Posted on behalf of Quirin Schiermeier
The University of Konstanz in Germany was correct to withdraw the doctoral degree of disgraced physicist Jan Hendrik Schön, a court in the state of Baden-Württemberg has ruled.
Schön, who was a staff physicist at Lucent Technologies’ Bell Labs in New Jersey, is notorious for having perpetrated a remarkable string of fabrications in the fields of organic and molecular electronics, several of which were published in Nature and Science between 2000 and 2002.
Last year, Schön had successfully sued his alma mater for its 2004 decision to revoke his 1997 PhD thesis (for which there is no suspicion of data fabrication). But in a 14 September judgement, the court agreed with Konstanz that later misconduct also showed ‘unworthiness’ to hold the doctorate. The court added that the judgement could not be appealed.