A 2011 book by Lewis Wolpert, one of the world’s leading developmental biologists, has been pulled from shelves for plagiarism.
…has been found…to contain more than 20 passages that have been taken directly from academic papers, websites and Wikipedia with no indication that they were penned by any author other than Wolpert himself. The book has now been withdrawn from sale.
The newspaper notes that this was not Wolpert’s first plagiarism offense:
Wolpert has faced a previous claim of lifting paragraphs from other people’s work. An investigation last April into a review copy of his forthcoming book Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man? also found passages taken from uncredited sources, leading to publication being suspended shortly before its release date. The book was rescheduled for release in May this year.
Wolpert’s publisher, Faber and Faber, sent The Guardian this statement:
I acknowledge that I have been guilty of including some unattributed material in my last book to be published, You’re Looking Very Well (2011) and in the initial version of my yet unpublished book Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man?. This lack of attribution was totally inadvertent and due to carelessness on my part. It in no way reflects on my publishers, Faber and Faber, and I take full responsibility. When downloading material from the internet as part of my research, and coming back to it after a gap of maybe weeks or sometimes months, I simply did not recall that I had not written these passages myself. It is my sincere hope that no damage was done to any individual by the inclusion of any of these passages.
“I am grateful to the journalist who drew these lapses to my attention, and would like to stress that I would never ever knowingly claim someone else’s material as my own.
Of note: In a 2011 review of the book in The Guardian, Will Self wrote:
there is something rather rushed about all this – almost as if he wanted his book to stay fit and active, the better to aspire to posterity…
Hat tip: Jules Montague