Wednesday, 2 March 2011

"Dr. Googleberg" resigns

The BBC reports that German Defence Minister Karl-Thodor zu Guttenberg resigned yesterday after 2 weeks of political pressure following allegations that he plagiarized a large portion of his Doctor of Laws thesis. His thesis, which compared the U.S. Constitution with a proposed EU constitution, had earned him a summa cum laude doctorate from Bayreuth University. However, law professor Andreas Fischer-Lescaro last week alleged that long passages of the thesis had been plagiarized without citation. Once the allegations became public, plagiarism hunters went through the document and say that 20 percent of the 475 page thesis was plagiarized, including a passage copied from a US embassy website and one from a speech by the former president of Stanford University. The allegations earned him the nicknames "Dr. Googleberg" and "Dr. Cut and Paste".
Guttenberg has apologized to the writers he plagiarized and requested the revocation of his degree; Bayreuth University revoked his degree. Guttenberg tried to retain his government position but resigned yesterday under intense public scrutiny of the plagiarism allegations.
The BBC has responded to the scandal with a lengthy article on the plagiarism "boom".

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