Published: January 27, 2014
The professor used $1 million in Canadian science grants as a piggy bank to finance personal travels and his private business.
He expensed trips to science conferences he did not attend, rented apartments for extended stays outside the country, loaned business associates money, and bought gear that had nothing to with his research, according to documents describing the misconduct.
Postmedia News obtained the documents, using the Access to Information Act, from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council that distributes close to $1 billion a year to academics across Canada.
The council will not name the scientist saying it must “protect” his identity because of the Privacy Act. It is also refuses to identify the university involved, despite NSERC’s recent pledge to be more transparent about academics who misuse taxpayers’ money. Continue reading
An arresting but widely criticized study that stoked fears about genetically modified foods (GMOs) was retracted Thursday.
The move was met with relief by scientists who heaped scorn on the French study after it was published last year. The study claimed a steady diet of genetically modified corn caused tumours in rats.
But observers say the damage will be hard to undo.
A celebrated Montreal scientist and a senior executive at one of the world’s biggest drug companies co-authored a study that contains “intentionally contrived and falsified” images, according to a report from McGill University.
The two researchers and McGill officials are saying little publicly about the case that is attracting international attention.
But a summary of a McGill’s internal investigation obtained by Postmedia News says “falsifications” were found in a study co-authored by Maya Saleh, an associate professor in McGill’s medical faculty, and Donald Nicholson, a vice-president and senior scientist at Merck Research Laboratories in New Jersey. Nicholson is listed as an adjunct professor of biochemistry at McGill, but university officials say he does not teach at the school.
McGill’s committee on research misconduct concluded in November that two figures in a study by Saleh and Nicholson, published in the high-profile journal Nature, “were intentionally contrived and falsified,” the summary says. Continue reading
Published October 23, 2012
By Margaret Munro
A leading University of Toronto researcher has been censured for self-plagiarism – and “severe abuse of the scientific publishing system” – after a software program revealed his group had been recycling text from previous studies.
Stephen Matthews and two colleagues in the university’s faculty of medicine “self-plagiarized” text from five other reports in a 2005 paper in the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, says a retraction notice published by the journal this month.
“This article represents a severe abuse of the scientific publishing system,” says the notice.
Matthews was not responding to interview requests Tuesday.
“He’s busy,” said Lloyd Rang, executive director of communications at University of Toronto’s faculty of medicine, who depicted the case as a copyright squabble over a paper that was always intended as a “review.”
“Under the strictest definition of copyright it had to be original, but there are only so many ways to describe the research landscape,” Rang said of Matthews’ report that now has “retracted” stamped across it in bold red letters. Continue reading