Sunday, March 25, 2007

UPDATE: Miller/Purdue/Taleyarkhan/bubble fusion

The Indianapolis Star (Maureen Groppe) makes clear that Purdue University plans to respond by March 30, 2007:

Joseph Bennett, Purdue's vice president for university relations, said, "We will work with the committee through our counsel to develop a response by March 30th."

A review of the letter by Congressman Brad Miller to Purdue would suggest that Purdue needs to make a response.

The Star also noted: Last year, Nature magazine published claims by professors that Taleyarkhan hampered efforts to try to replicate his work.

To refine on this, in 2006, Nature (a British journal) published an article written by a free lance journalist (Eugenie Reich) which included claims by other professors about Taleyarkhan's work. The initial work by Taleyarkhan was published in 2002 in Science (an American journal). Both Nature and Science are highly prestigious journals, which both published work by Jan-Hendrik Schon which had to be retracted.

HOWEVER, the motivation for Congressman Miller's request is that Purdue did NOT respond adequately to a complaint made by Professor Ken Suslick. (The assertion of inadequacy is in a 2007 article in Nature.)

The Star also noted: Millions have been spent on efforts to re-create Taleyarkhan's findings. In a nutshell, the Star comment on (potentially) wasted money shows why Mark Lemley's comments on "rational ignorance" are dead wrong. Money can be wasted on things that will never be commercialized. Both the patent office and scientific journals need to ensure the accuracy of information published and publicized by them, because third parties rely on the accuracy of such information in making decisions.

Other posts on IPBiz:

**Separately, from californiastemcellreport

Lawrence Ebert has posted the following question:

"Of the procedure on grants given by CIRM, I was wondering "who" has the authority to conduct oversight. Directly, this comes up as to "who" might have been responsible for vetting the Cha proposal. Down the road, "who" would conduct any investigation of alleged research impropriety. In a different research area, this issue is currently looming large. See

"Separately, how much of the CIRM grants are going directly to the conduct of research, and how much are going to overhead of the respective institutions?"
Here is what we know. Re the questions of oversight of grants given by CIRM, it is CIRM itself that has oversight and the agency vets the proposal and monitors its execution. It is unclear who might conduct an investigation of research impropriety beyond CIRM, although the state Department of Justice has wide authority to investigate and prosecute violations of state law. CIRM's research regulations have the force of law.

We can't tell you the split on overhead vs. actual research, but we learned at the March 15 meeting of the Oversight Committee that comparing size of NIH grants and CIRMs for the same project is not accurate. CIRM grants apparently include funds that are not usually included in the announced figures for equivalent NIH grants.


Blogger Simon Templar said...

Follow the money: DARPA gives $800,000 to UCLA (Putterman) for a new neutron detector and to attempt a replication of Taleyarkhan's experiment. $200,000 goes to Purdue for Taleyarkhan to help Putterman do a replication. Putterman failed to replicate. Of COURSE it wouldn't be Putterman's fault, right? Must be the originator's fault, sure. Now why is it that up until the time Putterman took DARPA's money, and attempted a replication of the Taleyarkhan work, was this $1M money-well spent? Putterman didn't have a problem with cashing DARPA'S check, so why is he sending his pit bull Miller after Purdue now, if not to deflect the attention away from his own failure, his scam to purchase a new instrument for UCLA, to minimalize his competitor Taleyarkhan in the fight for scarce government funding as well as his to denigrate the competition for intellectual primacy in the decade-long battle for bubble fusion? Things that make you go hmmmm.

11:18 AM  

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