Scientists, do you feel bullied by critics? These chemists do
A new site, Stand Up 2 Science Bullies, launched last week:
http://www.standup2sciencebullies.com is a forum for scientists to share their experience and provide advice pertaining to scientific bullying. We welcome questions and comments from all scientists including students, faculty, and members of industry. We sincerely hope that this forum will serve as an informative resource for scientists who feel that they are being treated unfairly by other scientists.
We have been covertly and cyber bullied by one scientist for nine years. We hope our story will help you in some way overcome your science bully experience.
The “one scientist” is Stefan Franzen, of North Carolina State University (NCSU). Franzen, Retraction Watch readers may recall, has been trying unsuccessfully to correct the scientific record, specifically a Science paper by Eaton and Feldheim that both NCSU and the National Science Foundation’s Office of the Inspector General wanted withdrawn.
Feldheim criticized the N&O’s coverage as sensational, biased and inaccurate. His complaints included an error in the story regarding a patent application that the newspaper is correcting today.
The N&O repeatedly sought comment from Feldheim before publication through voice mail, email, the U.S. mail and a spokesman for the University of Colorado, where he teaches. Feldheim first wrote to the N&O earlier this month; he did not agree to a telephone interview and communicated only via email.
According to a 2013 report to Congress by the inspector general of the National Science Foundation, Feldheim, Eaton and then-graduate student Lina Gugliotti “recklessly falsified their work.”
The short report about the inspector general’s investigation, which awaits final action by the NSF director, did not identify the professors or the work, but described a scenario at a North Carolina university identical to the NCSU case. Eaton has confirmed the case is the subject of the report.
Eaton and Feldheim detail their story on the new site.
So far, the only person to have commented on the site is…Stefan Franzen, who says he
was bullied by Dr. Eaton’s lawyer who wrote to NC State University and asked that my laboratory be stopped from doing research in the area of RNA structure and function.
We contacted Franzen, who confirmed that he had left the comment and sent us this response along with documents to which we link:
For Eaton and Feldheim to accuse anyone of bullying is truly a donkey talking about ears. They use lawyers to threaten anyone they can. They have reported me to the NSF for grant fraud based on trumped up charges that did not last more than one afternoon once the investigation actually began. Dr. Eaton’s and Somalogic’s lawyer wrote to my university and asked to have my research shut down because I published a paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Indeed, I did post that comment on their website and I was gratified that it posted. Dr. Feldheim wrote to Peter Stang and made allegations in an attempt to discredit me.
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