Newsmakers

Science  14 Apr 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5771, pp. 193
  1. IN THE MEDIA

    CREDIT: COLIN MCPHERSON

    TUNED OUT. Charges of plagiarism have driven off the air one of Britain's best known psychiatrists: Raj Persaud of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London. Persaud “stepped down” as host of BBC's popular radio show All in the Mind, the company announced last week, “because of continuing allegations of plagiarism.” King's College is investigating the charges.

    More than a year ago, psychologist Thomas Blass of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, complained to Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry that Persaud had failed to credit him in a February 2005 commentary on Stanley Milgram's work on obedience. Last fall, the journal retracted the article. In December, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) also retracted Persaud's review of Blass's biography of Milgram, published on 6 August, “owing to unattributed use of text from other published sources.”

    The Guardian quoted a letter from Persaud saying that his acknowledgement of Blass was deleted by BMJ during editing. BMJ then posted Persaud's unedited draft and wrote to The Guardian that Persaud's text “borrows almost verbatim” from Blass's writing without attributing the material to him (bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/331/ 7512/356/DC1). Persaud could not be reached for comment.

  2. ON CAMPUS

    BOGUS BACKGROUND. Liu Hui, assistant dean and professor of Qinghua University Medical School, has been fired for falsifying the résumé used to land his job 2 years ago.

    University officials said in a statement that an investigation of Liu's credentials found that “the résumé and academic achievements provided by Liu Hui … were gravely untrue and constituted academic misconduct.”

    Liu, 46, educated in China and Japan, said he had worked in New York for a decade and was director of the Center for Surgical Research and associate professor of surgery at New York University's (NYU's) School of Medicine. But there is no such center, according to NYU officials, and Liu was never an employee.

    Shi-min Fang, a U.S.-based biochemist who crusades against “academic corruption” in China (Science, 10 August 2001, p. 1039), first questioned Liu's credentials on his Chinese-language New Threads Web site (http://www.xys.org/). Fang also reported Liu's dismissal last month.

  3. FACE-OFFS

    WHAT GOES AROUND … Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) tried to play gotcha with presidential science adviser John Marburger during a 4 April hearing on the proposed 2007 budget for Marburger's Office of Science and Technology Policy and the government's investment in research. But both men wound up with egg on their faces.

    Wolf wanted to show that the Bush Administration should be doing more to retain the country's top scientific talent. “Do you know Daniel James?” he asked, referring to a 42-year-old physicist who helped pioneer the field of quantum information while at the Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory. Marburger's negative reply deflated Wolf, but only momentarily. “Well, now he's a professor at the University of Toronto. That's not in the United States,” Wolf proclaimed. Marburger's weak rejoinder, “It's close,” seemed ill advised.

    Unfortunately for Wolf, James is a British citizen born in Manchester, U.K., who came to the United States for postdoctoral training but became disillusioned with the “poor leadership … and low morale” at the New Mexico weapons lab. James told Science last week that, ironically, “I was ready to get naturalized” when Toronto came calling in spring 2005 with a generous offer that included a chaired professorship.

  4. MOVERS

    CREDIT: HOLMES
    CREDIT: SWAIN

    CROSSING THE PACIFIC. A high-profile U.S. husband-and-wife team is decamping for Singapore to help launch the country's translational medicine research efforts. Edward Holmes, 65, dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), will help steer national policy as deputy chair of clinical-translational sciences at Singapore's Biomedical Research Council. His wife, Judith Swain, 58, UCSD's dean of translational medicine, will head a new Institute for Clinical Sciences.

    Swain says she was attracted by the challenge of starting a translational medicine institution from scratch. To Holmes, moving from day-to-day institutional management to higher level policy-making “sounds like a job made in heaven.”

  5. MOVERS

    CREDIT: C. MEASHAM

    HEALTH OF THE WORLD. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recruited an expert in infectious diseases from another federal agency to head the Fogarty International Center. Roger I. Glass has spent most of the past 3 decades at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. He worked to introduce rotavirus vaccines in developing countries, where diarrhea caused by the virus kills some 600,000 children a year.

    The smallest NIH institute or center, with a 2006 budget of $66 million, Fogarty is best known for training scientists from developing countries. In a 31 March press release, Glass praised the center's ability to anticipate “emerging global health problems.”

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