marți, 22 februarie 2011

Academic kleptocracy

1. German minister gives up doctorate after plagiarism row

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu 
Guttenberg and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, talk prior to a 
debate at the Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, 21 January 2011 Chancellor Merkel has dismissed suggestions Mr Guttenberg (C) should resign as defence minister
Germany's defence minister has given up his doctoral title for good, after allegations that he had plagiarised sections of his thesis.
Last week Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said he would temporarily give up the title while his university investigated the charges.
The University of Bayreuth says he has now asked them to retract his doctorate in law, according to German TV.
Mr Guttenberg admitted that he had made "serious mistakes".
At an election rally near Frankfurt on Monday, the charismatic defence minister said the mistakes were not intentional but he conceded that they "do not meet the ethical code of science".
Difficult decision He said it was a painful decision to make, especially given that he had worked for six or seven years of his life on the PhD.
His thesis - Constitution and Constitutional Treaty: Constitutional Developments in the US and EU - was completed in 2006 and published in 2009.
The Suddeutsche Zeitung claimed that Mr zu Guttenberg had copied, word for word, one passage from a newspaper article and another from a public lecture, without attributing them, while other texts were incorrectly attributed.
The list of alleged instances of plagiarism grew as journalists and internet users looked more deeply at the thesis.
Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted on Monday that she is standing by her defence minister, who is seen as something of a rising star in her conservative coalition.
"I appointed Guttenberg as minister of defence," she told reporters. "I did not appoint him as an academic assistant or doctor. What is important to me is his work as minister of defence and he carries out these duties perfectly."
She also played down the role that the scandal might have played in her party's heavy defeat in a regional election in Hamburg at the weekend.

 2. Despre buna întrebuințare a dictatorilor

LONDON (AFP) – The London School of Economics has cut ties with the Libyan leader's son, Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, after a violent crackdown on protests in Libya, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
A leading academic at the university who knew Moamer Khadafi's son when he studied there said he was "deeply disturbed" by the former student's condemnation of anti-regime protests.
"Rather than seeing the opportunity for reform based on liberal democratic values and human rights, Seif al-Islam Khadafi stressed the threat of civil war and foreign intervention," said Professor David Held.
In a statement, LSE said it "has had a number of links with Libya in recent years. In view of the highly distressing news from Libya... the school has reconsidered those links as a matter of urgency".
The university's North Africa programme was set up in 2009 with a grant from Seif-al Islam's Kadhafi International Charity and Development Foundation worth £1.5 million over five years.
So far about £300,000 has been paid, but a spokeswoman told AFP that "the rest of it is not going to be taken".
LSE said the foundation's grant came "without any academic restrictions" and was used to research human rights, democracy and civil society.
But it added: "In current difficult circumstances across the region, the school has decided to stop new activities under that programme."
LSE would also no longer be running training courses for mid-level Libyan civil servants, the spokeswoman said.
Seif al-Islam Kadhafi graduated from LSE with an MSc in philosophy, policy and social value in 2003 and a PhD in philosophy in 2008.
On Monday, he warned Libya's violent uprising was a foreign plot and would be crushed in a "bloodbath" if the government's offer of reforms was rejected.
Professor Held, co-director of LSE's Global Governance department, said he had known Kadhafi as "a young man who was caught between loyalties to his family and a desire to reform his country".
His speech Monday "makes it abundantly clear that his commitment to transforming his country has been overwhelmed by the crisis he finds himself in. He tragically but fatefully made the wrong judgment".

Niciun comentariu:

Trimiteți un comentariu