There's this disturbing (and simultaneously hilarious) article in yesterday's NY Times about rampant fraud and plagiarism among China's academic ranks.
My favorite line, by far :
He cited the case of Chen Jin, a computer scientist who was once celebrated for having invented a sophisticated microprocessor but who, it turned out, had taken a chip made by Motorola, scratched out its name, and claimed it as his own.
I can just imagine the poor man patiently scratching out "Motorola" and writing "Chen Jin" over it in crayon. Brilliant, really. What's truly amazing, of course, is that anyone believed this -- as my friend Joe pointed out, taking credit for a chip is kind of like taking credit for a 767. "Oh zees? I built it in in ze evenings, weeth some scrap metal an' a soldering iron."
More unnerving :
After Mr. Chen was showered with government largess and accolades, the exposure in 2006 was an embarrassment for the scientific establishment that backed him. But even though Mr. Chen lost his university post, he was never prosecuted. “When people see the accused still driving their flashy cars, it sends the wrong message,” Mr. Zeng said.
The problems in China are more than a little blatant. But what have the recent American scandals told us about US institutions? --Are these anomalies, to be brushed under the table? Or does the integrity of scientific research in the US deserve a closer look? (Thanks to @CaldenWloka for the scoop)