The power of scientific platforms and recent revelations

in #plagiarism3 months ago (edited)

When reading research in field of science studies about doctoral degrees, the hardship and suffering culture associated with writing a PhD often comes to light. It is also very difficult to deny that a doctoral degree is the basic requirement for being short-listed for university positions. What is much more interesting, however, is the career-enhancing effect that this academic achievement has in politics in general and within the struggle for jobs, positions, merit and earnings. A doctoral thesis should be an original contribution to knowledge

*period *

No more, no less, right?

Scientific platforms like VroniPlag reveal that a PhD is not only about an original or non-quoted contribution to knowledge, but that certain revelations of supposed plagiarism can trigger an unexpected wave that could be discussed on so many different levels, be it on the institutional level of universities, on the difference between prestige and reputation, on the technical level, on the professional level of citations, on the academic level of good scientific practice, on the level of power, who makes an outstanding contribution to fill certain positions, on the community level, what efforts someone makes towards the public, etc. i.e. if someone is willing and eager to communicate with the outer world outside of ivory towers and what ultimately is proportionate.

A recent case reported yesterday by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is the revocation of Shermin Voshmgir's doctoral degree (decision not legally effective yet). According to VroniPlag the "text parallels have been documented on 100 of 111 pages. This corresponds to a proportion of 90.1% of the total pages."

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picture source

The reactions on social media especially linkedin have been numerous:

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Whatever direction this case might take, especially former Steemians and today's Hiveans should not forget Shermin's constant support, contributions to us and her engagement with the public, always fighting to open up closed ivory towers. May this case find clarification and resolutions on all those levels mentioned.

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How all these guy try to defend her is just disgusting, copy and paste was 20 years ago not better, there were just not the awareness and the tools to detect it that easily.

Fraud is fraud, regardless how much a person later contributes to anywhere.

Who will hire her after that? Which team can afford to have someone who is working "maybe sloppy" to that extend?

"The university applied a law from 2017 to assess and revoke a dissertation that was approved in 2001 (16 years before that law was passed)"
Sorry, but this happens all the time!

"intentional plagiarism cannot be concluded." - WTF? How can one unintentionally copy & paste??

Also an interesting insight on hardship and suffering, the assumptions around a PhD:

So much „Dust“ in the system

There are so many people without a PhD starving for the next gig, how many and what gigs were enabled for Shermin just because she is/had been director of the institute? Obviously to be short-listed for such a position in academia, a PhD is a prerequisite (~ 6:02) One of the saddest moments in Austrian blockchain and academic crypto history 😥

"Tampering and misreporting data and research findings, fabrication of results and experiments, plagiarism — these other challenges that arise in the semi-transparent research process not only slow up the scientific progress but undermine the core values of science."

writes someone who 90% copy-pastes her own PhD!

by the way, the scienceroot-link doesn´t work - strange.

Thank you so much @stayoutoftherz for keeping this discussion here flowing, I participated in that first conference where scienceroot had its first pitch before launch and their following insolvency as company. I very much remember that none of my questions got chosen to speak out in the room/audience. The even more disappointing aspect was that when the core team of sciencevienna was bit bigger than now and we had the resources for extensive research, we tried to find out why scienceroot failed, which would have been a huge help to understand problematic Viennese entrepreneurial culture at least a little bit better, to help all other entrepreneurs following. Conclusion I can talk about: Any time I see the decision makers of scienceroot at Billa there's an atmosphere of shame. I wish they would have made at least a public statement like Lancor Scientific did:

"Further to Aamir’s message on the 13th, here is some more details about what happened. The Directors are on standby to answer all questions in full, that we will then post answers to on the FAQ site. 1.Our plan to launch the medici token (via ICO) Q4 last year was scuppered by the Bitcoin crash from $20k down to c$3k. This was a big blow as we needed 1m euro to take the device through all the required independent clinical trials to add to what we had seen in our own small scale trials. This in-turn would have then opened the door to a lot of new investors and this would have then funded our plans to get verification of up to 6 cancers in the following year. Due to the Bitcoin crash, the crypto market then became very bearish and people stopped investing. 2.Given this, we had to change strategy and go for more traditional investment routes, VC’s, family offices, high net worth individuals, for equity. We spent a lot of Q1 this year building investor presentations and then reaching out to these markets. We found that most of these investors have scouts who bring them opportunities but we also found that most of these scouts wanted up front fees and retainers and we simply were not in the position to pay them. We built a file of around 100 of these people we met over some months and eventually managed to get several acting on our behalf who would take an extra % of money raised, once it was raised; no up-front fees or retainers. 3.As we went through this process we discovered it takes at least 6 and more like 12 months from start to finish as you go through the courting and due diligence processes and we had run out of money with the directors heavily funding the company through 2019. 4. One of our biggest marketing points was the relationship with the Austrian Government, cultivated over an 18 month period, who offered to fund us to 5m euros over 5 years plus 17% tax concessions on earnings over time. We had to put 1m euro into a bank account for this offer to kick in and we kept slipping the date with them as we chased the money. They allowed us to slip the date numerous times over a year or so. 5.Then in July, they ran out of patience and sent us a letter to say they were withdrawing that support without much explanation. This was devastating as we had spent c£200k in the last year setting up an office, paying lawyers and taxes and having to pay a salary to our professor in Austria due to their law. 6.This letter was devastating to our professor, as he is on the board of another med-tech company and still teaches in one of the big medical Universities there. Austrian law it seems is very different to UK and he then told us he had to resign, buy the Austrian subsidiary of Lancor for 5 euro and professionally manage the liquidation of Lancor Austria. If he did not do this his reputation would have been completely ruined and he could not continue with his other roles and have little possibility of future employment. He resigned. This blow set off concerns in the wider team and 2 key senior engineers then decided they had enough after years of little or no payment and it was time they found new, paid employ. This was a major blow as they would be almost impossible to replace. 7.We have been managing a number of very supportive creditors this last year, at least 5 service providers who fully supported our vision and were happy to be paid when sufficient funding had been raised, but then some started to become more impatient. Given Austrian news, the 2 engineers decision and the lack of fresh funds, we were then left with no option but to put the company into liquidation as we were trading insolvent and the directors of course had their fiduciary responsibilities. Like you, I was an early purchaser of medici tokens and was then compelled to join the company to bring this amazing technology to the world. The team has worked for up to 5 years in some cases for little or no money on a sweat equity basis. We are all devastated, we were so close, the device was nearly ready for validation but the cost of this just proved too high to get funding for, before all the above happened and simply left us no choice. Kind regards……Rory Lavelle - Chief Commercial Officer"

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