"If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain."

Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.


A Library in Your Pocket

February 15, 2010

Is Accused Murderer Dr. Amy Bishop An Academic Fraud, Delusional or Both?

Dr. Amy Bishop faces capital murder charges for three deaths when she reportedly opened fire during a faculty meeting at the University of Alabama-Huntsville last Friday. Three other colleagues were also shot and are hospitalized, at least two in critical condition. Early speculation says Dr. Bishop may have been motivated because she was reportedly denied tenure.

According to attorney and employment law expert Jayne Cucchiara, "tenure is the Holy Grail in academia. It is perceived as a guarantee of job security. While tenured professors can be removed for cause, proving sufficient cause to discharge a tenured professor is almost always a very difficult burden to meet."

"Most universities have a defined tenure application process," employment lawyer Jayne Cucchiara explained. She said "the process typically begins with an application package prepared and  submitted by a professor seeking tenure. The application package details teaching, research, publishing and institutional and community accomplishments that the tenure applicant believes warrant tenure. The tenure decision of the applicant's Department Chair is generally given substantial deference when reviewed by a Dean level appointee in a university's administration."

According to Attorney Cucchiara, "in order to have a realistic chance of challenging a department's decision to deny tenure, the non-tenured professor must at a minimum be able to demonstrate a level and record of academic accomplishment comparable with those being granted tenure both in her department and at a university wide level."  Attorney Cucchiara explained, "in academia, there is saying which is very true: publish or perish."  She said, "student evaluations are considered, but generally much greater weight is placed on an established and consistent record of scholarly research published in peer reviewed journals."

An anonymous Commentor to this Blog, identifying himself as a UAH faculty member for the past 15 years, shed further light on the tenure review process at UAH:

Anonymous said...
As a faculty member at UAH, I would like to make two comments. First, in response to another anonymous comment, politics are not the most important issue at UAH. I have been here 15 years and have served on tenure review committees at every level at the university. I can tell you that we have denied tenure for really popular people who did not cut muster with regard to research, and we have granted tenure to people with excellent records, even though they had less desirable personality issues. Our tenure process is about as fair and objective as I can imagine. Second, the process at UAH involves 5 stages: departmental review, Dean review, college level tenure committee review, university-level review board, and the Provost. I have seen cases where one or more of these levels voted no, but the person ultimately recieved tenure, and I have also seen the opposite situation where multiple people said yes, but the Provost said no. So, it would not be uncommon for the department chair to be overruled after voting yes for tenure. The beauty of the tenure review process here is that no one person can kill your tenure if they happen to dislike you. 
A review of the archived web pages of Dr. Bishop on the University of Alabama Department of Biological Sciences' website discloses numerous red flags that may well be the reason Dr. Bishop was denied tenure.  In fact, after studying and comparing Dr. Bishop's archived web pages over the five plus years she was at UAH, one is left with an abiding and growing suspicion that Dr. Bishop is either an academic fraud or totally delusional in the same vein as the Jack Nicholson' character in Stephen King's The Shining, who believed he was writing the next great American novel only for his wife to discover he had been typing the same sentence over and over and over all winter long.

Maybe we will discover that Dr. Bishop is just a run of the mill sociopath for whom killing those in her way, whether they be colleagues or family, registers no greater blip on her emotional chart than, say, severing the spines of live animals to determine if she can induce neuron recovery by first subjecting the soon to be paralyzed animals to varying doses of nitric oxide, which, but the way, is fatal when overdosed, and which just so happens to be a fair restatement of Nos. 8 and 9 on Dr. Bishop's essentially static "research plan" since she arrived at UAH.

Put aside my obvious and impossible to disguise disgust with scientific research predicated on torturing animals. What still remains is that Dr. Bishop has been regurgitating the same static research plan for years:

Here is verbatim Dr.  Bishop's December 11, 2003 published "Research Plan": 
The overall goal of my laboratory will be to explore resistance to nitro-oxidative stress in CNS cells. The specific aims are to: 
1. Determine if the adaptive resistance extends to other oxidants and other CNS cell types.
2. Determine which cellular targets of NO-mediated damage are protected by HO1 induction
and induced adaptive resistance.
3. Characterize NO-mediated signal transduction pathways that induce HO1.
4. Characterize the NO-mediated increase of HO1 mRNA stability and/or transcriptional
induction of HO1.
5. Determine what other genes are turned/off by HO1 induction and whether their
induction/inhibition is necessary for the induced adaptive resistance.
6. Characterize the role of HO-1, HO-1-mediated heme metabolism and iron in induced
adaptive resistance.
7. Characterize of the role of cytostasis and differentiation in NO resistance.
8. Eventually use whole animals for studies of induced adaptive resistance in the CNS.
9. Whole animal studies of induced recovery from spinal transection.
10. Study the influence of the low gravity/high radiation environment of space flight on
resistance mechanisms to oxidative stress in the CNS.
Here is verbatim Dr.  Bishop's June 14, 2008 UAH  "Research Plan":

