The Long Fall of Jan Hendrik Schon
Here's a guy who has fallen a long, long way down. Back in 2002 Jan Hendrik Schön was the soft-spoken boy wonder at Bell Labs, thought to be on a fast-track for a Nobel Prize. He had apparently solved the problem of how to construct a transistor out of a single molecule, which is like the holy grail for building a super-powerful nano-computer. But then his career collapsed when it turned out that 16 out of 21 of his published papers contained bogus data
. Remarkably, as investigators studied his articles more carefully, they realized that he had used one particular chart in totally different contexts in a variety of his papers (would it have really killed him to whip up some new fake charts in excel?). Now Schön's alma mater in Germany has stripped him of his doctorate
. Ouch. Talk about kicking a guy when he's down.
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