Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Various discussions of research fraud in China

BusinessWeek (May 29): The outcry reached a crescendo on May 12, when Shanghai Jiaotong University announced the firing of star professor Chen Jin for
allegedly faking research on computer chips. Chen is just one in a crowd of academics
accused of everything from falsifying or plagiarizing results to embellishing
resumes. (...) The rise of an entrepreneurial class further complicates the
situation. As professors team up with business partners to commercialize their lab
results, the nexus between science and the rough-and-tumble world of Chinese
capitalism has not been pretty. One of the country's seamiest cases involves Dr.
Qiu Xiaoqing, a professor at Sichuan University in Chengdu, and his onetime
business partner, an investment company called Sichuan NTC Holdings. (IPBiz: Bayh-Dole, anyone?)

The Irish Times (June 27): The headlong rush to add innovation to China's growing list of achievements has led to a spate of academic fraud in the country's top universities, prompting the government to step up efforts to stamp out the
plagiarists and charlatans.

The rash of scandals has led to much grumbling in China's academic
community - a recent survey found nearly 80 per cent of top scientists thought
China faced a "grave decline" in academic ethics.

In March, Liu Hui, a professor in the medicine department of
Beijing's Tsinghua University was dismissed for faking his academic achievements
and work experience. As many Chinese people have the same surname, he had simply
appropriated research by another Liu and put it on his curriculum
vitae. [IPBiz: long ago a certain worker at Exxon benefitted by having the same surname, and initials, as a very well cited other person.]

Academic rigour has been hotly debated in Asia since South Korean
stem-cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk was found to have fabricated his published

IPBiz: Doesn't anyone remember Jan-Hendrik Schon anymore? Furthermore, what about the retraction spree in the lab of Dalibor Sames at Columbia University?
On June 16, 2006, C&E News reported that four our more papers are being retracted by Columbia University Professor of Chemistry, Dalibor Sames, again because work by his coauthor and former Ph.D. student, Beng├╝ Sezen, allegedly could not be reproduced. Three of these were in the Journal of the American Chemical Society [JACS]. And, going back to Hwang, when is the report of the Brauman panel at Science going to be made public?


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