I thought that a Ph.D. in the sciences having been bestowed on scholars from distinguished American universities would permit these men and women to call themselves doctor.  Not so, at least in Germany.

Now seven scientists at the Max Planck Society's Institutes for Chemical Ecology (Jena) and for Gravitational Physics (Potsdam) with American Ph.D.s from Stanford, Caltech, University of Texas (Austin) and Cornell are facing charges under German federal law that might land them in jail for one year and sock them with a large fine.  You see, under German law, the only Ph.D. that can certify a person as "doctor" is one that comes from an academic institution in the European Union.  If your degree comes from a Maltese university (if there is one) you are a doctor with all the pretense and privileges that come with it.  But if your doctorate comes from Caltech you are stuck.