I’ve been disappointed but not surprised to find that the reviewer of the peer-reviewed neuroscience journal paper that failed to recognize my priority in regard to the main hypothesis of that paper, which was published in 2013 and which I believe constitutes plagiarism of two of my highly original ideas about the immune system and synaesthesia that I published at the blog in 2012, will be hosting the 11th Annual Conference of the American Synesthesia Association in 2015. I’m not that surprised because one of the co-authors of the contentious paper had been a star of synaesthesia research, a leader in professional activities such as conferences and was one of two editors of the major textbook on the subject of synaesthesia.
Sometimes my friends ask me why I’m not working at some university. I’m clearly very interested in neuroscience and psychology and they think I’m smart. I do have an applied science degree and I have also studied psychology at the university that has been regarded as Western Australia’s most prestigious (UWA), achieving some passes with distinction and higher distinction. But unfortunately I don’t have endless time and money to pursue further study, and to be honest, I don’t think the world of academia is a place that I’d want to be too much a part of. I’ve been concerned by the unfortunate events this month at UWA regarding former WA Scientist of the Year Professor Jorg Imberger, the now-defunct Centre for Water Research, Professor Ian Dadour, the UWA’s Centre for Forensic Science, and like many Australians I’ve been stunned and amazed in a bad way by the controversy over the Abbott government’s idea to bring the controversial “climate contrarian” Bjorn Lomborg to Perth to establish a $4 million “think tank” that UWA’s business school. Local, national and international press are reporting claims and leaks and counter-claims about whose idea the centre was; the federal government or UWA administrators. I’m sure there are many people working at UWA who are unhappy about recent events, because I know that some of the lecturers who made my time as a student at UWA wonderful and very worthwhile are still listed as staff. I blanch when I open the paper and read about recent events at the university that I once studied at and held in high regard, and when I look at the world of synaesthesia research, an area of science that has fascinated me for many years, I see academic leaders who have played central roles in what I believe is an astounding case of scientific plagiarism. Do I want to be a part of that? I don’t think I do.