The German High Court has upheld the decision by the University of Konstanz to rescind Jan Hendrick Shoen’s PhD.
Hats off to the University for sticking to their principles, despite the fact that this is likely to have cost them precious resources. Many institutions go down the softly, softly, route in fear of litigation, which does nothing for maintaining the integrity of science.
Fraud and sloppiness are not just an internal problem for science. Science is part and parcel of society. Pushing falsehoods can have a very wide impact. A recent article in Forbes highlights this issue, in relation to clnical trials of beta blockers in heart disease. Current European regulations are driven, in part, by a fraudulent clinical trial. These guidelines are being revised, but that takes time, during which doctors have unwittingly caused the deaths of some patients by following these guidelines.