Monday, March 25, 2013

Resign of Schavan: suspicious charge of plagiarism

Ms. Annette Schavan, German Educational Minister resigned in Germany because of plagiarism of her doctoral thesis which she got in 1980.

Mr. Bruno Bleckmann, a professor of ancient history at the university, announced the decision to deprive her academic title on Feb. 5th 2013, declared that Ms. Schavan had systematically and deliberately presented intellectual efforts throughout her entire dissertation that were not her own.

This scandal of course shook Merkel Administration. Ms. Schavan denied wrongdoing and indicated she would take legal action against the university. However, she resigned from Educational minister on Feb. 9th 2013.

Actually, I feel this episode quite suspicious.

Ms. Emi Kawaguchi-Mahn, a Japanese journalist, wrote about it in detail.

According to her, Mr. Heidingsfelder and his company investigated the paper of Ms. Schavan. He claimed that politicians should be perfect, at the interview in Hamberger Morgenpost. However Ms. Kawaguchi said that she felt belief of Mr. Heidingsfelder wicked.

I agree with her.
First, no person is perfect. If we voted for only completely competent persons, no one would be a politician. No one make decision. I think it is childish to have the belief that politicians should be perfect.
Second, almost all academic research papers have referenced part to some extent. Every research is a sequel to past one. It is nearly impossible to refer all origins specified.
Third, if Ms. Schavan truly plagiarized in her paper, Düsseldorf University must be responsible for letting her get doctoral thesis.

I hear sometimes about this kind of scandal of politicians also in Japan. Mass media report scandals repeatedly. But how is the meaning to reveal past behavior of politicians? Is it much more important than the ability of policy-making? We must consider about it.

In ancient Greek, citizens could vote for a person whom they wanted to exile (Ostracism).
However, it is said that Greek got weakened because talented men were exiled by the partial hostility of citizens repeatedly. At last citizens abandoned Ostracism.
We are not different from the Ancient Greeks, aren't we?

1 comment:

  1. Basically I agree with you. Nowadays we can search such kind of fraud quite quickly through internet. So we must "loosen" this direct for politicians in some degree.

    However----We must focus on another aspect of this issue. THE IMPORTANCE OF DOCTOR DEGREE in the society. Especially in German, doctor degree is really appreciated and almost all the politicans, especially ministers have it, and they proud it very much. Also getting doctor degree is very difficult---You must study very, very hard to get it!! In Japan, doctor degree is not appriciated and sometimes politicians do not possess it. Then what happened? Maybe you knows millions of stupid controversial statements based on lackage of basical knowledge from Japanese politicians---sometimes even from a prime minister. That is crazy.