Friday, October 01, 2010

Mashelkar likens the Inter-Academy Report on GM Crops to an op-ed!

If an ordinary mortal (OM) -- like you and me -- got caught for writing a book with tons of plagiarized material, and especially if the said OM remembered the shame he felt when he had to issue a public apology -- "This was entirely my fault; ... I am highly embarassed by this ... I sincerely apologise for this lapse" -- he would be extremely leery about wading into the muck surrounding the Inter-Academy Report on GM Crops.

If the OM also recalled the utter ignominy of having to withdraw a shitty report that he wrote (along with members of a committee he chaired) because of -- what else? -- its plagiarized content, he would refrain from saying citations are "trivial" -- especially in a report made to the people of his country on an important issue.

If the OM could not shut the f*** up, he would -- wouldn't he? -- at least muster all his courage and grace to say, "No comments," if a journalist sought his opinion.

But Raghunath Mashelkar is no ordinary mortal.

Here's the proof:

Raghunath Mashelkar, a former president of [the Indian National Science Academy], said that the presence or absence of citations is a "trivial" matter.

"Just as an 'op-ed' in a newspaper does not mention the names of experts the author spoke to while forming his or her view, sometimes committees and academy reports reflect a collective expert opinion and do away with citations," he told SciDev.Net.


  1. Rahul Siddharthan said...

    I saw this two days ago, linked, surprisingly, from INSA's web site. In a way I thank Mashelkar for saying this. It shows the report was not a one-off. The rot is not new, it is deep and these people have only contempt for the rest of us. As Gautam and I wrote in our piece, the current report spends many pages on issues which should be known to schoolchildren, and hardly touches upon the real issues. 'Contempt for readers' hardly begins to describe it, and it is particularly egregious when the intended reader is a well-informed minister who has already raised many questions, and sought and obtained previous reports from international experts.

    If even now our academy presidents are not ashamed of having signed such a report, the rest of us must ask why we need academies at all.

  2. Rahul Basu said...

    It's not just contempt for us. It's the supreme confidence that they can get away with anything. And they do, as history has proved...and will prove, I have no doubt, in this case too.