Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Science takes note of Chiranjeevi science fraud

In an article in Science [319 Science 1170] titled "Chemist Found Responsible for Ethical Breaches", Robert F. Service begins This time it's chemistry's turn and then proceeds to discuss the case of Pattium Chiranjeevi.

The journal apparently interviewed Chiranjeevi: In an interview with Science, Chiranjeevi said that the charges against him are "baseless and not correct." He blames journal editorss for creating "this nuisance" and says that he plans to take action in an "international court of justice."

There was a review at Chiranjeevi'a university [Sri Venkateswara University [SVU]] which, according to Science, foun that Chiranjeevi cited the use of equipment which does not exist at SVU, copied material from other articles, and included "unjustified" co-authors. [IPBiz notes that the last point is not an unknown practice in the U.S.]

Science noted that "none of Chiranjeev's work is thought to have broken much new scientific ground." [IPBiz query: then why was it published in the first place?]

Rajagopala Chidambaram is said to have noted that there are too few scientific misconduct cases to warrant a full-time oversight body. Any alleged misconduct is best resolved by the universities and journals themselves. [IPBiz note: observe LBE's 1997 paper: X-ray diffraction used to measure levels of sp[2] and sp[3] carbon in fossil fuels : A microcosm of the 1990's, working harder and getting less. For those that don't remember, that paper discussed, among other things, the refusal of the editor of the ACS journal, Energy & Fuels, to correct even an erroneous citation.]

One can only wonder where Chidambaram was during the Schon and Hwang misconduct incidents.

See previous IPBiz post of 23 Feb.: On punishing plagiarizers and falsifiers
and post of 14 Feb.: Plagiarized Proteomics Paper Pulled.

Page 1171 of the 29 Feb. issue of Science notes that the grant success for applicants for NIH funding has fallen below 20%. Howard Garrison is quoted: "It's scary for lots of established investigators. It's devastating for younger investigators."

Page 1188 has a review of Seth Shulman's book on Alexander Graham Bell. With lines like "Yet one wishes the company of professional historians would have helped him [Shulman] avoid falling into a classic trap. The book provides a detailed account of how one researcher lost his objectivity and adopted a partisan position in interpreting ambiguous historical data." AND "an enthusiastic graduate student investigating a potential thesis topic" AND "morbidly fascinating", one get the idea David L. Morton was NOT enthralled with Shulman's book.

Page 1189 has an article titled "Integrating Content Detail and Critical Reasoning by Peer Review."


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