Sunday, February 8, 2009

Scandal at Zhejiang University

Last October, a netter wrote to New Thread to report a case of multiple submission in Zhejiang University (浙江大学). It was then expanded into forgery as papers describing different experiments were found to contain the exact same set of data. By December, another netter did a series of study of papers published by the group and concluded that massive and systematic unethical practices exist, including forgery, plagiarism, and multiple submissions. The case finally received media attention this week after several international journals recalled the questionable papers. As of now, the number of questionable papers has reached 16.

The group in question is led by an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering by the name of Li Lianda (李连达) and concentrated in the study of certain traditional Chinese medicines. Li Lianda claims that he lives in Beijing and only travels to Zhejiang University sporadically and therefore did not know the existence of these papers, although all the papers bear his name and some identified him as the communicating author. He also accused the exposure of the case as a conspiracy by his rivals.

The president of Zhejiang University disclosed results of its investigation, which completely exonerated Li Lianda. The investigation put the entire responsibility of wrongdoings on a junior researcher who it says has published the papers without the knowledge of his coauthors. The junior researcher wrote a lengthy self-criticizing report on his own and was fired by the university.

The case has received such attention that Fang Zhouzi was featured on the evening news by Beijing Television. The video can be seen (with IE only) here. Fang Zhouzi does not believe that such a massive fraud could be done entirely by a single individual without the knowledge of his colleagues. International journals usually require the signatures of all coauthors during the submission process.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

在没有看到李院士论文造假的新闻以前,我对李院士是无比崇拜的,不是因为他的年龄,不是因为他的职务,也不是因为他是全国政协委员,而是因为他是工程院院士,是对我国中医药的发展,尤其是药理学研究发展做出巨大贡献的、德高望重的院士。但是,在这几天的闲暇功夫里,当我看到李院士的言论以及对公众、对社会的态度时,我失望了,原来,他令人眩目的光环背后,是赤条条的、让人看不得的灵魂。
这不由得让人联想起了2006的芙蓉姐姐,但姐姐是为了出名,为了养家糊口,不得已利用自己雷人的身材和出格的品位,来赚取公众的瞩目,来为自己赢得滚滚财源。也让我想起了2008年的周老虎,但周老虎毕竟没有接受过高等教育,而我们的李院士,身高名重,一言千金,怎么也学起了芙蓉姐姐开始炒作自己,怎么也学起了周老虎,明明有十多篇论文造假,明明只有五篇与贺海波有关,还信誓旦旦地声明自己一概不知,而咬定只是他的一个学生所为。
在这里,我真的很同情他倒霉的学生贺海波,不是热脸贴在了凉屁股上,而是贴在了正在开着的电磁炉上,既毁掉了做人最起码的脸面和尊严,也毁掉了人生中刚刚开始的光明前途,我也不知道浙大李院士的其他学生会作何感想,是不是也会如贺海波一样,有如履薄冰的感觉,不知哪一天会因为什么样的事情,也被他的老师当作替罪羊所出卖。
李院士现在依然非常的忙,很忙很忙,依然有开不完的重要会议,依然有数不清的飞机班次在安排中,那李院士什么时候有时间贡献自己的学术能力,静下心来做自己的研究呢,写自己的论文呢?什么时候有时间,来指导一下自己的50多位学生,让他们的学术能力和水平也有所提高呢? 再问,李院士的230 SCI论文从何而来呢,莫不成也全是贺海波一个造假所为吧。
李院士说白云山每个月只给他区区几百块钱的车马费,请李院士说这句话的时候,也不经过大脑想想,这不但要让人笑掉大牙,还彻底让其他人再看贬你。现在一般的教授出去讲讲课也有数千元的劳务费,在现在经济利益至上的社会,一个国内知名的、少有的大院士,只为了区区几百元的车马费,不辞辛苦地奔赴于北京与广东某企业之间,这样的话鬼才会相信。
李院士的话,毁掉了他德高望重的形象,也毁掉了我对他的尊敬和崇拜,正如这几天网络上所言,如果说把天士力拉进来是为了转移视线,把水搅混的话,那他也许更适合于研究孙子兵法中的三十六计,不适合于研究思维严谨、实事求是的科学问题