Politics will be poorer without Angela Merkel’s scientific approach

Angela Merkel seen during her visit in Warsaw on September 11, 2021.

Departing German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stood out among politicians for her commitment to science and evidence.Credit: Maciej Luczniewski/NurPhoto/Getty

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a theoretical quantum chemist from the former East Germany, will stand down after federal elections on 26 September. This will mark the end of 16 years in the post and a 30-year political career.

Merkel leaves behind a powerful legacy for research and for evidence-based thinking. Over the years, her administration has strengthened and internationalized German science. Every government is imperfect when it comes to protecting peoples’ rights, promoting security and well-being, and administering justice, but Merkel brought compassion and an insistence — unusual among politicians, even in the time of COVID-19 — that decision-making benefits from evidence. All of this will make her a hard act to…

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