Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Plagiarism in PhD thesis taints a popular German minister

It all started less than a week ago, when a German newspaper outed a bunch of instances of plagiarism in the PhD thesis of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, a popular minister in the German government; here's a Spiegel Online story from 16 February.

After trying several   evasive   maneuvers, the minister finally retracted his PhD thesis, and gave up his doctoral titlefor good. He has managed to retain his boss' political support -- for now:

Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted on Monday that she is standing by her defence minister, who is seen as something of a rising star in her conservative coalition.

"I appointed Guttenberg as minister of defence," she told reporters. "I did not appoint him as an academic assistant or doctor. What is important to me is his work as minister of defence and he carries out these duties perfectly."