Posts Tagged ‘Defence minister’

“zu Googleberg”: PhD retracted at the request of the plagiarist

February 22, 2011

zu Googleberg on 18th February 2011:  “I will temporarily – I repeat temporarily – give up my doctoral title.”

22nd February 2011:

The University of Bayreuth says he has now asked them to retract his doctorate in law, according to German TV. Mr Guttenberg admitted that he had made “serious mistakes”. At an election rally near Frankfurt on Monday, the charismatic defence minister said the mistakes were not intentional but he conceded that they “do not meet the ethical code of science”. ….

Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted on Monday that she is standing by her defence minister, who is seen as something of a rising star in her conservative coalition.

“I appointed Guttenberg as minister of defence,” she told reporters. “I did not appoint him as an academic assistant or doctor. What is important to me is his work as minister of defence and he carries out these duties perfectly.”

He has a nice smile and he is apparently popular but the Defence Minister of the Republic of Germany, Mr. zu Googleberg is nothing but a liar and a cheat and a fraud. And Angela Merkel will at some point realise that keeping him on brings her own ethics and integrity into question.

But maybe it is just a continuation of the long line of German politicians with deficient ethics and little integrity.

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office”.
Aesop (~550 BC)

A man of no shame! Guttenberg reproduced work by a parliamentary researcher in his thesis

February 20, 2011


The GuttenPlag Wiki is expanding . Over 68% of the pages in his thesis contain plagiarised material.

Plagiat graphic.jpg

Pages where plagiarism were found (black). The Table of Contents (pages 1-14) and Annexes, page 408 (blue) were not included in calculating the percentages. Pages with imitations of various sources are shown in red. Plagiat graphic.jpg

Professor DEBORA WEBER-WULFF writes

I’m wondering if KTzG thought that this crazy quilt is how we do science. Or if he is perhaps suffering from an advanced version of cryptomnesia. Wikipedia quotes Macrae, C.N., Bodenhasen, G. V. & Calvini, G. (1999). Contexts of cryptomnesia: May the source be with you. Social Cognition, 17, 273–297:

Cryptomnesia is more likely to occur when the ability to properly monitor sources is impaired. For example, people are more likely to falsely claim ideas as their own when they were under high cognitive load at the time they first considered the idea.

Sounds fitting. The saga continues.

Perhaps the rumour that zu Guttenberg (aka “zu Googleberg”) actually used ghost writers for his thesis is more than just rumour.

Baron zu Googleberg image:

Der Spiegel reveals:

In May 2004, when Guttenberg was a member of parliament for the conservative Christian Social Union party, Ulrich Tammler, a civil servant in the department with two PhDs of his own, wrote an analysis for Guttenberg headlined “The Question of the Link to Faith in the US Constitution and Supreme Court Rulings on the Separation of the Church and State.”

Tammler completed the 10-page document on May 13, 2004 and passed it on to Guttenberg’s parliamentary office under the reference number WF III – 100/04, according to an article due to be published in SPIEGEL on Monday.Even though members of Bundestag, or lower house of parliament, are only supposed to use of the department for work relating to their parliamentary mandate, Guttenberg included almost the entire article in his dissertation, with only minor word changes.

Tammler himself isn’t cited in any of Guttenberg’s footnotes. Only the parliamentary research department itself is mentioned, a footnote 83. The 60 staff of the department are meant to help lawmakers fulfil their duties as members of parliament. The department’s guidelines state: “The German Bundestag reserves all rights to the work of the Research Department. Publication and distribution require the approval of the departmental management.”

A man of no shame!



And the question becomes whether his thesis contains anything original at all.

On Friday Angela Merkel was still giving her Defence Minister her public support but it is going to be difficult for her to continue with this line. Associating with him is now a burden that few will be able to bear. The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that the defense minister had plagiarised at least 19 authors. According to the Berliner Zeitung he also copied the work of first-year students at the Free University of Berlin.

German Defence Minister accused of plagiarism in his PhD thesis

February 16, 2011
Picture of Karl-Theodor Freiherr von und zu Gu...

Image via Wikipedia

The Financial Times Deutschland carries this story today:

Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (CSU) has to defend himself against accusations that he had cheated on his doctoral thesis. According to the “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” (Wednesday) there are some passages in Guttenberg’s thesis which match literally formulations by other authors, and which have not been acknowledged.
The thesis is in several places “a brazen plagiarism” and “deception”, the paper quoted the Bremen law professor Andreas Fischer-Lescano, who had discovered the duplications during a routine examination. Fischer-Lescano teaches at the University of Bremen Public Law, European and international law.
Guttenberg submitted his doctoral work in 2006 at the Law Faculty in Bayreuth. In 2007, he was then awarded the highest degree – summa cum laude doctorate in law (PhD).

The thesis is now under investigation by the Ombudsman for scientific self-regulation of the University of Bayreuth.

But this is an investigation concerning a serving Minister. I can predict with the greatest of confidence that the establishment will close ranks and that the investigation will come to the conclusions that:

  • no scientific misconduct is involved,
  • the lack of references were merely an oversight and an honest mistake, and
  • the degree award is not tainted in any way and
  • no further action is required except the insertion of an addendum acknowledging the plagiarised authors


Guttenberg’s slick image slips away

German Defense Minister Agrees to Inquiry Into Military Incidents

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