That’s a rather fundamental lesson for scientists: do not take shortcuts with the data. It completely corrupts all your conclusions, makes your entire history suspect, and will get you fired.
A tenured biology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was fired Friday, a rare punishment that essentially means a career death sentence in higher education and that has happened only once before at the state’s flagship public university.
Fei Wang, an associate professor of cell and molecular biology, was terminated following a special meeting of university trustees Friday, concluding a yearslong review of his work. Board members determined that Wang had fabricated and falsified scientific data in grant applications to the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
You will also get zero sympathy from your colleagues.
“Prof. Wang is without question a highly intelligent, likable, and charismatic scientist,” trustees wrote in its report, released Friday. “However, the record supporting his fabrication of data and falsification of laboratory results, his submission of mouse cells rather than human cells in his data, his failure to mentor and supervise his students is overwhelming and beyond unacceptable. Prof. Wang’s misconduct has already required the university to return substantial sums of research funds to the federal government.”
He made them return grant money? He just lost any friends he might have had in the administration.