The overall goal of my laboratory will be to explore resistance to nitro-oxidative stress in CNS cells. The specific aims are to:  
1. Determine if the adaptive resistance extends to other oxidants and other CNS cell types.
2. Determine which cellular targets of NO-mediated damage are protected by HO1 induction and induced adaptive resistance.
3. Characterize NO-mediated signal transduction pathways that induce HO1.
4. Characterize the NO-mediated increase of HO1 mRNA stability and/or transcriptional induction of HO1.
5. Determine what other genes are turned/off by HO1 induction and whether their induction/inhibition is necessary for the induced adaptive resistance.
6. Characterize the role of HO-1, HO-1-mediated heme metabolism and iron in induced adaptive resistance.
7. Characterize of the role of cytostasis and differentiation in NO resistance.
8. Eventually use whole animals for studies of induced adaptive resistance in the CNS.
9. Whole animal studies of induced recovery from spinal transection.
10. Study the influence of the low gravity/high radiation environment of space flight on resistance mechanisms to oxidative stress in the CNS.
It is difficult sometimes when reading technical jargon to do comparisons, but whether you understand the jargon or not, when you compare Dr. Bishop's two "Research Plans," which are five years apart,  side by side, line by line, you do not need to be a Harvard trained geneticist to conclude that her plan never changes.

2003:  1. Determine if the adaptive resistance extends to other oxidants and other CNS cell types.
2008:  1. Determine if the adaptive resistance extends to other oxidants and other CNS cell types.

2003: 2. Determine which cellular targets of NO-mediated damage are protected by HO1 induction
and induced adaptive resistance.
2008:  2. Determine which cellular targets of NO-mediated damage are protected by HO1 induction and induced adaptive resistance.

2003: 3. Characterize NO-mediated signal transduction pathways that induce HO1.
2008: 3. Characterize NO-mediated signal transduction pathways that induce HO1.

2003: 4. Characterize the NO-mediated increase of HO1 mRNA stability and/or transcriptional
induction of HO1
2008: 4. Characterize the NO-mediated increase of HO1 mRNA stability and/or transcriptional induction of HO1.

2003: 5. Determine what other genes are turned/off by HO1 induction and whether their
induction/inhibition is necessary for the induced adaptive resistance.
2008: 5. Determine what other genes are turned/off by HO1 induction and whether their induction/inhibition is necessary for the induce

2003: 6. Characterize the role of HO-1, HO-1-mediated heme metabolism and iron in induced adaptive resistance.
2008: 6. Characterize the role of HO-1, HO-1-mediated heme metabolism and iron in induced adaptive resistance.

2003: 7. Characterize of the role of cytostasis and differentiation in NO resistance.
2008: 7. Characterize of the role of cytostasis and differentiation in NO resistance.

2003: 8. Eventually use whole animals for studies of induced adaptive resistance in the CNS.
2008: 8. Eventually use whole animals for studies of induced adaptive resistance in the CNS.

2003: 9. Whole animal studies of induced recovery from spinal transection.
2008: 9. Whole animal studies of induced recovery from spinal transection.

2003: 10. Study the influence of the low gravity/high radiation environment of space flight on
resistance mechanisms to oxidative stress in the CNS.
2008: 10. Study the influence of the low gravity/high radiation environment of space flight on resistance mechanisms to oxidative stress in the CNS.

As demonstrated, you do not need to understand biology, to easily see that Dr. Bishop has not changed a word of her plan in five years. If you are not yet flashing back to Jack Nicholson's novel pages in the Shining  -- All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy -- then you didn't see the movie. 

One anonymous Commentor to this Blog has suggested, "[a]s for the research plan being the same in 2003 and 2008, that could simply mean that she didn't care about her departmental web page. You ask professors to put something online, like their course syllabi or an NSF-style bio, and they will often do the bare minimum copy and pasting necessary to comply---it is, after all, a distraction from their job." This observation seems both reasonable and plausible in general terms. However, when you consider that 2003 was Dr. Bishop's first year at UAH and 2008 would have been a critical year in the tenure review process for her, it seems prudent to do than more than the 'bare minimum' these two pivotal years.

