Fraud, competition, etc

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Thu Jul 20 12:44:24 EST 1995

On Wed, 19 Jul 1995, alex taylor wrote:

(on Fabrikant)

> 	Yes, but more to the point it *took* a lunatic like
> Fabrikant to even get the tri-council to notice that there
> was a problem.

I am afraid this view is too optimistic. I have never 
seen anything from any of these (funding) councils
commenting of their (ir)relevance to this case, despite
that some materials press did suggest this the such 
links more than a figment of imagimnation.

In a way, I understand them (funding councils): ANY 
comment from them (even "strong denoumciation" of any 
link) will only put more fuel in the matter. "It's
not me" has a poor record even in kindergaten.
That's why an underlying common desire that this case
be forgotten and Fabrikant been indeed seen as a mad
lunatic. Perhaps, some will find similarities with
J.F.Kennedy case when (eventually) Lee Oswald was
presented as a sole random criminal, and we probaly
never know for sure was it a plot or not.

But to a great credit of Harry Arthur, he (and 
his co-auothors) did not downplay the matter as it
just was settling of some personal accounts. Perhaps,
somebody should take the trouble to develop this whole
story to a book (no, I am not volonteer).  

If Fabrikant (rather than O.J.Simpson) was the trial
of the century, probably we could get some fringe
benefits in healthining the univeristy research
ethos. Too bad that the chance was missed.   

> Furthermore, Harry Arthurs expressed surprise 
> that 1) researchers were not shocked by the truth
> of the allegations

Don't get surprised. The whole spirit of the present 
dog-eats-dog ferocios competition for survival in
science, makes no room to the word "truth", no matter
in what context it is taken. Until SCIENTISTS THEMSELVES
decide to do something tangible about stopping destroying
each other (and ideas) by the cannibalism of anonymous
peer review system (THEIR invention, not politicians),
nothing will change, except to the worse.    

> and 2) points out that the Dean (in her letter appended 
> to the report) confesses that the
> internal problem-solving mechanisms were not able to deal with
> the problem. Arthurs also articulated the position that the 
> claims made by Fabrikant, in addition to being substantive,
> were unlikely to be unique to Concordia. 
> He was of the opinion (and I fully concur on this point) 
> that the problems they uncovered were probably common to 
> all the science and enigineering faculty at most if not all
> universities.

Yes, but like shoplifting, most of it goes unnoticed.

Alex Berezin

>  Alex Taylor
>  ataylor at> 

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