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German Science Minister Stripped of Her PhD

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the politician-lied-film-at-11 dept.

Education 123

An anonymous reader writes "In a move likely to have major political implications, the University of Düsseldorf has revoked the doctoral degree of Germany's science and education minister, Annette Schavan. The committee investigating allegations of plagiarism came to the conclusion that she 'systematically and deliberately claimed as her own intellectual achievements which she had in fact not produced herself.' Schavan wants to appeal the decision in court and has not resigned from her post so far."

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PhD's in Germany (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42813739)

Having a PhD in germany is a status symbol more than anything. I expect this type of thing to happen more often since plagiarism is the easiest way to achieve this status symbol.

Re:PhD's in Germany (3, Informative)

grumpy_technologist (2610431) | about a year and a half ago | (#42813847)

That's a sweeping and unfair generalization.

Re:PhD's in Germany (5, Funny)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42813953)

Google search for "That's a sweeping and unfair generalization." shows 14 results... Looks like you've got some explaining to do, Mr "I don't use footnotes", or you're about to be stripped of your second post achievement.

Now I'm doing it right, put my post in quotes and google for it and "did not match any documents" is the result.

Re:PhD's in Germany (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814343)

You are missing the crux of the issue: this completely debunks AGW.

Re:PhD's in Germany (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814459)

I get a hit on this [alterslash.org] other website. You have obviously copied vlm's comment word for word, not even bothering to change the username on your post.

Re:PhD's in Germany (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814605)

People will soon find a way to avoid their sentences returning any search results purple monkey dishwasher.

CEASE AND DESIST (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815959)

I have trademarked Purple Monkey DIshwasher (TM)

Re:PhD's in Germany (1)

bitfarmer (219431) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819091)

Hey! The "purple monkey dishwasher" is MY thing!

Bribes-for-PhD's scams reported in Germany. (5, Interesting)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814379)

There are some very interesting articles on the "bribes-for-PhD" scam in Germany: In 2008 Time Magazine reported on an investigation into around 100 cases of bribes for PhDs: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1919339,00.html [time.com] . One blogger claims 500 to 700 PhD's are illegitimately "purchased" each year by aggressive career-climbing German lawyers, managers and politicians. The blogger provides numerous citations: http://ktwop.wordpress.com/tag/guttenberg-fraud/ [wordpress.com] . In 2011, the DW German news outlet called some German PhD's "cut and paste": http://www.dw.de/academic-consultants-target-phd-wannabes/a-14852460-1 [www.dw.de] .

Re: Bribes-for-PhD's scams reported in Germany. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815579)

Had to reread that- I thought at first it was "Brides for PhDs" and wondered how such smart people couldn't get laid... Must be math professors?

Re:Bribes-for-PhD's scams reported in Germany. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42817189)

...and NOVA continues to be correct in assumptions that most scientist, are not.

Re:PhD's in Germany (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814667)

The damn it is!!!!!

Plagarism carries different social stigma's in Germany. It's widespread. It's well know that it's widespread.

Inform yourself.

Re:PhD's in Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814951)

Yes, right along with cutting in line.

Re:PhD's in Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814989)

She failed Germanies acid test - PH DENIED!

Re:PhD's in Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42817833)

Being a close observer of Germany :) (dutch, currently living in Switzerland) I have to confirm that PhD is viewed in Germany (and Austria) more than elsewhere as a status symbol.

Of course there are the true scientists like everywhere else. But there are not many societies where "Herr Doktor" etc. is so "important" for many. We always used to joke about it (in holland).

Re:PhD's in Germany (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42813923)

As opposed to PhDs in other places, like, America!

Re:PhD's in Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815319)

A PhD is a status symbol more than anything else? I agree that there is a status symbol aspect to the thing, but if that's all it were good for all PhDs would be whipping out the title all the damn time. Instead the honorific title of Dr. is typically used in limited formal situations, like the initial correspondence with another researcher in the same general field of study or official correspondence, or I suppose a low ranking employee talking to say the vice president of research or something . Otherwise it's pretty informal and usually first-name basis and has been that way for decades.