In addition to turning in the same boiler plate "Research Plan" year after year after year, with not a single step of research progression documented, when the tenure application process was upon her, Dr. Bishop engaged in what could fairly be described as  a form of academic fraud.   

According to her last UAH Department web page,  Dr. Bishop's claims three publications in 2009:
  1. Anderson, L. B., Anderson P. B., Anderson T. B., Bishop A., Anderson J., Effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on motor neuron survival (2009) International Journal of General Medicine. In press
  2. Bishop A., Green-Hobbs K., Eguchi A., Pennie C., Anderson J.E., Estévez A. Differential sensitivity of oligodendrocytes and motor neurons to reactive nitrogen species: a new paradigm for the etiology of Multiple Sclerosis (2009). Journal of Neurochemistry. (109) 93-104.
  3. 

Bishop A, Gooch R, Green-Hobbs K, Cashman N. R., Demple B., Anderson J. E., Estévez A.,. Mitigation of nitrotyrosine formation in motor neurons adapted to nitrooxidative stress. (2009) Journal of Neurochemistry. (109) 74-84.  


The first article "Effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on motor neuron survival" claims to have been written by "Anderson, L. B., Anderson P. B., Anderson T. B., Bishop A., Anderson J." and going to press in the "International Journal of General Medicine."  If you track the article down what you discover is that the authors full names are Lily B Anderson, Phaedra B Anderson, Thea B Anderson,  James Anderson and Dr. Bishop. Another way to describe the purported authors are that they are Dr. Bishop, her husband James 'Jimmy' Anderson and three of their children.  Mr. Anderson and his children are all identified as employees of "Cherokee Labsystems" in Huntsville. 

The website for  Cherokee Labsystems --  www.cherokeelabsystems.com -- has a notice "Please stand by. We are currently updating our site and will be on-line shortly" and also shows the web address defaults to http://cherokeelabs.com/ 

According to the wayback machine this web address -- http://cherokeelabs.com/  -- was only active October 16, 2003 through January 30, 2005, but all the archived pages for that period show a website that relates to Cherokee Labrador dogs,  not a genetic research laboratory.  
 
Moreover, googling with street view the claimed address for Cherokee Labsystems -  2103 McDowling Dr. SE, Huntsville, AL - shows a residential home and not a laboratory allegedly involved in genetic research:


 

If pawning off your family as co-authors employed at a bogus genetic research lab located in a residential home is not fraud, then how about paying to have your alleged research published by an online vanity press that admits in its marketing materials that its idea of peer review "is that any paper that has interest to the readers and is reasonably written will be published. Thus the Editor is looking for reasons to publish your paper, NOT reject it."  The other two articles 'published' by Dr. Bishop in 2009, include among the purported authors Dr. Bishop's husband "J.E. Anderson," whom she characterizes as her "Research Consultant, Cherokee Labsystems" in her June 2008 UAH webpage.


On her 2008 UAH faculty page, Dr. Bishop claimed:
My laboratory’s goal will be to continue in our effort to develop a neural computer, the Neuristor™, using living neurons. This computer will exploit all of the advantages of neurons. Specifically, neurons rich with the nitric oxide (NO) dependent learning receptor, N Methyl D Aspartate receptor (NMDAR), will be utilized. These have previously been studied in the context of induced adaptive resistance to NO (IAR). For the Neuristor™ we will take advantage of the IAR phenomena since it has been demonstrated that IAR neurons express more learning and memory receptors (NMDAR) as well as increased neurite outgrowth. The neurons that we are currently using are mammalian motor neurons. We are exploring the possibility of using neurons derived from adult stem cells, and from bony fishes provided by Bruce Stallsmith Ph.D. This laboratory has created a portable cell culture incubator, the Cell Drive™ that is an ideal support structure for the Neuristor™.
With respect to the Cell Drive, at seeming odds with Dr. Bishop's claim that her UAH lab  "created a portable cell culture incubator, the Cell Drive™," on August 26, 2008 a TradeMark application for the name "CELLDRIVE" to be used for "laboratory equipment and supplies, namely, incubators" was filed by the claimed "Owner (Applicant) Cherokee Labsystems Jimmy E. Anderson...[who identified himself as] SOLE PROPRIETOR." Once again, the McDowling Drive address referenced above was given for Cherokee Labsystems.

An archived article accessible through the wayback machine depicts a "Press Release" about Dr. Bishop which  reports that on March 10, 2009,  Dr. Bishop's "Neuron Research Lab Launches Experiment in Space." The "launch" was on par with the Balloon Boy's purported takeoff, only with less drama and coverage. Also, while Dr. Bishop more than once mentions NASA on her web page, the March 2009 'launch' was handled by UAH Space Hardware Club, not NASA. Cherokee Labsystems, however, was purportedly involved; Dr. Bishop credited Cherokee with "payload support development." The payload -- live neuron cells from Dr. Bishop's lab secured in what looks to be a jury rigged contraption she calls the "'incubation chamber" purportedly designed to maintain temperature and pressure as the balloon ascended.
 
