P.Mean: The case of Ranjit Kumar Chandra (created 2008-09-08).
I've been working on developing a series of case studies in research ethics and research fraud. Progress is slow for a variety of reasons (my apologies), but I hope to have the first case study on this website soon. I just ran across a series of webpages published at the Canadian Broadcaster Corporation website associated with the allegations of fraud associated with Dr. Ranjit Kumar Chandra. There is video associated with this site and numerous pictures of the key participants.
- The Secret Life of Dr. Chandra. Reporter: Chris O'Neill-Yates Producer: Lynn Burgess From The National, Jan. 30, 2006. Excerpt: St. John's, Nfld., may seem like an unlikely place for scientific scandal to brew, but in hindsight it appears, perhaps, the perfect place. For almost three decades, Memorial University provided an out-of-the-way corner of the scientific world for the career of Dr. Ranjit Kumar Chandra to flourish. Over the years, he became a world-renowned expert in the field of nutrition and immunology, was the recipient of the Order of Canada, and said to be a two-time Nobel Prize nominee, a man they called "the Jewel of Memorial." But in the summer of 2002, Chandra packed up his office and quietly slipped into retirement. He had been accused of committing scientific fraud by one of the world's most prestigious journals. For those who had followed his work over the years, it was a sad end to an otherwise remarkable career. www.cbc.ca/national/news/chandra
- The Secret Life of Dr. Chandra, Part two. Reporter: Chris O'Neill-Yates Producer: Lynn Burgess From The National, Jan. 31, 2006. Excerpt: Crans-sur-Sierre is the kind of Swiss resort that attracts wealthy retirees, those with money and time to spare. This is where Dr. Ranjit Kumar Chandra has chosen to live, at least for part of the year, since he left Memorial University a few years ago. Few people here know that Dr. Chandra was once a world-renowned researcher in the field of nutrition and immunology; few people here care that he once turned out a remarkable number of scientific studies. But that doesn't mean this hasn't been a place of opportunity for the doctor from Newfoundland. It shouldn't come as a surprise that someone like Dr. Chandra might retire to someplace like this. After all, someone with his international reputation would have plenty of opportunities on retirement. However, a CBC News investigation has found that an alarming number of those studies that brought him recognition were faked. Completely made up. And so the question we had is this: If Dr. Chandra didn't do all those studies, what happened to the money he got for doing all those studies? www.cbc.ca/national/news/chandra/part2.html
- The Secret Life of Dr. Chandra, Part three. Reporter: Chris O'Neill-Yates Producer: Lynn Burgess From The National, Feb. 1, 2006. Excerpt: Dr. Ranjit Kumar Chandra spent almost three decades working at Memorial University before one of his secrets was finally revealed. A study he'd conducted on multivitamins was clearly a fake. No doubt his employer breathed a sign of relief when Dr. Chandra chose to retire quietly and move away. Memorial had a secret of its own. It had never told the scientific world that this was not the first time nor even the second time that Chandra had committed scientific fraud. What Chandra seemed to understand was that if you want to get away with fraud, there are a few simple rules you need to follow. www.cbc.ca/national/news/chandra/part3.html
The challenge for this is to show some of the personalities, especially of the people who tried to blow the whistle on Dr. Chandra. There is not as much action in this story as in some of the others, but it is still very compelling.
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