The German politicians

The German minister of education, Annette Schavan, today announced that she resigns. An anonymous blogger, under the pseudonym Robert Schmidt, first published evidence that Schavan’s 1980 PhD-thesis, with the (unfortunate) title “Character and conscience” contained a large number of plagiarised paragraphs. Schavan is not the only German politician to be accused of doing insane science. The minister of defence Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was forced to resign in 2011 under very similar circumstances. MEP Silvana Koch-Mehrin is a third case, and Jorgo Chatzimarkakis is a fourth. All four have been found to have plagiarised parts of their respective PhD-theses and by now they have all been stripped of their titles. The plagiarism was discovered by citizen journalism, bloggers, curious individuals and internet-coordinated crowds, NOT by the scientific community.

Germany stands out when it comes to scientific misconduct. According to this paper Germany is perhaps the most fraudulent research country, and in particular data falsification and fabrication seems to be more common in Germany that in other countries.

ScienceInsanity wonders about the responsibility of the universities that awarded the doctorates in the first place. What should universities do to prevent plagiarism?
And why wasn’t the plagiarism discovered by the opponents or the scientific community?

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One thought on “The German politicians

  1. Robin Hood says:

    It is no wonder why the capitalistic fraud capitals of the world, i.e., London, Frankfurt and New York, are also the main hubbs of publishers. Only when scientists start to link the dots at the lower end of the fraud trail to the higher-level dots will the picture begin to emerge. One example, why can LAP Publishers, who basically re-publish MSc ad PhD theses, 70-90% of which have already been published as scientific reports in copyright-protected journals, be allowed to make profits off self-plagiarism? LAP Publishers is German based. When we see that the business model of certain publishers (and extending outwardly governments) is fraud (or at least fraudulent capitalism), then what value does it have to rat on some Indians from Tamil Nadu. It’s a good sign that the German Education Minister resigned for an act of fraud 30 years ago. But, if she has admitted to the crime, then the penalty should match the crime. She should have to return a certain percentage of her salary that she has benefitted from from this fraud in the past 30 years BACK to state-funded education centers. Her activities and her positions from now on must be carefully monitored for the next few years to prevent her from ever getting any position associated with education. Imagine you stole a car 30 years ago, but were only discovered now. You would, without hesitation, go to jail for at least 10 years in most EU-US based legal systems. So, why is there this sot approach on plagiarism? Just because she is the Education Minister? REAL justice, this is what the world needs…

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