 While the 'launching' of the balloon may have been a fun exercise for the students involved, the drafting of an amateur press release about the excursion hardly qualifies as published scholarly research.

Dr. Bishop's most startling claim in the 2008 UAH web page is her claim that her "laboratory’s goal will be to continue in our effort to develop a neural computer, the Neuristor™, using living neurons." 

The Neuristor Trademark is registered to a Japanese company Eisai Company.  None of Dr. Bishop's publications, even the one published in the online vanity journal, describe any research pertaining to neural computers or the Neuristor.  It may well be that Dr. Bishop was contemplating taking her interest in neuron research into the sci-fi frontier of developing a neural computer, but it also seems logical that if this were, in truth, a new direction Dr. Bishop intended to pursue she would have revamped her published research plan to identify logical steps toward such a goal. 

There is no question that Dr. Bishop is smart. But it also seems very evident that she suffers delusions of genuis. Far from establishing  a record of accomplishment warranting the grant of tenure, since joining UAH Dr. Bishop took a long nap on her one true laurel -- her affiliation with Harvard .

Evidence strongly suggests that Dr. Bishop used her husband, her family and by all appearances the sham 'Cherokee Labsystems' to fabricate a record of recent accomplishments. Her use of essentially an online vanity publisher further diminishes her professional stature.  

It should have been no surprise to Dr. Bishop that the University easily saw through the smoke and mirrors and that she would not receive tenure. But an oversized ego can be blinding.

It seems clear that Dr. Bishop re-wrote the rules for herself. Rather than face the reality that she needed to conduct real research and publish substantial, scholarly work in peer reviewed journals, Dr. Bishop tried to cheat her way to tenure. And, when that failed, it appears Dr. Bishop premeditated a new plan: if you don't accept what I publish, you will perish.


 



  

179 comments:

  1. Amy Bishop Anti Semitism
    http://bit.ly/9tcWzj

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very interesting. Provides some fascinating insights. One problem: you assume her dept. chair opposed tenure when by all accounts he supported it. She killed him so perhaps she did not know this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for your comments.
    Anon.#1 I support free speech but your failed link is truly offensive.
    Anon.#2 I will surely do some follow up research on your indication that Dr. Podila supported Bishop be given tenure. Thanks.

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  4. Anon #2 I searched but failed to find any documentation (online at least) for your indication that Department Chair Dr. Podila supported Dr. Bishop's tenure application. I did, however, see that there are sources reporting Dr. Podila supported Dr. Bishop's efforts with respect to the Cell Drive or neuron incubator. If you stop by here again, please drop me the link to the source you reference for the claim that Dr. Podila supported Dr. Bishop for tenure because I can not find any support for that proposition anywhere. Thanks.

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  5. Surely Anon #2 is talking about the Chronicle article titled "Slain Department Head Supported Accused Killer's Tenure Bid"

    http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Slain-Department-Head-Suppo/21250/

    Otherwise, this is a sensible assembly of the available data. Thanks for your efforts.

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  6. I can see that your blog attracts at least one loose nut with racist propaganda (your first commenter, being referred to as Anon #1), but it's easy enough to ignore him. Good job gathering this information; I look forward to reading more of your work.

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  7. Dear Ms. O'Connor: You have done brilliant work in exposing the fraud that is Amy Bishop. I predict that very soon more people will be aware of what you have discovered.

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  8. that address 2103 mcdowling is their residence
    http://www.emapsplus.com/ALMadison/maps/

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  9. Maybe she thought she was pulling the wool over the eyes of her peers with that "Labsystems" bit. Maybe she thought she was being clever and it backfired...

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  10. Yes, this seems to be a sensible assembly of available data.
    Also, if you do a search for Amy Bishop on "PubMed" (the standard site for looking up a scientist's serious publication record), you find 14 total publications. However, in science publication citations, there is much significance to the order of the author names listed on the citation. Briefly, listing of a name FIRST, is good, especially for a grad student or postdoc. The FIRST listed name signifies one did the primary work on the project. However, for attaining tenure in biology at a serious university, one needs MANY (5-10) publications where your name is listed LAST, signifying the research stemmed from your IDEAS, was funded by your grants, and most importantly was DIRECTED BY YOU. Bishop had her name listed FIRST in some publications, but NEVER LAST. (I only took a quick look. I may have missed one.) I don't know about the norm at Alabama Huntsville, but that record would NOT get you tenure at most respectable, second tier, state univerity biology departments.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for the comments.

