Another interesting case

In this NYTimes story, Kenneth Chang reports on a paper being withdrawn by the leader of the group that did the experiments:

A Columbia University chemistry professor has retracted two papers and part of a third published in a leading journal after experiments performed by a graduate student could not be reproduced.

The senior author of all three papers, which were published in 2004 and 2005 in The Journal of the American Chemical Society, was Prof. Dalibor Sames; the graduate student, listed as an author on each, was Bengu Sezen, who left the university after getting her doctorate last year.

Chang further reports that there is an internal review ordered by Columbia University.

Two days later, Chang catches up with the ex-graduate student who did the experiments, and whose results are under a cloud:

The former student, Bengu Sezen, who finished her doctorate last year and left the university, said in an e-mail message on Thursday that she had not known of any controversy about the papers until a reporter asked her about it.

Dr. Sezen said that before the papers were published, other scientists in the group successfully performed the same experiments, even when she was not in the laboratory.

All of this sounds quite murky, and I guess we will just have to wait for more details to emerge.


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