In six weeks, new policies for handling misconduct in Denmark will go into effect, which alter the definition of misconduct and establish clear policies for who handles such allegations.
Starting July 1, research misconduct will be limited to how it’s typically defined elsewhere — fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism (the previous definition included serious breaches of good scientific practices). All such allegations will be investigated by a central body, The Board for the Prevention of Scientific Misconduct — not at the institutions where the allegations are focused, as it has been in the past. Institutions, however, will remain responsible for investigating allegations of so-called Questionable Research Practices (QRPs) — such as only reporting data that support your hypothesis — and must publicize their policies for handling (QRPs).
In a rare development, neuroscientist Milena Penkowa has been sentenced by a Danish court for faking data.
The ruling, from the Copenhagen City Court, resulted from Penkowa’s publication of her 2003 thesis describing experiments that she never carried out. The court “placed weight” on the fact that she didn’t just commit fraud, but “systematically supplied false information” to avoid being caught, according to the court’s notice.
The sentence is nine months of “conditional imprisonment,” according to our translation; The University Post, a newspaper affiliated with the University of Copenhagen, calls it a “nine month suspended sentence with a two years probation.”
Milena Penkowa, the Danish neuroscientist who has had four papers retracted and was found to have committed misconduct, is in the news again, this time for speaking at a museum exhibition by a Scientology-founded group.
was established in 1969 in the United States of the Church of Scientology and psychiatry professor Thomas Szasz, the world’s most famous psychiatry critics, and in 1972 in Sweden, to investigate and expose abuses of human rights in mental health care and to clean up the field of mental healing.
A University of Copenhagen researcher who co-authored papers with Milena Penkowa — once the subject of misconduct and embezzlement inquiries — has been found by the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (acronym UVVU in Danish) to have acted in a “scientifically dishonest” and “grossly negligent” manner.