    Anon.#3 Thanks for sharing the link. I read the article you provided and edited mine to reflect at the end that it was the University that saw through Dr. Bishop's smoke and mirrors instead of referencing Dr. Padila there.

    I still wonder though whether Dr. Padila was not just being diplomatic when he spoke to the Chem faculty referenced in your link. It is highly unusual for the University to veto the recommendation of a Department Chair.

    Another possible explanation is that Dr. Padila ran a very democratic department and based the department recommendation on the majority view.

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  12. Thanks for the comments.

    Anon.#5 Thanks for the insight into name placement in scholarly publications.

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  13. For what it's worth, a lot of professors run consulting businesses using their home addresses as a business address. There is nothing particularly fraudulent about a husband and wife having a startup business out of their house.

    As for the research plan being the same in 2003 and 2008, that could simply mean that she didn't care about her departmental web page. You ask professors to put something online, like their course syllabi or an NSF-style bio, and they will often do the bare minimum copy and pasting necessary to comply---it is, after all, a distraction from their job.

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  14. Not to be picky.. but of the 14 articles that come up for Amy Bishop on pubmed, only 4 of those are hers: two with the above-mentioned students in 2009, one with Jim Anderson (a review, no less) in 2005, and one with Neil Cashman in 2003. A search for "Bishop Cashman" turns up one other of hers from 1999. The others are different Amy Bishops.

    The fact that she was usually first author, and never the last author, is also significant, as already described by a commentor.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for your comment.

    Responding to "Anonymous said... Not to be picky.. but of the 14 articles that come up for Amy Bishop on pubmed" I did not use "pubmed" as the source of Dr. Bishop's publications. I took them directly off Dr. Bishop's UAH web page. You can access it still through the 'wayback machine.'

    ReplyDelete
  16. I was responding to the commentor who said, "Also, if you do a search for Amy Bishop on "PubMed" (the standard site for looking up a scientist's serious publication record), you find 14 total publications."

    ReplyDelete
  17. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Lucy

    http://cellularaccessoriess.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Lucy, Thanks for your comment and compliment.

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  19. As for the paper "authored" by Dr. Bishop and her children, if you look at the complete list of pubs, it's pretty obvious this is part of the same work that went into a poster presentation of the same year. "Posters" can mean different things in different fields, but it seems more tacky than sinister to have your kids help you on the poster and reward them with a publication credit.

    I can't tell how long it will be up, but here is the link to the "full list of publications."

    http://www.uah.edu/biology/amy/publications.html

    At the very least, it would seem to behoove you, given the argument you are making, to move past one questionable credit and examine some of the other pubs. Maybe there's something of value and maybe it's as crappy as you can imagine. But that's where the answers would be.

    Also, as regards the tenure standards for publication at this particular university, the pubs of many other members of the department are also on the website. Am I the first person to think of looking at the volume and credit order of her colleagues to determine whether her work was in some way comparable?

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  20. Interesting that since she left the lab at Harvard, she has five new articles (including the vanity press one). All five of the articles she wrote as a professor in Alabama were co-authored with her husband. Wonder what that means.

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  21. Thank you for your comment.

    I do not agree with your premise that comparing Dr. Bishop's publications with those of other Department faculty is required or even useful`for purposes of the information I examine and discuss in my article about Dr. Bishop. Moreover, even if I were inclined to compare Dr. Bishop's professional record with other professors, the relevant group for comparison would not be defined as her department faculty, but rather those UAH professors who were up for tenure consideration along with Dr. Bishop.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The balloon test may have been an inexpensive way to test their portable cell culture incubator. If you review the patent:

    http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=uSucAAAAEBAJ

    you will see that the device is designed to keep a cell culture stable over varying temperatures and pressure. A more precise testing regiment would be to hire an environmental testing lab such as:

    http://www.etldallas.com/

    An inexpensive way to test the device might be to use a balloon along with pressure and temperature recording devices. The cell incubator temperature, pressure, and gas makeup would be monitored versus the outside ambient conditions.

    A brief bit of information on cell incubators:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_incubator

    Obviously, the launching into space announcement is hype but the engineer(s) designing the device may having been attempting to test the portable cell incubator over varying temperatures and barometric pressures on the cheap.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for your comment.

    Perhaps if Dr. Bishop had been hired by UAH to teach engineering, it might make sense for her to devote so much time and energy to this project in which her husband at least had a financial interest.

