Wednesday, July 13, 2011

C&E News on Bengu Sezen

C&EN obtained documents on the Bengu Sezen matter through a Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] request and published an article on 11 July 2011. The article included the text:

Worse, the reports document the toll on other young scientists who worked with Sezen: “Members of the [redacted] expended considerable time attempting to reproduce Respondent’s results. The Committee found that the wasted time and effort, and the onus of not being able to reproduce the work, had a severe negative impact on the graduate careers of three (3) of those students, two of whom [redacted] were asked to leave the [redacted] and one of whom decided to leave after her second year.”

In this matter, the reports echo sources from inside the Sames lab who spoke with C&EN under conditions of anonymity when the case first became public in 2006. These sources described Sezen as Sames’ “golden child,” a brilliant student favored by a mentor who believed that her intellect and laboratory acumen provoked the envy of others in his research group. They said it was hard to avoid the conclusion that Sames retaliated when other members of his group questioned the validity of Sezen’s work.

When LBE was interviewed by Japanese public television about the fraud at Bell Labs by Jan Hendrik Schon, the Japanese were interested in the impact of the publication of false results on third parties, and the legal liability of Bell Labs therefore.

See also IPBiz post

Bengu Sezen found guilty, but collected another PhD in meantime

AND recall a comment on previous coverage by C&EN of the Sezen matter:

One person commented:

The story was news worthy enough to get in the print versions of Science and Nature but not C&E News. Most chemists do not read the electronic version of C&E News since all ACS members get the print version. Perhaps the editor of C&E News is trying to minimize the damage to Columbia and to JACS. Although this type of story is terrible for the people directly involved, it is a good reminder of potential problems for every one else.


One notes that the 11 July article did not mention JACS.


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