March 7, 2010

Tokyo University researcher stripped of doctorate for plagiarism

An assistant professor at the University of Tokyo has been stripped of his Ph. D. after he was found to have plagiarized his doctoral thesis, the university has announced.

Anilir Serkan, 36, an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo's Faculty of Engineering, was found to have copied about 40 percent of his 376-page doctoral thesis from other sources. It is the first time for the university to take back a doctor's degree due to the plagiarism. He has reportedly admitted to allegations.

Serkan, a native of Turkey, received his Ph.D. at the University of Tokyo in 2003, and worked as a researcher at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) before he became an assistant professor at the university's architecture department in 2005. He also engaged in various lecture meetings, while running his own blog and writing articles as the "first Turkish astronaut candidate to undergo training at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)." However, after questions were raised among the public about his background and thesis, the university set up an investigation committee last autumn.

"It's extremely regrettable. We will do our utmost to prevent the same trouble from ever happening again, said Vice President Shinichi Sato.

Publisher ChuoKoron-Shinsha Inc. announced that it has halted the publication of his book "Poketto no Naka no Uchu" (Space in Your Pocket).
(Mainichi Japan) March 6, 2010

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