New Norwegian Scientist suspected of scientific fraud

04.10.2006
A scientist from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM) at the University of Oslo is currently under investigation for scientific fraud. "I do not believe that this will weaken the confidence in Norwegian research," says Matthias Kaiser of the National Research-Ethical Committee for Natural Sciences and Technology.
As early as June 2005 the Norwegian Research Council received a written orientation from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) saying that the employment of the scientist had ended following a report from a doctoral candidate stating deficiencies in the research data in a science project partly financed by the Norwegian Research Council.

After a review of the work the scientist has done for SUM, the University of Oslo confirms that also in this case there are grounds for suspicion of scientific fraud. The scientist has since chosen to resign from his position at the University of Oslo. An independent investigation committee will now be appointed to review the scientific work the scientist has conducted at the two universities.

Bente Herstad, director of SUM, says that so far nothing indicates that the scientific fraud in this particular case is as wide-ranging as in the other incident of scientific fraud that surfaced earlier this year.

Matthias Kaiser at the National Research-Ethical Committee for Natural Sciences and Technology (NENT) does however not believe that the disclosure of the two cases of scientific fraud at Norwegian research Institutions will damage the reputation of Norwegian research. “When a scientist neglects the quality requirements, and even makes shortcuts, this could potentially damage the reputation of science among the public. But I feel that the Norwegian public is capable of distinguishing between deviant phenomena and the condition of Norwegian research in general,” says Kaiser.

NENT has now produced new research-ethical guidelines.

The Norwegian Minister of Science and Education Øystein Djupedal has written to the University of Life Sciences, the University of Oslo and the Norwegian Research Council and asked for an account of how these institutions have followed up the suspected science fraud after they were made aware of these suspicions.
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