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Academic research laundering


 

Outspoken academic Ward Churchill is suing to get his job back. He claims he was let go because of his opinions on 9/11 (you’ll recall he called the WTC victims “little Eichmanns”) while the school says it was for academic misconduct, with offenses that include plagiarism and something that appears to be a form of research laundering. Under cross examination yesterday, Churchill admitted “that he had ghostwritten works for other scholars and occasionally cited them to support his own theories” — something that a faculty committee found clearly violated academic standards.

It gets better. One of the people for whom he ghost-wrote a paper is his ex-wife where he wrote part of her paper, and it was published under her name. Ok, so maybe it isn’t plagiarism, but the problem is that he subsequently cites the paper as an independent source in his own work. Here’s his explanation for why it’s not unethical:

Mr. Churchill said the practice violated no academic standard at the university. And he argued that it was acceptable for one scholar to ghostwrite for another and then cite that work in other writings as long as the second scholar embraced the original premise.

I’m not sure what to make of this — there is no second scholar.


 
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Academic research laundering

  1. Ward Churchill is mentally ill. He grew his hair long and pretended to be a Native American, for Pete’s sake. He’s a fraud and a con man who got away with his little charade at the University of Colorado for years.

    • It goes without saying that “Critical Reasoning” above resorts to personal insults and presents no evidence that Churchill is a fraud, mentally ill, or a pretend Native American. As we can clearly see, “Mr. Critical” is being anything but critical. Resorting to finger pointing and slander is the type of last resort tactics used by the weak.

      In fact, to respond critically to the article above. Churchill’s defense of ghost writing IS a valid endeavor, while it may not be main stream there are many examples of works and scholars who ghost write. More significantly Churchill’s ghost written pieces were not academic pieces and never claimed on his CV. In fact, Rebecca Robin’s continues to endorse Churchill’s ghost written essay by claiming it on her CV. Also she has NEVER filed a complaint against Churchill.

      It should also be noted that the above article is flawed. Churchill did not ghost write “his ex-wife’s” essay, as stated above. He ghost wrote an essay included in a collective book that his ex-wife published.

      The author of the above article should watch out or someone my place them under a microscopic “investigation” into research misconduct.

      • Ward, is that you?

        • Well, if it is him, you at least have the comfort of knowing that somebody else probably wrote that comment.

          • LOL.

  2. This kind of behaviour is more significant than an author using one pseudonym to write a cover-blurb rave for his books under another pseudonym. W. E. Butterworth (WEB Griffin) has done this; when that didn’t boost sales of his Philadelphia cops series, he reissued them under the Griffin pseudonym. Of course, the publishers had to dump the earlier blurb.

    Cyril Burt, a British psychologist, pulled similar stunts, except that he actually made up the data for the studies published under a pseudonym. It created quite a scandal when it came to light after his death. When public policy decisions are based on faked science, everyone suffers. Luckily, we don’t have to worry about the Harper government basing policy of faked science, since they prefer to ignore all science.

  3. “there is no second scholar”

    Yeah, that’s what the Warren Commission said.

  4. “there is no second scholar”

    Seems to me that one could read all of this as evidence that there is no first scholar either.

  5. The most common saying among lawyers is:

    “If the law’s on your side, argue the law.
    If the law’s not on your side, argue the facts.
    It neither the law nor the facts are on your side,
    then attack the character of the other side. Call
    them dirty SOB’s.”

    Looks to me like the blogger with the pseudonym of
    “Critical Reasoning” is FULLY AWARE that neither the
    law nor the facts are on his side, so he went for the
    only trick left.

    • Well, the accusation of mental illness is subjective, to be sure; it’s probably too kind to suggest that Mr. Churchill can’t help it. It is absolutely true, however, that he isn’t native. Look it up: one sixteenth this and one eight that don’t cut it, no nation recognizes him as a member, and he himself can only muster bluster in response. So, a white guy from Illinois passing himself off as an Indian to claim an occupational niche otherwise unavailable to him…I thought your moniker requested “NO-BS”?

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