Opinion: the Kaiser should have invaded Austria after the unethical acts of Prof. Boltzmann

There has been some recent lively discussion of ethical issues in hiring here.
Now what would you say of someone who, while Rektor of his provincial university in the town of G., visits a more prestigious foreign institution (no less than an Imperial one, in B.), accepts an offer to move there, does not mention it to anyone, twiddles and twaddles, and then reneges on the offer after he was supposed to have started teaching? Shocking, what?
I couldn’t help smiling when reading this synopsis of the employment history of L. Boltzmann, though the actual facts must have been quite distressing to the people involved (Boltzmann apparently once said that he knew much better “how to integrate than how to intrigue” — I’d like to see the original German, of course, but there was no reference in the book I’m reading). He was in Graz for 14 years, got an offer from Berlin in 1888, accepted, reneged (and had to be relieved of his duties by the Kaiser — though I don’t know which one; there were three in 1888, apparently)… and instead of staying in Graz as one might have expected after turning down one of the juiciest positions available at the time, he went on a true whirlwind of moves and changes during the following years (first to Münich, then to Vienna, then to Leipzig, then back to Vienna…)

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Kowalski

I am a professor of mathematics at ETH Zürich since 2008.

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