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New politician a key mandate for Penkowa inquiry

In just a few days, Professor Niels Høiby is to become a member of parliament. Once in, his mandate can tip the scales in favour of a majority for an independent inquiry into the Penkowa scandal. This is his investigation model

Professor Niels Høiby of the University of Copenhagen is slated to replace Malou Aamund as MP for the Liberal Alliance party. So long as an election is not called before 5 June, he will become science spokesman for the Liberal Alliance, writes our Danish section Universitetsavisen .

Counting the mandates, his seat makes a majority in favour of a new Penkowa investigation. And as a new member of parliament, Professor Niels Høiby has his own recipe for addressing the Penkowa scandal.

The independent commission will include two renowned scientists with expertise in scientific dishonesty, two experts in neuroscience with experience in animal testing, a lawyer or judge, and someone with a good sense of leadership. None of the those selected for the commission are to work at the University of Copenhagen, and the secretariat of the commission is not to be at the University.

Will dig deeper

The Penkowa commission will not be cheap, according to Høiby’s mandate. It must be more thorough than the the previous investigation by the University’s legal counsel, Kammeradvokaten, which assessed the scandal in a report to the University of Copenhagen Board in Spring 2011.

»The commission, in addition to the University’s review of the case, will also interview administrative staff, the first thesis review committee, the professors behind the 3 May 2011 report, the head of department for Milena Penkowa, Milena Penkowa and her partners and employees, including the critical PhD student and other relevant actors in the case,« reads the mission proposal.

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