Academic backstabbing, misconduct, conspiracy and much, much more at Purdue University

The Purdue University School of Nuclear Engineering is the unlikely location for a tangled, sordid tale which I cannot make much sense of.

Professor Rusi Taleyarkhan is either a somewhat naive victim of a nasty conspiracy or he is guilty of academic misconduct and has received his just deserts. But his primary anatgonist was Professor Lefteri Tsoukalas once the head of the School of Nuclear Engineering but who was forced to resign as head by Purdue. Purdue removed Taleyarkhan’s endowed professorship, reduced his salary, and limited his duties with students. There is a murky connection between a journalist Eugenie Reich and Tsoukalas while Reich was promoting her book about scientific misconduct and there was some form of cooperation between them and a number of others to accuse Taleyarkhan.

Once I got this far I gave up.

There is quite obviously a great deal of muck in the Purdue University School of Nuclear Engineering. The University is probably vacillating between support for the warring academics. The role of  the journalist is what adds to the possibility of a nasty conspiracy.

It seems too tawdry to waste much time on though, of course, some careers are being destroyed and someone is – or both are – indulging in defamation.

The New Energy Times has a whole series of articles on the subject. They seem to feel that Talayarkhan has been badly wronged. This article in TwoCircles also takes that position. Tsoukalas puts his position in a letter provided to the New York Times (in 2007).

Oh what a tangled web they weave. It’s all about low-energy, table-top fusion — so it is all probably a hurricane in a thimble. I cannot help observing that cold fusion and claims of misconduct generally seem to go hand-in-hand!

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