Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Massive Data Fraud in Chemistry

I have been sent a link on the Bengü Sezen case at Columbia University. Sezen is a chemist who was accused of massive data fraud, her case was under investigation by the Office of Research Integrity, a national organization dealing with scientific misconduct in the USA. At least 6 papers in which she was involved have had to be retracted, and Columbia University is moving to revoke her Ph.D. Interestingly, Chemical & Engineering News reports:
After leaving Columbia, Sezen went on to receive another Ph.D. in molecular biology at Germany’s Heidelberg University.
I have, however, been unable to locate any reference in the German National Library of a dissertation accepted at Heidelberg by someone of this name, and all doctorates granted in Germany must be listed here. The blog linked to above has collected many interesting links on the topic.

Update: A correspondent writes:
According to this list
Sezen graduated on 18 August 2009, which also corresponds to this calendar
entry for her doctoral exam.


  1. I tried for 9 months to reproduce parts of data introduced by a research group at Vanderbilt of no avail and they have never retracted their paper.

  2. I sent an e-mail to Dr. Elmar Schiebel (on Sep 10, 2012), Dr. Sezen's Ph.D adviser in Heidelberg, to ask whether he knows anything about the dissertation, and I got no response (as of Sep 17, 2012).