The pandemic has triggered a new national respect for German scientists, says Jenny Hill from the BBC. The virologist Christian Drosten is a well-known name today, as is Lothar Wieler, who heads the Robert Koch Institute, which advises the federal government. So did the married BioNTech founders Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci, who developed the first approved vaccine. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who studied quantum chemistry herself, is heavily influenced by the opinion of the German scientific community, which primarily urges restrictions and caution. However, the response to the pandemic is increasingly marked by disputes between regional leaders, some of whom are calling for fewer restrictions on daily living.