Re:PhD's in Germany (2)

Swiper (1336263) | about a year and a half ago | (#42817737)

Not in Germany, Whilst I have colleagues who don't care about being addressed as "Dr", most insist on having their title mentioned at every possible opportunity. Having done my doctorate in the UK, I can assure you that it's an entirely different perception and social climate. The difference does tend to be based on the type of doctorate, the DPhil in Germany is the one you can get by just spouting your mind instead of doing any actual research, and they are the ones who tend to insist on the title.

Re:PhD's in Germany (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814651)

If that's all it was, this wouldn't have major political implications, nor would there be questions about her resigning her post. If something gets you your current job, it's a lot more than a status symbol...

Re:PhD's in Germany (1)

WoOS (28173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815329)

Well, I don't know whether a potential resignation of a (education & research) minister counts a "major political implications" in the first place.

The potential break-up of the CSU-FDP coalition in Bavaria over the (non)-abandoning of university tuition fees, that is something which could have major political consequences.

Re:PhD's in Germany (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814673)

Um, it's the same across the Western world, I'm afraid.

Re:PhD's in Germany (1)

redwagonfive (2834945) | about a year and a half ago | (#42817037)

I take this is a comment from someone without a doctorate from the US. I know nothing about other nations' practices, but in the US you would have been tossed out for plagiarism. Legacy kids are getting bounced from Harvard undergrad for cheating. Yes, professors can be oblivious and there are high profile cases. In the sciences your dissertation also requires publications in the process. This would require that no one notice plagiarism in peer review.

I'm sure she deserved her doctorate (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42818207)

I'm sure she deserved her doctorate as much as Dr Ian Paisley deserved his.

someone had to say it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42813811)

"Annette Schavan stripped"

do NOT want!

Re:someone had to say it (4, Funny)

Moses48 (1849872) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814261)

I read this "for her PhD" instead of "of her PhD". I was really confused how that works.

Re:someone had to say it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814425)

Maybe she was awarded a PHD instead of a PhD?

Re:someone had to say it (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816151)

well, that would be one way to raise money for university.

Re:someone had to say it (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815239)

My first thought was that PhD was an abbreviation for something naughty and/or sexy in German. I must say, I was disappointed to learn that it isn't.

Re:someone had to say it (3, Informative)

antek9 (305362) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816299)

Oh my, that depends entirely on context. Dunno if it will make you happy, but do a search on 'Doktorspiele'.

Re:someone had to say it (1)

redwagonfive (2834945) | about a year and a half ago | (#42817083)

Someone had to say it because it is a female politician so we have to make it about sex. Oh I hope you are less of a twit when you are no longer a virgin.

Oh, the irony!! (5, Funny)

MightyMait (787428) | about a year and a half ago | (#42813821)

"A university committee yesterday evening confirmed accusations, first aired last May, of plagiarism in Schavan’s ethical-philosophical dissertation entitled ‘People and conscience — studies on the conditions, necessity and requirements for formation of conscience today’."

Naturally!!

Re:Oh, the irony!! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42813917)

Actually the irony gets even better.: A year ago she publicly humiliated another politician because of his shoddy "copy & paste" PhD. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-press-review-of-the-annette-schavan-plagiarism-scandal-a-881783.html [spiegel.de]

Re:Oh, the irony!! (2)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814817)

Yeah, she was ragging on his copy/paste skills, not the fact that he copied and pasted his PhD. Let's face it, she's apparently an expert in copy/paste PhD work.

Re:Oh, the irony!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815889)

Was it a paper on psychological projection?

Re:Oh, the irony!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814085)

"A university committee yesterday evening confirmed accusations, first aired last May, of plagiarism in Schavan’s ethical-philosophical dissertation entitled ‘People and conscience — studies on the conditions, necessity and requirements for formation of conscience today’."

Naturally!!

To her credit, she followed the ethical principles outlined in the disseration, to the letter.

She was stripped? (1)

tekrat (242117) | about a year and a half ago | (#42813827)

Pics or it didn't happen... Ohh la la.
Come on, I can't be the first one to think of this joke....

Re:She was stripped? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#42813849)

Pics or it didn't happen... Ohh la la.

Seriously? Have you seen the woman?

Into "Granny Porn", are you?

Re: Have you seen the woman? (1)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42813893)

Not in the biblical sense.

