Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Controversial Italian scientist loses 11 papers from journal he used to edit

with 2 comments

Alberto Carpinteri, via Politecnico di Torino

Alberto Carpinteri, via Politecnico di Torino

Alberto Carpinteri is something of a Renaissance man.

Along with championing a highly controversial form of energy generation called “piezonuclear fission,” which involves crushing rocks, the engineer has argued that the Shroud of Turin really is as old as Jesus, but carbon dating was thrown off by an earthquake.

Not everyone agrees with his ideas: In 2012, more than 1,000 scientists signed a petition asking the Italian National Institute of Metrological Research (or INRIM, of which Carpinteri was director at the time) not to fund piezonuclear fission.

Carpinteri was also editor in chief of the journal Meccanica until 2014, when Luigi Gambarotta took over. Now, Meccanica is retracting 11 of its former EIC’s papers, including the one on the Shroud, and a number on piezonuclear fission, which Wired Italy put on their list of “most famous science hoaxes.” The reason? According to the notice, “the editorial process had been compromised.”

Blogger Sylvie Coyaud, whom Carpinteri accused of defamation and blasphemy over her coverage of the Shroud of Turin paper, caught the retractions first. According to Coyaud, Carpinteri has a history of suing people he doesn’t agree with (including Coyaud herself).

Here’s the notice Springer is running for all 11 papers (make sure to click over to the second page to see them all!):

This article has been withdrawn by the Publisher and the Society in agreement with the Editor-in-Chief due to conflict of interest reasons. In a commitment to scientific integrity we decided to withdraw the article as the editorial process had been compromised.

We’ve reached out to Carpinteri and will update if we hear back.

Here’s a complete list of the papers:

Update 4/23/15 2:50 p.m.: We heard from Meccanica editor Luigi Gambarotta:

with reference to your request I wish to point out that at the date when the 11 retractions of papers by Alberto Carpinteri in Meccanica were decided, the Editor in Chief in charge was Alberto Carpinteri, and the decision was taken by the Publisher and the Society AIMETA in agreement with him.

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Written by Cat Ferguson

April 16th, 2015 at 3:26 pm

Comments
  • SaMat April 17, 2015 at 3:53 am

    I think you misspelled the name of the new editor in chief of the journal Meccanica, it starts with G, not C.

    • Ivan Oransky April 17, 2015 at 6:43 am

      Fixed — thanks.

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