Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Plagiarism issues with German politicians persist

Further to an earlier IPBiz post
Another German politician under scrutiny for plagiarism
, Annette Schavan has received an unfavorable report on her thesis from the granting university. Reuters reports:

She [Annette Schavan ] asked her alma mata, the University of Duesseldorf, to examine the accusations. A report conducted by the university's philosophy faculty found indications of a "plagiaristic approach" on 60 of the 351 pages, Der Spiegel reported.

IPBiz notes that although the copying charges are likely politically motivated, the lack of substance of the underlying thesis work is scary. The thesis of SIU's Poshard was based on analysis of questionnaire responses. Here, Schavan's thesis was "People and Conscience - Studies for conditions, needs and requirements for forming a conscience nowadays"

Reuters notes Schavan among the first to condemn then-Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg for plagiarizing his PhD thesis, calling it "shameful".

Now that the shoe is somewhat on the other foot, what next?

Of course, perhaps there are more significant things to discuss than copying charges in fluffy Ph.D. works.

When Gertrude Stein wanted to visit her childhood home in Oakland, she could not find the house, and wrote :

What was the use of me having come from Oakland, it was not natural for me to have come from there yes write about it if I like or anything if I like but not there, there is no there there.


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