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Misconduct verdict for fusion researcher upheld

发布时间:2018-01-01 03:01:08来源:未知点击:

By Hazel Muir Nuclear engineer Rusi Taleyarkhan, who claimed to have achieved nuclear fusion by popping bubbles in a solvent, has been formally reprimanded for research misconduct by Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He will no longer have a named professorship at the university and will not fully supervise graduate students for three years. The announcement follows an unsuccessful appeal by Taleyarkhan against two counts of research misconduct. In 2002, while at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, Taleyarkhan claimed that his team triggered nuclear fusion by bombarding a cool solvent with neutrons and sound waves. But experiments by other scientists failed to replicate the result. In July this year, an investigation by a Purdue committee found Taleyarkhan guilty of two counts of misconduct. He added a student’s name to papers to invoke a witness to the experiments, and stated falsely that his results had been independently confirmed. Taleyarkhan appealed against these allegations. But on Wednesday, a Purdue committee unanimously rejected his appeal. Purdue provost Randy Woodson decided that Taleyarkhan can remain a member of the university’s faculty. But in a letter, Woodson told Taleyarkhan that he agreed with the investigative committee that the impact of his misconduct on students and postdocs is “especially deplorable”. “Mentors of young scientists need to exhibit the highest standard of ethical behaviour and collegiality,” he added. Taleyarkhan’s conduct will be reviewed three years from now to determine whether his former status can be restored. More on these topics: