Academic Publishing Open Letter University Affairs

Brain Drain, Moscow to Düsseldorf

Katrin Amunts is director of Human Brain Project. Back when the Berlin Wall fell, this Moscow-trained young neuroscientist from GDR found a new mentor in Western Germany: Professor Karl Zilles. It is a remarkable story of a literal brain drain.

This article was found slanderous by Prof Katrin Amunts and the University of Düsseldorf.

It is now deleted as per “Order to Delete” from the law firm Hoecker, and replaced by this article, which cites the LEGAL TRUTH as issued by Hoecker Law.

12 comments on “Brain Drain, Moscow to Düsseldorf

  1. To my knowledge, back to the USSR era, research findings from the Eastern block were forced to be published in Soviet journals, which are not read by anybody, anymore. Since these Soviet-era, print-only papers are practically invisible in our web-based era (not available on internet=does not exist), it is rather easy to reuse figures or data published in those journals. I would not be much surprised if more, similar cases would surface. Once I have met a senior scientist who was born in an Eastern-block country, and later got a PhD in Germany and has become a professor there. This person already had a Soviet-era doctorate when emigrated, and this doctorate was actually the PhD at that time in the Eastern-block. But this person argued in Germany that that doctorate was not a PhD, so was allowed to enter a PhD program in Germany. Playing amnesia about Soviet-time degrees and publications may be legal, but morally is questionable. At least in my opinion.


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  3. Accusations of fraud are dangerous, and should never be made without cautious verification. This article is relies exclusively on Istomin’s testimony (offered >25 years after the alleged events). Looking at Istomin’s LinkedIn CV presents a bizarre work history, with too many holes and unknowns, which casts serious doubts on his credibility, and requires fact-checking which Schneider has obviously not done. This is not serious journalism.

    Moreover, looking at Schneider’s own biographical description, one finds that his presentation of his own scientific accomplishment is deplorable: he lists impressive publications, but you must click multiple times to discover that in one, he is author #10 out of 14 (, he is #3 out of 8 in another (!divAbstract), and #14/28 in a third (!divAbstract). That’s not cheating, but it isn’t honest either. Academics with integrity just don’t do that. Feh.

    So keep in mind that credibility is hard to find here – in both fact-checking (before making accusations!!), and self-presentation. Now let’s see if Schneider is honest enough to publish this reply.


    • Thank you for your views, friend from the RWTH University of Aachen, located near FZ Jülich. You even used university’s computer (
      Incidentally, Karl Zilles happens to be Senior Professor at RWTH.


      • One thing that every good lawyer learns at law school is to change the subject when s/he has a lousy case to defend. You are right: I am connected to an RWTH computer. However, this is not relevant to the current discussion. What matters is the complete absence of fact-checking in your blog. You verified no claim made by the accuser, and you misrepresent your own scientific accomplishments (as I said, you’re not cheating, but you tweak your CV in a manner no honest scientist would). And let me say: your insinuation that Karl Zilles is behind my reply is laughable. Get serious, man, publishing this kind of trash is not a way to make a buck, not even in Germany.


      • And yet you are scared to reveal your identity. Nice of you to mention lawyers, you pathetic old bully. Let’s see how it plays out for you all.


    • My work history has nothing to do with my credibility. After immigration to the USA in 1990 I had to provide for my family first, and think ab out career second. So, I took any job I could take, including positions of software developer in Thomson Financial and some other companies. Since such positions were unrelated to Neuroscience or image processing I did not include them to my profile, thus – some gaps in time. If you are hinting that I spent this time in jail – you are wrong.

      All events described in my post are true. The work published in two [papers I discuss was done in Moscow. K. Zilles and A. Schleicher added very little to it, As I see it, they contributed to some correlation analysis. Making them co-authors of these papers was unfair. Also, the position of K.Zilles’s name in the list of authors implies that he was the leader of our group, what is not true. During our work in Moscow I never contacted prof. Zilles regarding anything: it was physically impossible. In 1970s -1980s we were behind the “Iron wall”, remember?


      • Smut Clyde

        I know a few emigre scientists (one has her first degree from Moscow State University). An erratic, patchy CV is a normal part of the emigre experience.


    • Additionally, I never accused anybody of fraud. I just said in my post that the lion share of scientific work published in discussed publications was done in Moscow, in the Institute of Clinical Psychiatry. This fact was not mentioned in published paper, what was unfair.


  4. Challenger

    “One thing that every good lawyer learns at law school is to change the subject”
    That is why you change subject to discussion of Istomin and Leonid research record? That is trivial trick which is ALWAYS used when research misconduct is discussed. To change subject from misconduct to personalities of whisleblowers.


  5. Pingback: Who owns the brains in Moscow, Amunts lawyer’s version – For Better Science

  6. Rex Rictor

    @grey your going down.


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