UPDATE: Wiley Coyote requests a hint on the Stanley matter:
Medical Writing Editing and Grantsmanship brings word to Eli of another fine mess, one that makes the fluffy kerfuffle (Eli DOES hate that word) about the Wegman Report, various theses, and the response of George Mason University, look an introductory course. In this case,
Based on the findings of an investigation by Columbia University (CU) and additional analysis conducted by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) during its oversight review, ORI found that Bengu Sezen, former graduate student, Department of Chemistry, CU, engaged in misconduct in science in research funded by National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grant R01 GM60326. Specifically, ORI made twenty-one (21) findings of scientific misconduct against Dr. Sezen based on evidence that she knowingly and intentionally falsified and fabricated, and in one instance plagiarized, data reported in three (3) papers* and her doctoral thesis.Seven papers were earlier retracted unilaterally by the adviser, Dalibor Sames and the claims were big news at the time. A good summary can be found in an presentation for an ethics class by Julia Wang. One of the dirty littles in this pile of laundry is that Sames ran through five other graduate students who could not reproduce Sezen's results (as in fired) and that Sezen has continually defended her results.
UPDATE: M. points to Sezen's defense which is JSE class. Ed Wegman will NEVER top this
Sezen now also claims that Sames did not use the proper catalysts when trying to reproduce her work. In an e-mail to C&EN, she writes: "It is as simple as this: You can not make espresso without coffee beans. Prof. Sames and coworkers claimed in their retractions that they could not reproduce my recipe for espresso. And later (when I asked which brand of coffee beans they used), they stated that they did not have (and never had) coffee beans. Without having coffee beans, how can one try to reproduce the recipe?"More to the point, it turns out that after leaving Columbia when this first broke (in 2006, it looks like John Mashey is going to have to learn patience) Sezen went to Germany, got her PhD and now holds a group leader's research position in Turkey.
There is lots of comment on this and will be more
Janet Stemwedel had opined on this mess in early days with the question of whom should you trust and when
5. So can you ever trust your collaborator, or should scientists all author their papers alone? Can advisors ever trust their graduate students, or graduate students their advisors?
The alternative to trusting other scientists, whether by way of collaborations or by consulting the scientific literature, is doing all the science you care about all by yourself. And if that's your plan, you really have too much to do to be reading blogs. Scoot!
On the other hand, since scientists have some acquaintance with the idea of backing their beliefs with facts, it's good to base your trust on facts, too. This would be easier if collaborators took the time to get to know something about the pieces of the project contributed by their collaborators, if PIs still got involved in conducting experiments themselves, if grad students worked up their data with their advisors at least some of the time rather than only delivering the finished product with a pretty bow on top.