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Electronic Elasticity

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Dr. Chandra

I am distinctly not a fan of Television in general. I prefer entertainment that is more *interactive* per se.
However, The National <http://www.cbc.ca/national/news/chandra/> recently ran a story about one Dr. Chandra, recently retired medical researcher from Memorial university, and one of the dirtiest sheets of laundry I have ever heard of in Canadian academia.

If you click on the link above, it will take you to the coverage of Dr. Chandra’s malpractice, which is spread out over more than two decades and dozens of studies. This man has misappropriated millions of dollars of academic funding, authored a pile of fraudulent medical research studies (!), attempted to sue his former assistant after she blew the whistle, and is currently living in rich retirement in Switzerland. What. The. Hell? He is clearly guilty of academic fraud of the highest order, and speaking of orders, guess which one he got? That’s right, Chandra has an Order of Canada. He was a “national jewel” and, apparently, untouchable.

My burning Question now is why is that still possible?

Why was Dr. Chandra allowed to simply walk away from years of business and academic fraud at Memorial University? His studies were apparently so faked that they may as well have been sold in the fiction section of Chapters. His goddamned NURSING ASSITANT caught the lies. People that KNEW him caught the lies. THE UNIVERSITY KNEW HE WAS DOING IT! They didn’t even try to touch him, because they were “afraid of a civil suit” against them. Suit? Over WHAT? Loss of profits? Those profits were not legitimate. Income? Fraud is a pretty damn good reason to fire a professor. No, I Do Not Care if he has tenure!

I guess this issue strikes close to home with me because I aspire to enter that world of academia, and in my innocence I assumed that it was slightly less dirty than the world of business. Guess not. Chandra gets an A+ for assholery on this one.I would like to clarify something in closing. I know that professors are human, and just as likely to be a jerk as any other human being. But to me there is a distinct line between jerk, and human shite-bag, and I was kind of hoping that the academic world would have a low tolerance for that kind of person. Memorial has really shot itself in the foot on this one, and I personally would need to see something seriously awesome come out of there before I’d consider giving them my money (for any reason).

A complete administrative overhaul might do it. Or Chandra’s head on a well-worded ‘pike’. That would do too.



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