German’s defence minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has resigned from all political posts after a scandal over duplications in his PhD thesis.
Announcing his decision, the 39 year-old Christian Democrat told the press this morning that public pressure on him to resign had become too strong.
Guttenberg was last week stripped of his doctoral degree after the University of Bayreuth confirmed that large parts of his 2006 dissertation were plagiarized.
Chancellor Angela Merkel had attempted in vain to keep the popular minister in her cabinet, arguing that Guttenberg’s academic wrong doings did not diminish his merits as defence minister. Germany’s research organizations and many German scientists did not share this view: In an open letter, signed by more than 30,000 doctoral students and academics, they had vociferously criticised Merkel for trivializing academic plagiarism.