University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Ex-Minister: Circle of scientists behind questions

Questions forwarded in 2009 to the Research Council by the former Minister of Science Helge Sander were authored by a 'circle of scientists', he says. He thereby once again deflects claims that it was his friend Penkowa herself who wrote them

Former Minister of Science Helge Sander refuses to apologise to scientists for his actions in the Penkowa case. This he has made clear in a featured comment on our Danish section Universitetsavisen.

And the 30 critical questions which he forwarded to a research council were not, necessarily, from Milena Penkowa.

The 30 critical questions he forwarded in 2009 were not authored by one scientist but by a ‘circle of scientists’. In the comment, he does not say specifically that Penkowa was not one of this circle.

Research council member: They were from Penkowa

Sander himself has so far refused to say who is behind the 30 questions, which indirectly accused the Council of nepotism, and were about grants to Mette Rosenkilde, a competitor to the now fraud-charged scientist Milena Penkowa for a professor chair. The council refused to answer the questions as they considered them libellous, but had no doubts at the time that they were from Milena Penkowa who had just been refused funding.

»We were not in any doubt that it was Milena Penkowa who had formulated the questions as punishment for not getting any of the money,« one of the members of the council said recently to the newspaper Weekendavisen.

See article: Mystery deepens over top men’s Penkowa role

Minister: Not from one person

The new claim by former minister Helge Sander is that they were not from one person.

»The questions were formulated by a circle of scientists, and I forwarded these to the front office, which in accordance with routines, made sure that the task was set in motion. Precisely as they did, every day in my eight years as Minister of Science.«

»I have never asked specific persons, committees or councils to work out responses or memos to me, never!« he says.

Opposition parties in the Danish parliament have called for for an independent inquiry into the whole case complex, including the role of former minister Helge Sander, who has so far not been the target of any of the Penkowa investigations.