Re:She was stripped? (1)

RatherBeAnonymous (1812866) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814071)

But you have to admit, they really know what they're doing.

Re:She was stripped? (3, Funny)

tekrat (242117) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814303)

Just found out what she looks like..... Never mind. Can we strip the German Chick from Top Gear instead? Sabine Schmitt?

Re:She was stripped? (2)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814933)

Can we strip the German Chick from Top Gear instead? Sabine Schmitt?

Yes please. Sabine Schmitz. My moter always warned me about fast women.

Re:She was stripped? (1)

DerPflanz (525793) | about a year and a half ago | (#42817991)

My moter always warned me about fast women.

Nice, in-context typo.

Re:She was stripped? (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814687)

You're definitly not german. That happend often enough (3 times during the last 2 years IIRC) to politicans that a PhD is the first thing I think of that can be stripped....

Sad, I know.

Re:She was stripped? (3, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815589)

Would you even think to make that joke if Schavan was a man? Food for thought.

Re:She was stripped? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42817881)

Would you even think to make that joke if Schavan was a man? Food for thought.

Have you got something against gays? Food for thought.

Re:She was stripped? (1)

macraig (621737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42817941)

It's the same food I just baked up! I'm glad you liked it enough to jot down the recipe and hack it.

Re:She was stripped? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819047)

Interesting comment.

It's certainly a guy thing. Is it sexist?

Well, I know a guy, a computer scientist. Since he's gay, in an entertaining turnaround from the usual, he comments on other male computer scientists hotness, but completely ignores such things for female ones.

Re:She was stripped? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816273)

put your dick back in your pants. this is the internet, not the locker room at school.

She'll have to wait (4, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about a year and a half ago | (#42813855)

Until she can copy off someone else's letter of appeal.

Re:She'll have to wait (4, Funny)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814475)

Until she can copy off someone else's letter of appeal.

No problem, shes studying for her law degree right now.
Started yesterday, should be done tomorrow.

Re:She'll have to wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815053)

Or until she can blame it on the patriarchy and get all the sisters running to her defense.

Re:She'll have to wait (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42818423)

She's a member of a christian-conservative party, so no, she wouldn't blame it on patriarchy and ask the sisters for help.
Nice insight in your ideas about women's rights tough.

Re:She'll have to wait (1)

James Sinton (2834811) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816285)

The courts prefer plagiarism as precedence.

Smear campaign or missing job qualification? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42813957)

Gotta love a good smear campaign.Whether she's doing a good job has relatively little to do with any titles she might now not hold any more.

Independently of the smear campaign, I might not be convinced she's doing a very good job.

Re:Smear campaign or missing job qualification? (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814041)

It is now a smear campaign to point out someone is a cheater and a liar?

She has had many years to admit this. She chose not to.

Re:Smear campaign or missing job qualification? (0)

lgw (121541) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816305)

So you assume she's guilty on the basis that she was accused? Sounds like an effective smear campaign!

Re:Smear campaign or missing job qualification? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42817279)

What accused? She's already been found guilty. The summary alone specifically says her PhD has been revoked.

Re:Smear campaign or missing job qualification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42818527)

No, I assume she was guilty on the basis that the university revoked her PhD. They don't do that shit for fun.

Re:Smear campaign or missing job qualification? (4, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814097)

When the University officially strips you of your degree, it's moved from "smear campaign" to "substantiated charges".

Re:Smear campaign or missing job qualification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814829)

I was just today made aware of the fact that the way the University ndled this case is dubious and has drawn criticism from other leading scientists .because of missing rigour. I will have to look into this some more, but I expect that this decision will land in court and might be overturned.

Re:Smear campaign or missing job qualification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42818541)

no.

Re:Smear campaign or missing job qualification? (3, Informative)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819057)

Yes, people from her party claimed that the University didn't handle the case properly.
Just as people from opposing parties said the opposite.

This is just the usual politics.

The decision to strip her of her title was made by a commission with 15 or 16 members, with 2 opposing and 1 abstention.

So far, the German courts always upheld such decisions from Universities.

Mrs. Schavan has the right to appeal the decision. Doesn't mean she will get the result she's looking for.

Re:Smear campaign or missing job qualification? (1)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819041)

Whether she's doing a good job has relatively little to do with any titles she might now not hold any more.

