Tuesday, September 20, 2011

German court upholds revocation of Ph.D. of Jan Hendrik Schon

After the University of Constanz revoked Schon's degree, Schön sued the university, and last year a court ruled in his favor. The university appealed, however, and last week the Administrative Court of Baden-Württemberg in Mannheim ruled that the university was within its rights to rescind the degree. The awarding of a doctorate is a confirmation of the recipient's ability to conduct independent scientific research, Judge Reinhard Schwan said in his oral explanation of the verdict last week. A Ph.D. brings with it the public perception of being a member of the scientific community and a presumed high level of trustworthiness, the judge said. When a recipient has violated basic principles of good scientific practice, the title is no longer applicable and should be corrected, he said. He also noted that Schön can still find work as a physicist without a Ph.D. title. Schön is reportedly employed as a process engineer for a company in Germany.

from sciencemag.org


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