7 Answers

  1. We had Lysenko ,the “people's academician”. The career turned out to be mind-blowing. Experts, of course, knew its value, but they had to remain silent. They published books and magazines, and published articles with recommendations on agriculture. In short, life was a success, although after Stalin's death, his career went into decline

  2. The question here is who should believe that a fake scientist is a real one. If they are non-specialists, just a wide audience, then you can simply show a person on TV and someone will quite believe that this is a scientist and will not bother to look for objective information about him. Unfortunately, ordinary people do not have access to Sciencedirect and Web of Science.

    And if we are talking about the scientific community, then it is quite good at identifying charlatans in its field. Every ordinary normal scientific publication is a lot of work, evidence, and different methods of confirming that this is true. Reviewers are very boring and bureaucratic in their assessment of all this, this does not make falsifications impossible, but it is easier to actually make experiments than to create an appearance. Even if you managed to get a fake article into the magazine, it doesn't mean that it will be quoted. If other scientists are interested and start repeating what is described in the article, and they do not succeed, this will not bring the scientist fame and citation growth.

    In general, of course, all this scientometry is imperfect. A mediocre (but still real) scientist can take up some kind of pop direction, do not so cool, but correctly described and designed work and get promoted on it. A good scientist with potentially cool ideas may not be sufficiently systematic and focused on advertising himself, rarely write articles and publish them in low-cited journals, there are a lot of them in Russia, but people just learned to work at a different time and in different conditions. But really famous scientists usually do something important enough that it works and can develop.

  3. I heard a really cool story about a Dutch anthropologist named Mart Bax. This dude made up half of his books and articles, as well as half of his CV, in short, simply making up a list of his publications. During his long career, it never occurred to his employers to check the list of 161 publications, half of which did not exist at all, and half of which were fictional stories.

    Back in the 70s, he defended a PhD dissertation (cum laude!), in which he exposed corrupt ties and the moral decline of the inhabitants of the Irish town, which he called Patrixville (!).

    In the 1990s, he was doing research in Bosnia when war broke out there. Our scientist was not at a loss and came up with a story about the genocide on the basis of a clan war in a Bosnian village and wrote a book about it and a number of scientific publications. Then he returned to Holland and conducted “research” in a monastery in North Brabant, but after the publication of the materials and after a journalist began to study the work of March, the existence of this monastery could not be confirmed. I can imagine what interesting things he wrote there!

    In general, after the journalist published his revealing article, the University launched an investigation of its professor, and the commission confirmed that his research and list of publications had almost nothing to do with reality. By then, he had already been retired for 10 years and was enjoying the fruits of his academic career. He did not respond to the commission's report. Vrij University, where he worked and published all his life, did not bring any legal claims against him, because, as they said, he was already old.

    It's great to be a Dutch anthropologist!

  4. Yes, what to go far-please, a sad story from two years ago. A man named Mikhail Kazanovich (probably suffering from a slow-moving mental disorder) for several years misled a huge number of people about his brilliant scientific career as a physicist. He lied to his friends and family, and since his wife was a journalist, he lied to readers of the press, radio listeners, and students of all sorts of summer schools. In general, the widest audience. I've been a media pundit for a long time, and I've managed to celebrate my doctorate, which never existed, with great fanfare…
    In the case of scientists and their regalia, fact-checking is the simplest thing. But for years, no one thought it necessary to do it. Although suspicions periodically arose – someone will be confused by his non-Google scientific works, then-confusion in education and place of work.�

    In general, the person actually turned out to be the owner of an incomplete higher education and, apparently, a serious psychiatric illness.�
    Kazanovich, his parents and some friends timidly denied his wife's accusations, but his situation did not get any better. The great scientist himself pointed out, for example, that “what OA wrote about my professional reputation is true at best by 50%.”�

    Interestingly, a year after the breakdown of the covers, Mikhail Kazanovich (this time as a “teacher”) managed to light up on a TV channel near Moscow.�

  5. There is an interesting story from the world of archaeology. “Famous” Japanese archaeologist Shinichi Fujimura, who for many years forged various archaeological finds and thereby built his scientific career. The scientific articles were, of course, real, but the underlying facts were pure fiction.

    Shinichi participated in a total of 180 archaeological excavations in northern Japan and almost always found artifacts that were getting older. At first, it was about 40 thousand years old. Apparently, the thirst for a grand discovery was so high that the archaeologist estimated his last find at 570 thousand years!

    To understand – this is long before the Nomo sapiens left Africa and spread across the continents. Japanese archaeology has been revised. Most archaeologists questioned Fujimura's work, and his discoveries were even recorded in history and biology textbooks.

    For all this, he received recognition from the scientific community and the position of director of the Tohoku Paleolithic Institute. I must say that the excavations of the “lucky self-taught” were funded by various funds quite willingly, because they almost always bore fruit.

    In 2000, a month after the most high-profile discovery, a Japanese newspaper published photos of Fujimura digging holes and burying those artifacts that his team then discovered. Later it turned out that the dishes and other finds allegedly unearthed by Fujimura, he did with his own hands.

    The Japanese, of course, repented of what he had done, and the scientific community had to review all the archeology back and rewrite the textbooks again.

    The harder it is to verify the facts, the easier it is to falsify them. However, in science, it is difficult to remain undiscovered for a long time, because the high frequency of “revolutionary breakthroughs” and their grandiosity necessarily attract conscientious scientists who double-check their findings, because a real scientist is interested in how the world works, and not a shaky fame.

  6. Scientists known to whom? It is precisely the articles (which scientists are accustomed to read)that bring fame in scientific circlesand reports at conferences. And the broad masses even very prominent scientists are unknown, and often uninteresting. This is not Irina Allegrova. Here's who won the Nobel Prize last year? Few of those who are not engaged in science will remember, and this, for a moment, is the highest degree of recognition of scientific achievements. If we are talking about those scientists who tell something in a popular format, then yes, it is easy to mislead non-specialists.

    But you can't fake a real scientific career, at least not in natural science disciplines (I don't know about the structure of scientific work in the humanities). In the scientific community, articles are read every day and a lot. What makes you think no one is? It is the height of unprofessionalism in the scientific field not to read articles on their own and related topics. It is not always easy to publish even a good experimental work in a prestigious scientific journal, and it is difficult to invent something publishable even in the “bulletin of wastewater” without being an expert. There are colleagues, students-incompetence, as well as systematic falsification of results, will very quickly come out.

  7. It is impossible to fake a scientific career, because the scientific community is small and all scientists starting from the average level more or less know their colleagues by name. In addition, there is a citation index – if many other scientists refer to your work, then you are a good, suitable scientist and the scientific community knows you well and follows you. If you have 100500 works, but no one refers to you, then you are a slacker and a charlatan, even though you are technically a doctor of science. If you can throw dust in the eyes of an undemanding commercial employer (although the very fact of a researcher's transition to the commercial sector usually raises many questions), then a serious scientific institution conducts a multi-stage competitive selection. An outspoken charlatan will not penetrate such a cordon.

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