Generally speaking, you're right.

But there are a few more details to take into account:
- She is the secretary of education. If she does/did not conform to the standards, how can one expect the current students and faculty to do so?
- She criticized a former colleague when he lost his PhD under similar circumstances.
- Like him she would not lose the job as a secretary for loosing the PhD, but due to lying during the whole affair instead of admitting guilt.

All of this, obviously, only if the appeals court comes to the conclusion that she was rightfully stripped of her PhD. Which is very likely, as so far German courts always (?) upheld such decisions from Universities.

Did she copy Lobachevsky? (4, Funny)

eddy_crim (216272) | about a year and a half ago | (#42813977)

No one wil ever say it better! [youtube.com]
The great Tom Lehrer

Re:Did she copy Lobachevsky? (2)

slew (2918) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814639)

Maybe...

She went to university in Bonn
Whose sister city is ....Minsk!

(of course Tom Leher copied from Danny Kaye's Stanislavsky sketch from the Jack Benny show, but he gave him credit)

Should have done better (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814003)

Romania's prime minister, Victor Ponta, was also accused of blatant plagiarism and it was all over the TV. His paper was nothing more than copy-pastes. So what happened? Well, there was this committee that was investigating these things and they were supposed to give their opinion on whether it was plagiarism or it wasn't. Two hours - TWO HOURS - before they were to give their response, the committee was officially dismantled. That didn't stop them from saying that it was plagiarism of the worst kind, but their response had no legal value. Welcome to Romania.

What a coincidence and what good luck the prime minister had... /s

"has not resigned from her post so far." (1)

znrt (2424692) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814165)

why whould she? a phd is of no use for a science minister, but the skill of fabricating merits is very much. all good, keep moving.

Re:"has not resigned from her post so far." (2)

Meeni (1815694) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814259)

Society doesn't value lying, cheating and deceptive practices for political carriers. At least not openly. Be careful of what you want. It's not because it's all commonplace behind the scene, that you want it to become the new normal, as it will just make it another grade worse.

Re:"has not resigned from her post so far." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814329)

Society doesn't value lying, cheating and deceptive practices for political carriers

AHAHAHA thanks you've brightened my day.

Re:"has not resigned from her post so far." (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814579)

It was a meta joke where OP was lying about the public not liking being lied to, to make the humorous point that the public likes it.
I LOLed at both the post and your response that missed the point, but it would have been much funnier if OP merely cut and pasted some historian or philosopher writing about the same subject, seeing as that was the whole point of the story.
Something like "It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles." other than Machiavelli probably could never have predicted he'd be quoted WRT a chick (formerly) with a PHD.

Churchills "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." would be a hilarious companion to the verbiage about "stripping" this woman.

Now back to work, all of us, as Stevenson said "On the plains of hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who at the dawn of victory lay down to rest, and in resting died. "

Re:"has not resigned from her post so far." (1)

Bigby (659157) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814907)

Well, at least she doesn't have a PhD anymore, so better take the jobs you can get. If that means keeping the current one, then all the better.

She wouldn't be the first (3, Insightful)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814257)

Defense Minister Guttenberg resigned from his post for the exact same reason a while back. Getting a PhD in Germany is a hardship and I can well imagine that some people would like to "cut some corners" to reach their goal.

Re:She wouldn't be the first (4, Informative)

WoOS (28173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815241)

Mr. Guttenberg resigned because his whole Ph.D. - done outside the university while he was already a politician - was a lousy Copy&Paste job including copying papers done by the research arm of the parliament for him. Especially also in places where he claimed original thought.

Mrs. Schavan did the Ph.D. at the university before she started her career and seemingly ca. 15 years before she went into heavy politics. As far as I understand her Ph.D. was revoked because of incorrect citations (i.e. she named sources but not marked text as direct citation) in her literature section.

The only commonality is that both lost their Ph.D..

Re:She wouldn't be the first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815389)

Read. The. Fucking. Article.

She copied and pasted entire chunks... not just incorrect citations.

Re:She wouldn't be the first (1)

Swiper (1336263) | about a year and a half ago | (#42817761)

Yep, Gutenberg based his political career on his doctorate, that was the sole reason for his Ph.D. Schavan on the other hand is already an established politician, and, whislt the entire circumstances surrounding her doctorate are a bit...strange (no previous degree), it was not the basis of her career.

