If you thought the affair around scamference organiser, research fraudster and fake professor Ashutosh Tiwari was over: you were wrong. Of course Tiwari continues organising predatory conferences in Sweden, from across the road from his former Linköping University (LiU). Among his recent scamference guests and fake award recipients was even the Vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. But these are not the main news I wish to share with you.
First of all, Tiwari and his LiU patron Anthony “Tony” Turner, the (involuntarily) retired professor of the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), were found guilty of research misconduct in a new investigation. That Turner finally gets what he deserved, for installing and protecting a criminal while helping him scam his own university and the academic community in Sweden and worldwide, is big news in itself. Turner, who boasted full support from Elsevier, whose journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics he as Editor-in-Chief let Tiwari use to his pleasure, was so far spared any retractions with his name on them. Well, tough titty, Tony, with these new fraud findings, your last-authored Tiwari et al Biosensors & Bioelectronics 2012 will be retracted. Moreover, LiU explicitly requests from Elsevier to sack Turner as Editor-in-Chief of the journal he founded. It transpires that even his emeritus professor status at LiU was apparently revoked.
The second news is that Tiwari has opened a new business, together with his trusted partner, the tenured LiU researcher at same IFM department, Mikael Syväjärvi. The business is heart surgery. Yes, you heard it right. The two material “scientists” teamed up with some Chinese investors and set up a mobile app which will lure cardiac patients in India (but also in China and, ta-da, in Sweden) into the hands of some fake Indian heart surgeon and his colleagues. Cancer cure quackery announced to follow soon. To be fair, LiU kind of brought it upon themselves by refusing to investigate Syväjärvi and even allowing him to continue running scamferences during work time. Hence, the LiU academic Syväjärvi now he peddles “Swedish technology” to offer what he and Tiwari say are heart surgeries.
The previous LiU investigation found a number of Tiwari-coauthored papers fraudulent, all those had as main author Prashant Sharma, Tiwari’s criminal friend from Allahabad in India. Turner quickly retracted those from his journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, thus hoping that this closed the case. Two more papers were scrutinised, the charges were dropped for one of these, mostly because Turner became angry. Another paper however was not easy to dismiss: the published figure was found to be fake, while both Turner and Tiwari claimed the raw data was stored on a laptop and a hard drive, both of which were stolen during a scamference on a Baltic ferry. LiU hence forwarded the issue to the central national authority, the Swedish Ethics Review Appeal Board (CEPN). This was the paper:
Ashutosh Tiwari , Swapneel R. Deshpande , Hisatoshi Kobayashi , Anthony P.F. Turner
Detection of p53 gene point mutation using sequence-specific molecularly imprinted PoPD electrode
Biosensors and Bioelectronics (2012) doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2012.02.053
The paper contained this beauty:
It should be mentioned that the coauthor Hisatoshi Kobayashi, is the former President of Tiwari’s fictional IAAM (International Association of Advanced Materials), who eventually got in serious trouble with his superiors at the National Institute for Material Science in Tsukuba, Japan, for organising scamferences. Kobayashi sure will regret that gift authorship on a fraudulent paper now.
The Ethics Review Appeal Board invited as expert Mikael Käll, professor for bionanophotonics at Chalmers University in Gothenburg. Käll was unimpressed by the legend of Swedish laptop thieves:
“It is an absolute requirement that original data from research projects is
kept so that it can be made available. There must therefore be satisfactory back up copies. The circumstance that Ashutosh Tiwari and Anthony Turner, because of the theft, cannot present any of the original data that lay behind the research that was presented in the article means that the research cannot be checked. It is remarkable that original data from 2012 only existed on a laptop computer three years after publication. It is the view of the Expert Group that the irregularities with regard to original data are so serious from a research ethics point of view that Ashutosh Tiwari and Anthony Turner have been guilty of research misconduct.”
Käll also disagreed that the correction which Turner proposed to himself as Editor-in-Chief of Biosensors & Bioelectronics, made any sense:
“the inaccuracies in Fig. 3 are the result not of a mistake but of deliberate manipulation for the purpose of supporting the article’s conclusions. This conclusion means that Mikael Käll does not consider that submitting a corrigendum releases the authors from responsibility for the errors in the original article. Mikael Käll also points out that the corrigendum that was sent to the journal does not necessarily confirm that the conclusions in the original article are correct”.
The expert group at CEPN followed Käll’s advice, and recommended a retraction:
“the nature of the error means that deliberate manipulation can be strongly suspected. When suspicion of inaccuracies was pointed out, it should have been self-evident to withdraw the article from the journal because the original data was missing and the correctness of the conclusions in the original article could not therefore be checked. This also indicates gross negligence.
It is therefore the opinion of the Expert Group that it is evident that this is a case of gross negligence at the least. Like Mikael Käll, the Expert Group considers that the inaccuracies had a vital significance for the study’s conclusions. Against the background of the above circumstances, the Expert Group considers that Ashutosh Tiwari and Anthony Turner have been guilty of misconduct in research.”
The full document, dated 2.09.2019 is available here, in English.
On 19 September 2019, LiU passed the following verdict based on this advice (original document here), I link to the documents A and B:
“On 21 December 2017 the Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Linköping University initiated an investigation concerning misconduct in research after allegations thereof had emerged in social media among other channels. On the basis of the investigation the Board of the faculty on 6 December 2018 judged that misconduct in research was concluded in three out of five instances under investigation. It was also established that misconduct in research could not be concluded in one of the five instances. The last instance was referred back for further enquiry by asking for the opinion of the Expert Group for Misconduct in Research at CEPN.
