Silvana Koch-Mehrin, a high-profile member of the European Parliament for Germany’s business-friendly Free Democratic Party, announced on Wednesday evening that she was resigning from all leadership positions after her own plagiarism scandal heated up. Meanwhile a German university announced it was stripping the daughter of former Bavarian Governor Edmund Stoiber of her Ph.D. because of plagiarism. … Koch-Mehrin, 40, is one of the FDP’s highest-profile female politicians and had in the past been seen as one of the party’s great hopes.
It is perhaps useful for non-Germans to know that the Ph.D. has a quite different status in Germany than e.g. in the US. It not only is a big deal if you can call yourself “Doktor,” but is legally regulated. I, for example, couldn’t legally use the title when I lived in Germany because my Ph.D. was not from a German university (the rules have since loosened a little for Ph.D.s from other European countries, but not, as far as I am aware, for those with US doctorates).
Also interesting is the way that members of this movement brand themselves.
On their websites, they display the instances of plagiarism in their now-iconic “bar code”-style graphics.
Is this the first social movement to use data visualizations as an iconic marker? I included the von Guttenberg graphic in my earlier post – here are those for Koch-Mehrin
and Veronica Sass