The 1905 Proceedings Against the Naturalist Theodor Beer

by Florian Mildenberger

Zeitschrift fur Sexualforschung Vol. 3 #3 pp. 242-245 (September 1990)

The case against the naturalist and physiologist Theodor Beer (1866-1919), traced historically by the author, constitutes a striking yet also representative example of the ruination of a scientific career by means of a campaign of character assassination. Beer had been charged, based on scant evidence, with sexually violating two boys. Nevertheless he was convicted and banished from scientific discourse. Those responsible for the verdict and ensuing social exclusion were the very same late Habsburg-era elites whom Beer had publicly attacked. None of his academic colleagues found the courage to intercede on his behalf. The mere accusation of pedophilia was enough to isolate Theodor Beer.

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