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New minister to keep watching uni closely

The new Minister of Science and Education will continue his predecessor's supervision of the University of Copenhagen after the Penkowa-scandal. In the meantime, staff and students are invited to an open hearing on Thursday

The new government will not let the University of Copenhagen off the hook. In the aftermath of the Penkowa research scandal, the new Minister of Science and Education Morten Østergaard confirms to the Danish section of this media that the University of Copenhagen is still under heightened supervision status.

»Yes, the University of Copenhagen is indeed. And at some point I will take a look at this issue,« says the new minister.

Health scientist Milena Penkowa was last year the centre of a forgery and scientific dishonesty case that continues to rock the University of Copenhagen and the Danish scientific and political community.

Public hearing on Penhowa 3 November

It was the former Minister of Science Charlotte Sahl-Madsen, who originally introduced the ministerial supervision of the University of Copenhagen after being dissatisfied with the University’s own lawyers’ inquest on the Penkowa process. But the present minister will have it continued in due time.

»I have on purpose chosen not to dive into this case file as one of my first tasks. Right now we already have a supervisory case and a case in the Committee for Scientific Dishonesty (UVVU). I will wait until these cases are processed and reach my desk. But this is not a fun case, and I think most people would prefer not to have to deal with it,« he says.

Thursday 3 November, the University of Copenhagen will be holding a public hearing (in Danish) on the following question: ‘What have we learnt from the Penkowa-case?’. Here one of the most fascinating points on the agenda will be a summary by Prorector Thomas Bjørnholm of the status of the inquiries on Milena Penkowa’s research production. This inquiry is expected to be finished in 2012.

The University Post will bring a full report from this hearing.

Read our ‘Penkowa for dummies’, a tongue-in-cheek recap of the complex Penkowa case here..

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