Leopoldina is the German national Academy of Sciences, a highly respectable home of knowledge and learning. This is why it is a bit surprising Leopoldina insists on advertising for the predatory conferences and fake awards issued by the research fraudster from Linköping, Sweden, Ashutosh Tiwari and his IAAM, which only exists as a scamference-advertising website.
The proud awardee is the 80-year-old Leopoldina Academy member and emeritus professor Herbert Gleiter, founding director of Institute of Nanotechnology in Karlsruhe, and since 2012, founding director of the Herbert Gleiter Institute of Nanoscience in Nanjing, China. Leopoldina cannot be prouder that none other than Tiwari himself deigned to bestow his IAAM Award upon their Academy member. All Gleiter has to do is make his university pay Tiwari, then board a ferry ship in Singapore and pose for photos with a research fraudster. Gleiter’s name and face will become a private business asset of Tiwari’s, but the Leopoldina Academician will get a shiny medal and his ego polished.
Herbert Gleiter recognised with IAAM Award 2019
The materials scientist Prof. Dr. Herbert Gleiter, senior fellow at the Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study, was awarded the International Association of Advanced Materials Award (IAAM Award) of 2019. The prize is given for his achievements in the field of design and development of new materials. The award is given annually by the International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM). The award ceremony will take place in early November 2019 in Singapore.
Professor Gleiter is founding director of the “Herbert Gleiter Institute of Nanoscience” at the Nanjing University of Science and Technology in China, and Distinguished Senior Professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. In the late seventies, the work of his research group opened the way for a new field of materials science. The basic idea was to create a new class of materials characterized in a way to increase the spatial extent of interfaces which are made of these materials in approximately equal proportions of interfaces and crystals and which therefore possess novel structures and properties.
Today, this class of materials is called nanocrystalline materials and has already led to more than 100,000 publications. The IAAM Award 2019 is conferred to Professor Gleiter for pioneering work which has led to the development of another new class of materials – the nano glasses. Nanoglasses have opened the way to a new class of non-crystalline substances by their novel atomic structure and chemical composition that is different by their structure and properties of all currently available glasses and which therefore enable a wide range of new technical and medical applications.
Herbert Gleiter has won several awards in recent years. Among these are the Leibniz Prize of the German Research Council, the Max Planck Research Award, the Blaise Pascal Medal of the European Academy of Sciences and the Cothenius Medal of the Leopoldina. He is a member of the Leopoldina (1998), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2004), the National Academy of Engineering (2004), the European Academy of Sciences (2009), the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (2014) and all national academies of India. Six universities have also given him an honorary doctorate.”
The press release also linked to IAAM website, thus inviting German scientists to emulate the elites and pay to participate in Tiwari’s ferry ship scamferences.
I discovered this press release by chance, on the evening of 26 September 2019. Immediately I wrote an email to the Leopoldina press office, the Academy’s leadership, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT, the university where Gleiter is professor emeritus), and to Gleiter himself. Who replied right away:
presumably the statements in Mr. Leonid Schneider’s letter will have surprised you in a similar way as they did me. Naturally, when I received a message from IAAM that I had been selected by the Award Council for the IAAM Award 2019, I inquired about the reputation of the award and the former winners. In doing so, I found that among these awards are members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Polish Academy of Sciences, institute directors of Tokyo University etc.
A similar result can be obtained by calling the ISI Citation Index on earlier winners. Among them are colleagues who have published papers that have been cited several thousand times. All these indicators seem to contradict Mr Leonid Schneider’s statements. A similar impression emerges when one learns that the A-Star Institute in Singapore is working closely with IAAM to organize the IAAM meeting in Singapore. This cooperation concerns exactly the meeting in which the prize is to be awarded. In fact, I was invited by the A-Star Institute to speak at the inter-institute semi-annual colloquium – a few days before the IAAM meeting.
Despite all these indications, one should pursue the statements of Mr. Leonid Schneider as long as one can understand, what moved him to these statements, or whether all above-mentioned criteria do not indicate the correctness of his assertions. I would therefore be very grateful if you could let me know all the facts you know about this decision. Since the award ceremony should take place at the beginning of November, there would still be enough time to reject the prize.”
I wrote back to Gleiter and others, explaining that IAAM is nothing but a scam website, described misconduct findings against Tiwari and his patron Tony Turner, and invited to read the official documents or contact the Linköping University directly. Gleiter replied quickly again, and it was the last communication I ever received from him, or anyone else affiliated with Leopoldina:
“Dear Mr. Schneider,
I do not know the reasons that motivate you to make such serious allegations against people affiliated with IAAM. However, it may make you more reluctant to learn that the first allegation of your letter today is incorrect: “if you receive an award you have to pay for (or which KIT has to pay for)”. Contrary to this claim, I was never expected to pay for the award. Like any other conference participant, I have paid the conference fee, which includes the accommodation and all other costs (meals, etc.), and which is modest compared to many international conferences.
