Universität Wien, Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG), HS II
Stadtname / PLZ
Mi, 27.04.2022 23:20
ptp20220427048 Media/Communications, Politics/Law
Corona twittering of a university professor - now published as a book.
Sargans/Dresden (ptp048/27.04.2022/23:20) - How did Prof. Dr. Stefan Homburg, as a scientist and director of an institute, suddenly find himself on a social medium like Twitter, even though he was never interested in such things and did not even own a smartphone before the Corona crisis?
The answer has to do with his personality on the one hand, and the way the mass media works on the other: "I am extremely interested in politics, but like most scientists I live a rather secluded life, have always been non-partisan and have a pronounced horror of political office; I had turned down several offers in my life. For me, a good day is one in which I am wiser in the evening than I was in the morning, not one in which I have wandered around the country telling the same story dozens of times and sitting in endless committee meetings. My political influence has followed a common model for decades, which I will briefly describe here because it is unknown to most newspaper readers and media consumers: good journalists do not just write their articles from the gut, but call on experts they value and trust. In my case, this mainly concerned issues of fiscal, social, financial and monetary policy, on which I have been regularly interviewed since the mid-1990s. One explains the facts to journalists and receives as a thank-you not money, but a quote that one approves before going to press. The advantage of being named in a newspaper is that one can demonstrate to family members, friends and acquaintances that esoteric activity in the ivory tower is somehow useful after all. The situation is similar with invitations to talk shows, in my case to Maybrit Illner, Sandra Maischberger or Johannes B. Kerner: here, too, the time spent is not remunerated financially, but immaterially, in that you gain a certain notoriety for a short time and step out of the shadow of the lonely researcher. Since political issues are all controversial, every appearance is naturally followed not only by praise but also by criticism, regardless of what one says. Accustomed to these mechanisms for decades, I published a guest article in the WELT in April 2020, arguing that Sweden, the only country in Europe to stick to tried-and-tested recipes for health policy, was doing better than Germany and many other countries, which were fighting a virus with drastic means never seen before and never recommended anywhere. Beforehand, I had spent several weeks collecting figures and data, and in particular had read medical textbooks and the important article by John Ioannidis, who had warned against over-reactivity as early as mid-March. At that time, we saw that the case numbers in China were dropping significantly, and likewise in neighbouring South Korea, whose data I found more trustworthy ..."
Stefan Homburg, professor at Leibniz University in Hanover, has long been known to the public as a specialist book author, expert witness and talk show guest. During the Corona crisis he became a prominent critic of government action. Here he describes in narrative form what objectively happened from the emergence of the virus until the spring of 2022 and what he personally experienced in the process. Based on his factual analysis, Homburg sees lockdowns and similar measures as the result of a failure of science, media and politics.
The book "Corona-Getwitter", published by the Swiss Weltbuch Verlag, combines old and new media by embedding tweets by the author in a running text. In the process, Twitter is both a setting and a document of contemporary history: In chronological order, the work presents figures, data and graphics on the Corona crisis, as well as photos, prominent quotes, court decisions and fates.
Key data of the book: "Corona-Getwitter", Prof. Dr. Stefan Homburg, hardcover, 304 pages, 350 colour illustrations and sources, format: 22.5 x 15 cm, 605 g, 1st edition German, published: 22.04.2022, ISBN: 978-3-907347-00-3, prices: from 19.90 Eur / 24.90 CHF, More at: https://www.weltbuch.com/corona-getwitter/