Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cheating case in science (2)

Cheating case in science (1)

Indeed, this kind of unfairness has been watched more and more in these days. Fabrication or plagiarism is not limited in Japan, as I wrote in the past.

My past entry: Issue about fabrication of research

Some reporters direct that Obokata and the STAP stem cell scandal is quite similar to the case of Schön. Schön was a promising physicist, who had published several innovative papers. However, many of them was revealed to have been fabricated. Referring the investigation report, the University of Konstanz decided to revoke Schön's doctoral degree. He opposed to this decision for the reason that his dissertation was not related to the issued research. After a long lasting legal conflict, Federal Constitutional Court judged that the decision of the university was justified.

Wikipedia: Schön scandal

To be honest, I disagree with the judgment, at least as a general principle. Can the university get rid of degree if an ex-student become demented?

To consider about this topic, we have to refer to Hwang Woo-suk. He was a veterinarian in the past, and devoted to bioscience. He created successfully some cloning of mammals. Korean government supported him financially very much, expecting him to win the Nobel prize. After a while, he published several papers of the ES cell and human-cloning; however, most of them were proven to be fabricated. He was dismissed from the university. Now he is engaged in animal cloning.

Wikipedia: Hwang Woo-suk

There are several basis of such cases. In addition to personal immoral, the harshly competitive environment and excessive expectation from others can be a cause of unfairness. It is difficult to establish a condition in which fairness and good outcome are both met.

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