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  24. As for Bishop's "coauthors," it should be noted that her children are between the ages of 9-18. So, unless they were the ones paralyzing the animals for her, I can't imagine that they would have contributed greatly.

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  25. While the "International Journal of General Medicine" (which I've never heard of) does seem to have fairly low standards -- perhaps it is even fair to deem it, as you do, an "online vanity press"-type operation -- it is not clear to me why you believe that Bishop's other two articles from 2009 were also published in a vanity press. J. Neurochem. is a legitimate, medium-profile academic journal -- not a Nature or Science by any means, but I think it has a solid reputation within its specific field. It is, by the way, a print journal, routinely subscribed to by libraries -- like virtually all journals nowadays, it publishes online as well.

    That said, it's clear that Bishop's publishing record was not very impressive, although I don't see any prima facie reason to characterize it as fraudulent. It's not uncommon to have nothing, nothing, nothing, then suddenly a cluster of papers in your last year before tenure (in the first six years you've been working feverishly to get grants and establish a research program), but to have only two "real" papers (neither of which is in a high-profile journal) is indicative of a certain lack of productivity, although I don't know anything about prevailing standards at UAH.

    Several have pointed out Bishop's lack of "last-author" papers -- it's worth pointing out that junior PIs sometimes adopt the strategy of taking first authorship for all their papers pre-tenure (reflecting the principle that, even though it's their funding and ideas, they are also more likely to have done the majority of the actual benchwork than a secure, tenured faculty member with a stable of grad students and postdocs). This is really a matter of convention and there's nothing particularly wrong or suspicious about it. A tenure candidate with a reasonable number of high-profile first-author papers would be in a very good position in most universities.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This is an interesting article. I am impressed that the author so easily saw through the smoke. I believe it is also important to put these accusations in context. At UAH, politics overrule achievement. I doubt that the publication list of many of the science professors at this institution could bear such scrutiny.

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  27. Heard second hand of one of the survivors that Bishop has asked around the Dept, to determine who had voted against her tenure application. She had determined who had voted against her tenure, yet during the shooting, she indiscriminately started shooting at the nearest seated to her left and then from left to right.
    I am assuming most faculity of any dept/any school would not want to reveal their vote?

    ReplyDelete
  28. You need to forward your information to the Huntsville Police Dept. Her husband can't exactly claim ignorance of her fraud.

    ReplyDelete
  29. To the anonymous commenter of February 16, 2010 6:38 AM: You noted that "politics overrule achievement" at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. I'd like to hear more about this.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for the comments.

    anon: Cherokee Labsystems was not billed as simply Dr. Bishop's consulting business. For one thing, it was identified as the employer of all the authors of Dr. Bishop's last claimed publication except for herself. Of course, the authors were also Dr. Bishop's family.

    As for the fact that the research plan Dr. Bishop placed in the yearly UAH Department of Biological Sciences website never changed, perhaps your point that Dr. Bishop simply gave no thought to changing it has merit.

    However, that does not explain why none of Dr. Bishop's articles that she published through online publication sites since joining the UAH faculty had anything to do with her claim she was working on developing a neuron computer.

    KC, Thanks for your input. I have edited the blog to take into account your clarification. I now refer to the other two online publishers as merely that. And to be fair, there may well be substantial quality articles in all three online publications. But to meet the standard of peer review, I doubt there can be substantial dispute that it is much easier to be published in an online publication than in a print publication.

    Also, KC, the point of the blog is to raise the issue, not pass final judgment. In my opinion, I have identified numerous facts that cast doubt on the substance of Dr. Bishop's scholarly record. My review of the information I have gathered leads me to the opinion that she did try to cheat her way to tenure.

    I well appreciate that tenure candidates probably universally become more prolific in the few years before the tenure decision. That, however, does not translate into trying to pass your family including minor children off as co-researchers at research lab run out your home. In my opinion that is fraudulent. Of course, opinions are as easy to come by as, say, blogs. Thanks for commenting. Your insight that not all online publishers should be lumped together is well taken.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Interesting research you have provided here!

    While my research experience is limited to a single project, perhaps I might suggest that while researching Bishop's publications, you might peek into one of the one of the research databases accepted by the scientific community. EBSCO comes to mind first; there are a few others as well.

    Again, very impressed with what you have uncovered!

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  32. As a faculty member at UAH, I would like to make two comments. First, in response to another anonymous comment, politics are not the most important issue at UAH. I have been here 15 years and have served on tenure review committees at every level at the university. I can tell you that we have denied tenure for really popular people who did not cut muster with regard to research, and we have granted tenure to people with excellent records, even though they had less desirable personality issues. Our tenure process is about as fair and objective as I can imagine.

