Investigating Scientific Misconduct and the Hendrik Schoen Affair: A Unique Life Experience

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Date/Time:Monday, 16 Nov 2009 from 4:10 pm to 5:10 pm
Location:Physics 3
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Malcolm Beasley Stanford University

Without question one of the most dramatic examples of scientific misconduct in recent memory was the actions by Hendrik Schoen at Bell Laboratories. The episode is now the subject of a recent book for the lay reader, "Plastic Fantastic." The speaker was privileged to have chaired the committee that investigated the case. In this talk, I will describe what is entailed in such an investigation and some of the broader questions it revealed. Also, I will share some personal anecdotes that further illuminate the experience at a humanistic level.


M.R. Beasley is the Theodore and Sydney Rosenberg Professor of Applied Physics at Stanford University. He received his BEP Degree in Engineering Physics and his PhD in Physics at Cornell University. He then went to Harvard University where he served on the faculty of the Division of Engineering and Applied Physics. Following this, he came to Stanford University. At Stanford, he has served as the Chair of the Applied Physics Department, Director of the Center for Materials Research, founder of the Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. He is currently Chair Elect of the Board of Trustees of the Associated Universities Incorporated, which oversees the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

Professor Beasley's research interests are in materials physics with an emphasis on superconductivity. He also has worked in nonlinear dynamical systems. He has been elected a member of Tau Beta Pi, Fellow of the American Physical Society, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and member of the National Academy of Sciences.