Chapter 10
2002: Bell Laboratories
Scientific Fraud
The New York Times Abstract:
Investigation committee finds series of extraordinary advances in physics
claimed by scientists at Bell Labs relied on fraudulent data; findings dismiss as
fiction results from 17 papers that were promoted as major breakthrough in
physics, including claims that Bell Labs had created molecular-scale transis-
tors; committee concludes that data in disputed research, published between
1998 and 2001, was improperly manipulated, even fabricated; this confirms
suspicions raised by outside scientists in May; committee places blame for
deceit on Bell Lab scientist Dr J Hendrik Schon; Bell Labs immediately fires
Schon; just last year he was thought to be on fast path to Nobel Prize; panel
finds no other scientists were guilty of misconduct, but scandal has tarnished
surrounding participants, including co-authors who noticed nothing amiss,
scientific journals that quickly published sensational findings, and Lucent
Technologies, Bell Labs’ parent company; case raises questions about core of
scientific process. (Chang, 2002)
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