The statement of the Expert Group appeared on 2 September 2019 (see Encl. B). In its statement the Expert Group judges that the two researchers concerned, earlier employed by the university, are guilty of research misconduct. On the basis of the previous investigation and the statement of the Expert Group the investigation group submits its supplementary
conclusions and recommendations to the Board of the Faculty for its ruling (see Encl. A).
On 8 September and after the statement of the Expert Group was delivered one of the two researchers concerned states that he has requested the retraction of the article concerned and the supplementary corrigendum and has also requested to be relieved of the post as Editor- in-chief of the journal concerned.”
The decision was explained in this 3-page document, signed by the IFM dean Ulf Nilsson, (who shared the investigative report with me) as well as by pro-dean Nicolette Lakemond and LiU professor Svante Gunnarsson.
Obviously Tiwari is not prepared to stop his criminal activities, not even in Sweden, especially after he understood that LiU will never expose him in public, or warn the academic community that his IAAM is not really a “non-profit organization” of international scientists, but a scam which exists only as an internet website, to lure people to Tiwari’s predatory conferences. Scamferences which happily continue and expand in all possible new fields, as I reported here and here.
In August 2019, the guest of honour and recipient of a fake award was the Vice-President of Chinese Academy of Sciences and president of Peking University, Enge Wang. This we know from Tiwari’s own proud coverage:
It’s not like the esteemed Chinese Academician Wang was bamboozled now. He perfectly knew what he participates in, this is him at the last year’s IAAM scam event, Tiwari was already long exposed as a fraudster:
Something is really wrong with Chinese state’s ethics, especially when combined with Indian criminals. Which brings us to Tiwari’s other new business.
The Heart Surgeries
On 11 September 2019, Tiwari unleashed a series of press releases, and even an article in Hindustan Times, promoting his new service: mHospitals, a mobile app to offer heart surgeries. The occasion being Mahatma Ghandi’s 150th birthday.
The company behind Tiwari’s mHospitals is his other business, the Vinoba Bhave Research Institute (VBRI). It is not a real thing, but a merely another fake scam, located inside a dodgy law degree-selling institution owned by Tiwari’s dad. It was the photoshopped picture of the papa’s Ganesh Prasad Law College which Tiwari junior used to advertise for his fake VBRI:
It is not clear from the Hindustan Times journalistic masterpiece and verbatim identical press releases who the Chinese partners of Tiwari and Syväjärvi are:
“At VBRI’s office in China, Prayagraj-born Prof Tiwari was present along with Dr Yueqing Gu, Dr Daren Liu, Prof Lan Zhu, Qiong Wang and other Chinese scientists and technocrats.
“It is our sincere hope that our attempt to amalgamate cloud medicine, IoT (Internet of Things), machine learning and AI and further connect it to smart healthcare wearable devices in the future will remove barriers like time and distance from the world of cardiac healthcare,” he said.”.
There was a parallel event in Linköping (ie., in Tiwari’s office across the road from LiU), organised by Syväjärvi, as this press release announced:
“At VBRI Sweden, the launch was attended by Dr. Anshuman Mishra, deputy director, R&I, VBRI and a group of Swedish scientists, engineers, and technocrats. While addressing the gathering, Dr. Syväjärvi and Martin Kristing (one of the engineers) summarised that, “mHospitals is the result of advanced Swedish technology and contains all the advanced features that one can expect from a virtual hospitals platform. All the cutting age technologies have been implemented to ensure a good experience for the users and patients. By employing Machine Learning, IoT, and Artificial Intelligence, we have made sure that the platform is user friendly and provides the patients with a quality experience”
The mHospitals services are said to be offered not just in India, but also in China and Sweden. Martin Kristing is an IT expert and LiU alumnus who lives in Linköping. Another Swede involved is the PR service provider Anders Ekhammar from Gothenburg, listed as reference in this press release. Are these two gentlemen aware that it is illegal under Swedish law to offer unapproved medical services?
A certain Yogesh Shukla functions as director of mHospitals. This character is according to Hindustani Times well-researched journalism “a noted Mumbai-based heart surgeon”, except that he may be Mumbai-based, but he is neither noted nor a real heart surgeon. Shukla’s own LinkedIn profile reveals that he studied from 2014 to 2017 at the Bombay Hospital Institute of Medical Sciences, a private diploma mill which indeed offers a two-year degree called “Master of Surgery”. Sounds reassuring?
It kind of fits to Tiwari’s fake professorship, which he is not afraid to parade anymore. I am not sure how trustworthy the rest of the mHospitals cardiology team is, really. Does it help that the alleged cardiologist Richa Sharma is a gynaecologist in real life? Anyway, “Dr” Shukla announced:
“After cardiac care, we plan to add cancer treatment to our range of services followed by other ailments”
I notified LiU about the new business of their ex-lecturer Tiwari and their current faculty member Syväjärvi. I received this reply from the Chief Legal Advisor, Christina Helmér:
“The University is grateful for bringing the information to our knowledge, and the information provided by you is now under assessment to determine whether or not actions are called for on our part. At this moment, there will be no further statements on behalf of the University.”
The Tiwari affair is not over, not even for Linköping University.
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