    Second, the process at UAH involves 5 stages: departmental review, Dean review, college level tenure committee review, university-level review board, and the Provost. I have seen cases where one or more of these levels voted no, but the person ultimately recieved tenure, and I have also seen the opposite situation where multiple people said yes, but the Provost said no. So, it would not be uncommon for the department chair to be overruled after voting yes for tenure. The beauty of the tenure review process here is that no one person can kill your tenure if they happen to dislike you.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Donquixote5: Thank you for your comments.
    You ask,"Do you think, it would be better, if Dr. Amy Bishop or other colleagues in similar situations would commit suicide (for Goodness sake !!!) ???" Generally, I subscribe to the trite but true school of thought that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. That said, yes. I think Dr. Bishop's family and most definitely all of her victims and their loved ones would be better off if Dr. Bishop had chosen suicide last Thursday instead of the cold blooded massacre of her colleagues last Friday.

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  34. Anon: Thank you for your comments.
    Your insight into the tenure process at UAH is much appreciated. All our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone at UAH.

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  35. The University of Alabama and UAH are two completely different schools. I was a little thrown off by the initial statement of "Dr. Amy Bishop faces capital murder charges for three deaths when she reportedly opened fire during a faculty meeting at the University of Alabama last Friday." UAH is The University of Alabama (at) Huntsville.

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  36. It's clear that whether an individual voter for or against her on tenure was NOT a factor in her decision to shoot that person. Two of the people she shot were ranked at Assistant Professor, and one was administrative support staff. These people wouldn't have voted at all on her tenure.

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  37. Donquixote,
    I read your blog with interest and disgust. Your attempts to justify this horrific crime by suggesting Bishop was protecting a multi-million dollar invention that UAH was planning to "steal" from her is pathetic. Victimizing her by suggesting academia bullying led to her crime is even more pathetic.

    First, I understand as is the custom at most universities, she would have received 50% profit from her invention. Not a bad profit when you consider that her invention was likely developed on UAH time and WITH UAH equipment and in an UAH lab (see pics of her "lab" above). UAH would have funded the research and paid the patent and lawyer fees.

    Secondly, I am sick of hearing how these insane murders were victims of bullying and this somehow justifies their crime. I grew up a fat kid and was bullied. Never once in my life have I even considered going back and finding all those kids who bullied me and taking them out execution style. Normal people, bullied or not, do not kill, period.

    IF UAH had somehow "stolen" her invention from her, then in a civilized society her course of action should have been to file a lawsuit; NOT open gunfire at a staff meeting. You can not place a monetary value on human life.

    I am not an animal rights finatic. I even lean toward supporting the use of animals in the laboratory. However, being in the healthcare profession, I do know how we become somewhat desensitisized by what we deal with on a daily basis. I have to wonder if perhaps there is a very fine line between the ability to inject innocent animals with paralyzing and fatal chemicals (all in the name of science, of course) and the ability to fatally shoot a group of fellow scientist, people you have worked with for years.

    Bishop was the bully, imo.

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  38. Emily,
    I assume, the University of Alabama you are referring to would be "The University of Alabama at TUSCALOOSA." There is no suggestion in any article that this crime took place in Tuscaloosa. There are several universities in Alabama that go by "UA" the location being the last letter and specifying which university. UAB, for example is the University of Alabama at BIRMINGHAM.

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  39. Before leaving academia in 2001, I was at the UAH Department of Mathematics. I went through the tenure process, successfully, although with no small amount of heartburn.

    UAH (there is no "UAT;" the football campus is simply known as UA) has issues. The state has never adequately funded the school, so faculty are under inordinate pressure to pursue funds and not flunk tuition-paying students. The administration at all levels has its heart in the right place, but is having to fend off the alligators while trying to drain the swamp. Faculty morale swings up and down with state funding. I know these issues are everywhere, but they seem worse at UAH.

    The tenure process at UAH is fairly standard, but the school is young. It is only since the late 1980s that scholarship has been emphasized.

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  40. I give credit but the real issue here is Murder some of the smart people in the room want to cut her slack I think not these same peple turn their noses up to excuse her shooting other staffers.
    One must question her husbands I don`t know where she got the gun let alone her recent trips to the gun range DUH.Are you blind? If my wife takes a sudden interest in range shooting and sports a pistol I have never seen before I am damm sure gonna find out.
    Was her husband henpecked she may have been holding his nads in her purse P whipped

    Killing her brother
    Connection to a Letter Bomb
    A gun with out a Permit
    Opening fire and killing people who voted against you from getting Tenure
    Besides having a very bad Prince Valiant Hair Cut and Emo Philips and Busterbrown denoncing your actions and
    having a very sick twisted “Obsessed” with Obama

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  41. Thanks for your comments.

