Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fraud in Physics Shook the Scientific World

  title={Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fraud in Physics Shook the Scientific World},
  author={Eugenie Samuel Reich},
Introduction The Crystals Vision Faking the Data A Slave to Publication A Nice Christmas Present for the Lab How to Disarm Critics Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Airtime Scientists Astray Plastic Fantastic The Fraud Taboo Getting the Word Out A Kind of Confession Where Are They Now? 
Responsible conduct of research: Do we need training in fraud-science?
An extensive overview on recent publications concerning topics of responsible conduct of research is presented, and some suggestions to what the stakeholders could do are given, as well as easy (self)checks against scientifi c misconduct.
Costly collaborations: The impact of scientific fraud on co‐authors' careers
Over the past few years, several major scientific fraud cases have shocked the scientific community. The number of retractions each year has also increased tremendously, especially in the biomedical
In 2011, Diederik Stapel’s fraud was discovered. It turned out that not only did Stapel forge data but also journals failed to notice many obvious errors and encouraged distortions (e.g., not
The Retraction Penalty: Evidence from the Web of Science
It is shown that a single retraction triggers citation losses through an author's prior body of work, and citation losses among prior work disappear when authors self-report the error.
The ethical scientist: An old‐fashioned view
My personal view of ethical behavior as a scientific researcher in an academic environment is presented. I discuss the behavior of a graduate student, a postdoctoral, and a professor. Ethical
Governing Knowledge in the Scientific Community: Exploring the Role of Retractions in Biomedicine
The view that distributed governance systems can be designed to relatively swiftly to uncover false knowledge and to mitigate the costs that false knowledge for future generations of producers is supported.
Bibliometric Evidence for a Hierarchy of the Sciences
A “gradualist” view of scientific knowledge is suggested, suggesting that the Hierarchy of the Sciences provides the best rational framework to understand disciplines' diversity, by sampling nearly 29,000 papers published contemporaneously in 12 disciplines and measuring a set of parameters hypothesised to reflect theoretical and methodological consensus.
RUNNING HEAD: How trustworthy is the scientific literature in I-O psychology? How trustworthy is the scientific literature in I-O psychology?
The trustworthiness of research findings has been questioned in many domains of science. This paper calls for a review of the trustworthiness of the scientific literature in I-O psychology and a
What's the Point of Authors?
In this paper, I want to start to untangle some of the philosophical issues associated with our practices of ascribing authorship for collaborative work, with an eye to formulating better guidelines
Do individual and institutional predictors of misconduct vary by country? Results of a matched-control analysis of problematic image duplications
Comparing articles from authors in the same country found that evidence for individual-level risk factors may be significant in some countries, and null or opposite in others, and that policies to prevent and correct scientific misconduct may need to be tailored to a countries’ or institutions’ specific context.


Crystal Fire: The Birth of the Information Age
On December 16, 1947, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain, physicists at Bell Laboratories, jabbed two electrodes into a sliver of the metalloid geranium. The power flowing from the geranium far
BELL LABS PAPERS QUESTIONED: Similarities in seminal molecular electronics papers raise suspicions
CLAIMS MADE IN A SERIES OF high-profile papers appear to be based on data of questionable validity, say scientists in the U.S. Their suspicions—if proved correct—could set back the field of
Betrayers of the Truth
The timeliness of Betrayers of the Truth is exemplified by the recent exposure of John Darsee's faked experimental data, and the book reads like a detective story as it chronicles the infamous career.
Engines of Creation: the Coming Era of Nanotechnology
The concepts that seeded nanotechnology were first reinvested by Richard Feynman in his famous talk 'There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom' in 1959 in which he quoted "The principles of physics, as
Scientific Fraud: Social Deviance or the Failure of Virtue?
  • C. List
  • Art
    Science, technology & human values
  • 1985
'If a fraudulent scientist does not at least mimic the current standards and techniques of the discipline, then he or she has no hope of success.
Bell Labs: Life in the Crown Jewel
From the Publisher: Bell Labs, the greatest research lab of the twentieth century, has been called America's national treasure and the crown jewel of AT&T and Lucent. To scientists all over the
Fraud and Illusion in the Anti-Newtonian Rear Guard: The Coultaud-Mercier Affair and Bertier's Experiments, 1767-1777
Coultaud, Mercier et Bertier tenterent au XVIII e siecle de s'opposer a la theorie de la gravitation universelle de Newton (I.) En considerant la politique des publications scientifiques en France et
‘A Less Agreeable Matter’: The Disagreeable Case of Newton and Achromatic Refraction
  • Z. Bechler
  • Physics
    The British Journal for the History of Science
  • 1975
There is no evidence to suggest that even as late as January 1672, when Newton was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, anyone (except those unknown few who had in the previous years attended his
Scientific credit and credibility
The verdict returned by an inquiry into scientific misconduct by Bell Labs researchers left many in the community feeling stunned. Where do we go from here?