Re:She wouldn't be the first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815335)

Defense Minister Guttenberg resigned from his post for the exact same reason a while back. Getting a PhD in Germany is a hardship and I can well imagine that some people would like to "cut some corners" to reach their goal.

It might be hard, but they could have taken the legal short cut that most hacks use: Getting their Ph.D. in America. As long as you avoid ivy league schools, American Ph.D's are practically pulled from a vending machine relative to European ones.

Meanwhile in the US (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814339)

current Committee on Science, Space and Technology member Paul Broun...

" embryology, evolution, and the Big Bang are "lies straight from the Pit of Hell ... lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior."

former Committee on Science, Space and Technology member Todd Akin...

"If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. "
on Evolution - "I don’t see it as even as a matter of science, because I don’t know if you can prove one or the other."

-------
I'd love to see that kind of zeal put on the backgrounds of US politicians.

But was her PhD in a science-related field? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814391)

I'm not sure that studying the development of a conscience is necessarily science (beyond the fact that science is contained in the word itself).

Makes me think of an old Tom Lehrer song... (1)

RevSpaminator (1419557) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814491)

'Plagiarize, Let no one else's work evade your eyes, Remember why the good Lord made your eyes, So don't shade your eyes, But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize... Only be sure always to call it please "research".'

too smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814701)

maybe she had written a book of college papers and someone else posted one of them as his

"Dr" Martin Luther King (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814737)

Big time plagiarist.

should censure U of Dusseldorf too (2)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814895)

How does a university not know a dissertation is full of plagiarism? Only by wearing blinders!

Dissertations are supposed to be carefully checked by at least 3 professors. Her major professor and committee was at best rubber stamping her work without bothering to check anything. Or they were so incompetent or lazy that none were aware of whole areas of work in their field? How else to explain a failure to recognize plagiarism? And how could they not notice that a student's ability and knowledge had wide gaps? Shop talk should have exposed her as a fraud long before she got anywhere near graduation. Also, she may have a history of cheating, unless she earned a B.S. and M.S. honestly, and only resorted to cheating for the PhD? I suppose that could happen-- someone who had an easy time in school and never experienced failure might be tempted when facing it for the first time.

So how could this happen? They were deliberately overlooking serious problems because it suited them in some way. If it wasn't outright bribes and implied threats, as in, her family was a large donor who might not wish to donate any more if she didn't receive the degree, it could be that the department or school was too eager to boost their numbers.

This kind of crap is a black mark for everyone who legitimately earned a PhD.

Re:should censure U of Dusseldorf too (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815093)

Get real. Computers make detection of plagiarism so much easier and combined with the internet and digitisation of so many literary works pretty much guaranteed. Of course it makes creating truly original equally difficult and the likelihood of similar works which were not glimpsed let alone researched much more likely but of course if you want to earn your doctorate you should be forced to add something new and original to the field, really that is the whole point.

Re:should censure U of Dusseldorf too (3, Informative)

WoOS (28173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815495)

How does a university not know a dissertation is full of plagiarism? [...] So how could this happen?

A) The Ph.D. thesis in question was submitted 1980. Long before computer checks and internet groups gathering to check Ph.D.s.
B) It was not "full of plagiarism". You might want to fetch (non-marked) copy from the net and find the sentences in question before you accuse others of intent.

Re:should censure U of Dusseldorf too (2)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about a year and a half ago | (#42817557)

I don't read German, so unless there's an English translation, I'll have to pass on reading a copy. Are you speaking from knowledge or have you not read it either?

I'm not doing the accusing. Schavan herself admitted "careless mistakes". She's not denying that the dissertation has problems! She's only trying to wiggle out of characterizing those "mistakes" as plagiarism. Most damning is that the university agreed that what she did is indeed plagiarism. Revoking a degree, and not just any degree but the PhD of an important official, is such an unusual and damaging move-- no university wants to admit they messed up and take a reputation hit-- that I'm satisfied they wouldn't do it unless they were certain. Likely the only question they were really debating when voting on the matter is whether it would be less trouble to just ignore the whole thing and let her keep her undeserved degree. But it's not just her-- academia has to constantly watch for and take action against cheating, or they lose their reputation. Undoubtedly some didn't want to do anything, but they felt they had to act on this matter. Since it was done in 1980 as you pointed out, it's likely her entire committee is retired or dead, so the university will not have to confront them which makes it easier to act. There's not as much to do.

