Alexander von humboldt

Letters: Lockdowns ruin lives

Lockdown damage Sir: I am sick and tired of people taking the moral high ground and looking down on ‘lockdown sceptics’ like me as if we don’t care. It’s ironic, because while there is no clear evidence to date that national lockdowns actually save more lives (contra the interview with Matt Hancock, 9 January), there is plenty of evidence that lockdowns ruin lives. If anyone should take the moral high ground it is those, like myself, who witness this ‘collateral damage’ on a daily basis. Yes, the health issues are complex. And who would want to govern at this time? But when you know that your chosen strategy will result

Ignore the activists – Humboldt’s Enlightenment project deserves celebrating

‘What a loss is the excellent Humboldt. You and Berlin will both miss him greatly,’ Prince Albert wrote to his much-beloved daughter Vicky, Crown Princess of Prussia, on news of the death of the author, explorer and celebrity Alexander von Humboldt in 1859. ‘People of this kind do not grow upon every bush [‘an den Blumen’] and they are the grace and glory of a country and a century.’ After some delays and bad luck, the grace and glory of the Humboldt name flourishes once again with the opening of the Humboldt Forum. Annoyingly digital to begin with, the launch last month of the Forum signalled the culmination of Berlin’s