Respectul pentru adevar: Grigore Pop-Eleches, Alin Fumurescu si Maria Bucur despre plagiatul lui Ponta

Oricat ar incerca mega-plagiatorul Victor Ponta sa musamalizeze afacerea furtului intelectual pe care l-a comis in teza sa de doctorat, sansele de reusita sunt practic nule. Sigur, poate mari componenta variilor comisii si comitete din subordinea sa pana la sute ori chiar mii de membri, ramane faptul de o claritate absoluta: omul este un plagiator care nu are curajul de a-si recunoaste infractiunea. Nu discut aici nici functia sa pe linie de stat, nici pe acea din fruntea unui partid care se vrea campion al echitatii. Tema este integritatea morala si respectul pentru valorile academice. Mai presus de orice, respectul pentru adevar. In tara unde-i plagiatu-n floare, democratia e in primejdie.

O stire interesanta:

Sub inaltul patronaj al Primului Ministru, Dl. Victor Ponta, se va desfasura la Bucuresti, in perioada 25 – 28 septembrie 2012, cea de-a treia editie a conferintei “Diaspora in Cercetarea Stiintifica si Invatamantul Superior din Romania”. Organizat sub sloganul “Seminte de Viitor – Seeds for the Future”, evenimentul isi propune sa creeze un spatiu al dialogului si al colaborarii intre cercetatori romani, indiferent de locul unde traiesc si lucreaza, continuand seria intalnirilor comunitatii stiintifice romanesti din tara si strainatate inceputa in anul 2008.

No comment, indeed. Mi-am amintit titlul unui roman de Malraux, Le Temps du mepris.

Pe excelentul site au aparut analizele semnate de profesorii:

Grigore Pop-Eleches (Princeton)

The thesis contains extensive materials copied word-for-word from publications by other authors […] the incorporation in this manuscript of several dozen pages worth of uncited materials lifted word-for-word would qualify as a particularly egregious case of plagiarism. […] plagiarism on this scale would lead to expulsion from the program or […] to a revocation of the degree. For faculty, the expectation would be that a person found guilty of this type of plagiarism would resign from their position.

Alin Fumurescu (Tulane)

[The thesis] it does not comply with any ethical norms, by any stretch of imagination. […] All Honor Codes that I am familiar with in the United States have zero tolerance for this practice […] Any university is ‘worth’ only as much as the general public thinks it is, and a case of obvious plagiarism left unpunished would damage the reputation on the institution irreversibly. What I found worrisome in the particular case of Victor Ponta is the message sent out: political might makes academic right. No educational system can survive on such premises.

Maria Bucur (Indiana)

The thesis can be categorized indubitably as academic misconduct. At Indiana University, where I have been teaching since 1996, presenting the “cut and paste” compilation of unattributed descriptions, analysis, and syntheses to the extent that they are present in the PhD thesis under discussion would result in dismissal of that PhD candidate from the University for academic misconduct. […] In an academic environment, a faculty member would be brought up for academic misconduct, and depending on the magnitude of the level of plagiarism, could be fired or denied tenure.

Pentru textele complete:

Pozitia mea, exprimata clar pe acest portal, este stiuta. O reiterez aici ca opinie asumata, fara rezerve si fara ambiguitati:

Prime Minister Victor Ponta refuses to acknowledge the obvious: in his PhD dissertation (defended in 2003 under the guidance of the then Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, in whose cabinet he held important positions) he plagiarized extensively from other sources. He engaged in the same fraud in other publications. To add insult to injury, PM Ponta declared that the quotation rules universally accepted did not apply in Romania in 2003.

I could compare Mr Ponta’s dissertation to the sources he “borrowed” from without quotation marks and references (either footnotes or endnotes). We speak of long identical passages, in fact tens of pages. One does not need to be an expert in the field of international law (the topic of the thesis) in order to notice this shocking identity.

These are incotrovertible facts and, under normal circumstances, such facts should be recognized and sanctioned accordingly. PM Ponta, however, decided to ignore the verdicts of two independent bodies, including the Ethics Commission of the University of Bucharest, his alma mater where he defended his dissertation. He has been using his political power in order to stifle the accurate and inevitable assessment of his indisputable plagiarism. This is not only a case of prevarication, but also an attack on academic freedom.

Using political leverage, via a proxy, an ad interim minister of education, he changed the composition of the National Council for Ethics belonging to the Ministery of Education. The current minister, Dr Ecaterina Andronescu, as well as her interim predecessor, is a member of PM Ponta’s party (the Social Democrats) and an outspoken supporter of Mr Ponta. Unsurprisingly, this body came to the predictable conclusion that Mr Ponta’s dissertation did not contain plagiarism. Truth was subordinated, in this case, to political expediency.

We deal with a blatant case of politicization of an academic issue in favor of a political personality who refuses to take into account the abundant proofs of his misdemeanour.

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