I’m getting help from colleagues on your other criticisms
For the time being, I remain with friendly greetings
I am not that convinced Gleiter really paid Tiwari from his own private pocket as he insinuates. This is why I notified KIT Ombudsman Heinz Kalt, who promised to look into the affair.
On 27 September the press release was briefly removed, only to be restored with the new date just hours later. The Leopoldina so far refused all communication with me. On 2 October I tried the phone, thinking maybe they are too shy to write. I was instructed to contact Julia Klabuhn, Editor Press and Public Relations. Who then educated me that the Leopoldina people are all very busy with other things, told me never to phone the academy again, angrily added that she will only communicate with me by email and then threw down the phone.
To be fair, Leopoldina also refused all communication with me previously, regarding the affair around the Marburg University biochemistry professor Roland Lill, who is not just a member, but the Senator of Leopoldina. Lill published a number of papers with problematic data, which, depending on his and his coauthors’ explanations, was either correctly manipulated in Photoshop, or intentionally manipulated with glue and scissors, but with some copy-paste mistakes happening, or, as the German Research Council (DFG) decreed, it is actually none of anyone’s business what actually happened there which certainly was never research misconduct anyway.
Thus, Leopoldina has all reason to assume that it is Schneider who is a fraudulent slanderous liar (true, actually), and certainly not Professor Ashutosh Tiwari, Secretary General of the International Association of Advanced Materials, supplier of the most prestigious IAAM awards, which the Academy member Gleiter is a proud recipient of.
Really, what exactly is the point of science academies then, except of wasting enormous funds to let a bunch of old men (the Academicians are mostly male) feel important and pampered? In France, the Académie des sciences openly endorses actual research fraud while calling for the heads of those scientists and even journalists who dare to protest. The Israel Academy elected the notorious anti-vaxxer Yehuda Shoenfeld as its member, the festivity is to take place on Hanukkah 2019. And now the German Leopoldina openly advertises for fraudulent scamferences and fake awards, inspired by the Vice-President of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Enge Wang, who seems a big fan of Tiwari’s IAAM events.
Apparently, science and academia is full of old and oldish men in desperate need of sycophantic admiration and shiny awards, and Tiwari can sure provide what their egos crave. Most of IAAM awardees are middle-aged and old men of academia who think they deserve more awards and medals, especially if their university is willing to buy them some. These characters then attract other ambitious participants, junior in academic hierarchy, who can pretend their own fake IAAM award is not fake because look who else received it.
Tiwari is only as respectable as the scientific community lets him. He used to be on the very top, and now, after a fall, this fraudulent scammer is climbing back, inventing new scamferences and new ways to make money from polishing egos. Everyone going to IAAM ferry ship events knows exactly what the deal is. This is why Gleiter and his Leopoldina prefer to attack the messenger. The fake IAAM award is too shiny to let go of.
This is Leopoldina’s official mission statement:
“The Leopoldina champions the freedom and appreciation of science. It promotes a scientifically enlightened society and the responsible application of scientific insight for the benefit of humankind and the natural world. In its interdisciplinary discourse, the Academy transcends thematic, political and cultural boundaries. It is also an advocate of human rights.”
It is apparently a human right of an academic to abuse public funds to procure a fake award or a fake medal, in order to embellish your CV. No wonder so many still flock to Tiwari’s scamferences. We all are paying.
If the point of Academies is to be the educated role models and guide-lights for scientists, policymakers and society… Do we really need them?
This email arrived from Stefan Artmann, Head of Presidential Office Leopoldina:
“Dear Mr Schneider,
We would like to inform you that we have removed from our website the announcement from 12.06.2019 about the bestowal of the IAAM Award 2019 to the Leopoldina member Herbert Gleiter. Our investigations could not dispel the suspicion that the award-issuing International Association of Advanced Materials is not a serious scientific society. We thank you for your notification to this matter.”
I am still not sure if I am now allowed to phone Leopoldina press office again though.
Of course Gleiter did travel to the IAAM scamference on a cruise ship, of course he picked up his worthless award, and of course he photographed himself with Professor Tiwari, whom Gleiter respects so much. Gleiter’s face is now Tiwari’s private property and is all over the scamferrence report, even a video of the Academician’s award lecture was posted. Tiwari then issued a press release, but he did not dare mentioning Leopoldina anywhere.
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