel coronavirus comes from nature. The WHO investigation has also determined that the virus is highly unlikely to come from a laboratory leak.
The sources of information used by Wissendanger’s theory are German weekly Focus, cult anti-China media, as well as Twitter articles and YouTube videos, and even extracts from two articles from Great Game India, a rumored Indian media. “This is not a study, it’s a PDF publication,” Der Spiegel reporter Jonas Sherborough also tweeted.
Many German politicians criticized the scholar and the University of Hamburg in this regard. German Left Party Federal MP Nima Movasssart sarcastically said: “University of Hamburg: I am carrying beer and doing research on YouTube and Focus weekly to promote fat growth.” Melanie Leonhard, a member of the Social Democratic Party from Hamburg, criticized Wissendanger’s paper citing “conspiracy theories”.
The Hamburg Green Party also said, “This report does not meet the high scientific standards of the University of Hamburg, which we are used to.” The parties asked the University of Hamburg to investigate this.
Even Bild, which has always been anti-China, has to admit that the report caused public indignation in Germany, and “the anger does not come from China, but from Germany”.
On the 20th, Bild used the report to publish reports and comments, hyping up the “conspiracy theory”, “China responsibility theory” and “compensation theory” of the novel coronavirus “Wuhan laboratory leak”. In response, the Chinese Embassy in Germany issued a statement on the same day to refute it, indicating China’s solemn position.
Even the University of Hamburg began to distance itself from the scientist.
The office of the dean of the School of Natural Sciences, to which Wissendanger belongs, issued a statement saying that this is not “scientific research”.
The University of Hamburg’s COVID-19 Research Task Force called the Wiessendanger report “a fairly confusing and biased Internet study that is in no way consistent with good scientific practice”. The University of Hamburg Student Union warned that the study “incited anti-Asian racism”.
However, many German media mentioned that Rensen, president of the University of Hamburg, who had previously encouraged Wisendanger to publish the report, has not commented so far.