The following guest post by a Swedish professor under the assumed name of ”Frank Nilsson” (his real identity is known to me) is an open letter response to a recent article in Svenska Dagbladet by Sven Stafström, Director General of the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet, VR). There Straftröm wrote, in the wake of the Paolo Macchiarini scandal:
“Research misconduct is rare, but when it occurs it is usually individuals or small research teams working under the strong influence of a dishonest research leader. Such a closed environment makes it more difficult to quickly detect cheating. […]
The main responsibility for combating scientific fraud through preventive measures and for investigating suspected fraud and taking action is the responsibility of the country’s universities and colleges – the research organizations. […]
Of course it is also crucial to handle the matter properly, when suspicions of scientific misconduct occur. The Swedish Research Council has repeatedly argued that this should be done in a manner that guarantees independence from the influence of personal connections and other conflicts of interest, research misconduct should be investigated by an independent body”.