This refers to the article “No science in ‘cut and paste',” (March 9). It is disheartening to see a senior scientist being dragged into a plagiarism controversy. Worse, the first author, who actually did the lab work, is sought to be made a victim. By no means is the matter trivial and requires serious attention.
A beginning should be made in schools where creativity and originality are murdered every day. Rote learning is encouraged. It continues in colleges where assignments are last-minute copies of content from the internet. In the absence of proper guidance, it is difficult to break a habit of 20+ years.
What you discover today as ‘new' is not new. It is as old as the Indian scientist. As a researcher, teacher, and innovator, I discovered this in 1980 when I read my guide's thesis before starting my own research in philosophy.
The so-called apex bodies must act to end plagiarism. Those who indulge in it should not be penalised but urged to follow the path of intellectual honesty.
Plagiarism is symptomatic of a much deeper malaise. Many rise to prominence by wielding power and control over institutional resources, research facilities and key decision-making posts. Sadly, in many cases, “scientific management” is considered “scientific research.” Students are often left to fend for themselves. Often, the involvement of senior scientists and research supervisors is superfluous. But they want their name to be included in the authors' list. Where is the scope to foster creativity, inspire intellectual honesty and ethical values?
Ravinder K. Banyal,