One of the scarier things about working on a dissertation is being warned to keep it quiet until the degree has been granted, because if you don't, it's virtually certain it will be stolen. They may patent it, or they may use it as their own dissertation and either get a degree from a diploma mill, or more likely use it to fool a real university. Yes, cheating is that rife. Her lawsuit sounds more like a desperation move to drag things out or bully or tire the opposition into giving up, rather than a serious attempt to exonerate herself by raising good points. Lance Armstrong is only coming clean because he has no plausible denials left. Texas A&M didn't screw up or lie about George Deutsch having a degree in journalism, he took it upon himself to do that. Hwang Woo-suk got away with misconduct for a while because he was a trusted insider.

If her dissertation isn't "full of" plagiarism, the most important part, the new findings, was not her own work. If that wasn't so, it would be easy to fix. Just add a few more citations. Instead, it was plagiarized, and the plagiarism irreparably compromises the integrity of the work. She is a plagiarist.

Re:should censure U of Dusseldorf too (1)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819119)

Her lawsuit sounds more like a desperation move to drag things out or bully or tire the opposition into giving up, rather than a serious attempt to exonerate herself by raising good points.

That won't happen.

This year we have federal elections here in Germany and the opposition will not let this chance to weaken the ruling coalition go to waste.
Especially since their own candidate for the position of chancellor it doing his best to sink his own candidacy.

Re:should censure U of Dusseldorf too (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about a year and a half ago | (#42818649)

She has got neither B.S. nor M.S, going straight for the PhD after her high school diploma.

A. seems pretty inapplicable 4 a Science Minister (1)

gatesstillborg (2633899) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814949)

and B. the profound irony re. matters of ethics/"conscience"!

Schavan’s ethical-philosophical dissertation entitled ‘People and conscience — studies on the conditions, necessity and requirements for formation of conscience today’.

You mean a politician is a cheater and liar? (1)

ark1 (873448) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815333)

Looks to me like she is now better than ever qualified for the job.

Re:You mean a politician is a cheater and liar? (1)

Leon Brooks (2835201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42818075)

Perhaps she wishes to switch to a religious career?

As an Atheist or Mithraist (Roman) she would probably do fine... she probably hasn't accumulated enough chutzpah to make a passable imam khatib?

mean ol dusseldorf (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816307)

gryffendor and slytherin must be worried

Oh and I have a PhD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816331)

"so what do you do?"
"I write erotic novels....for children"
"oh god!"
"I know, they're WILDLY unpopular"
"I also have a PhD"
"oh you do?"
"Yep, a pretty huge dick!"

Uh Oh ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816905)

The Bismarck has taken a round at mid-ships exploding the weapons magazines.

Listing to Port her deck is awash.

No saving her nor German Science.

Some punk grabbed her camera? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42817013)

Too bad, hope it didn't cost her more than a couple hundred bucks. Although it's been awhile since I've heard them called PhD's.

but women do not cheat ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42817567)

but women do not cheat ! they are all ethical !

this is misogynists stymieing good women on top !

Re:but women do not cheat ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42818725)

but women do not cheat ! they are all ethical !

this is misogynists stymieing good women on top !

But she's a German first and a woman second

Intentional Irony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42817763)

Post about plagiarism by "anonymous" starts with an attributed, word-for-word copy of the lead sentence in the Nature story?

Non-news for Germans (1)

maweki (999634) | about a year and a half ago | (#42818189)

Since this is now the 7th member of the ruling coalition that has been stripped of his or her title (beginning with defence minister Von Guttenberg), something like that seems like non-news to Germans like me.

Re:Non-news for Germans (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about a year and a half ago | (#42818707)

Still, it is a new low: a Science Minister lost her PhD. She has also been very vocal in criticizing von Gutenberg for doing basically the same. On top of that she has no university degree at all now which is funny for a Science Minister.

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