    Emily: I edited the first sentence reference to UAH in response to your clarification. Thx.

    Anonymous responding to Donquixote: points well taken, but you have missed the most important one - it is not possible to argue with some one named Don Quixote.

    James Epperson: Thanks for the insight into UAH.

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  42. mary agnes o'connor: My point was precisely that Journal of Neurochemistry is NOT "only" an "online journal." J. Neurochem. is a standard print journal, has been published continuously since the 1950s up to the present day, and is available as bound volumes in any serious academic library. Yes, its content is available online as well. *The same can be said of virtually every scientific journal today*. J. Neurochem. is no more (or less) an "online journal" than Science or Nature, the two most prestigious journals in the world.

    Trust me, I am a neuroscientist myself and, while I've never published in J. Neurochem, I have cited papers published there. Ten years ago, before every journal was available online, I used to have to go down to the library to photocopy papers, so I can testify to J. Neurochem.'s physical reality.

    In sum, whatever other valid points you make about Bishop, it is simply not reasonable to state, as you do, "The other two articles 'published' by Dr. Bishop in 2009 were likewise published only in an online journal, which by their nature, do not have the volume restrictions of traditional journals and, therefore, have arguably less demanding acceptance criteria." Bishop's two other 2009 papers were published in a real, live, respectable, peer-reviewed print journal.

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  43. All science journals, including NATURE and SCIENCE are now on-line... No scientist would want to print in a print-only journal (no one would have access since no one goes to the library anymore) ... There are, that I am aware of, no important scientific journals that remain print-only.

    Therefore, your assertion that standards for on-line journals are lower than printed journals is non-sensical.

    As to J. Neurochem, this journal has a pretty good "impact factor" (4.5) which is the number used to assess scientific quality with high peer-reviewed standard.

    This means it is likely that some of Amy Bishop's publications have real scientific merit....which makes the whole thing more sad and incomprehensible.

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  44. I agree with kc that the Journal of Neurochemistry is a real, live, respectable, peer-reviewed journal that's available both in print and online. Print academic journals are going the way of the dodo - libraries are changing over rapidly to the more convenient online subscriptions. The content is the same.

    Being online doesn't make something a vanity pub, even the obscure IJ of general medicine. Not sure about it, but they do say they're peer-reviewed, and there's nothing necessarily wrong with being free. There is a movement towards open access for scholarly publication, which is a good thing because libraries pay far too much to the big publishers.

    Also, Anonymous said "you might peek into one of the one of the research databases accepted by the scientific community. EBSCO comes to mind first". Note Ebsco & most other databases just republish content from journals that may or may not be peer reviewed. J of Neurochemistry is available through an Ebsco database and/or by itself.

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  45. Although I see Bishop's thin publication record as one very likely factor that might have gone against her in her pursuit of tenure, as you do, I think you overstate a case for "fraud."

    Anderson worked across the street from the campus in a lab leased by Cherokee; it's a small company owned by Anderson, in which Bishop had some share. The legal mailing address listed as their home address does not indicate anything sinister or fraudulent.
    Her colleagues were not in the dark about it, if that's what you are implying. They knew she and her husband were collaborating and had the little company involved in various research schemes.

    The kiddie project sounds like your basic PI parent helping with a science fair project. I know lots of parents in science education who do projects like that with school-aged children. Unless she was trying to pass that off as something it wasn't (and who evaluating the content and quality of the research wouldn't know those were her kids, honestly?)

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  46. Most of the above posts about Amy Bishop's publication record are absolute nonsense. The key database for evaluating publications and their impact is the Science Citation Index. I entered Bishop A and Alabama. There are four publications that display for the last five years; this does not preclude earlier publications at other institutions. She is the lead author on all four publications which, rather than a negative, should be viewed as a positive.

    The first two publications, from 2004 and 2005, have 13 and 21 citations (a key measure of impact), respectively. The last two, from 2009, have one citation apiece. They are too recent to have garnered a large number of citations.

    While this publication and citation record will not place her in the top tier of researchers, is does not deserve the label of 'fraudulent'. It is the mark of an average researcher. In fact, a search of the University of Alabama at Huntsville shows a total of 1389 papers published in the journals accessed by the Science Citation Index, with the median number of citations being one. So, in fact, Ms. Bishop's papers are well above the UAH average in terms of impact. There may certainly be other valid reasons for denying her tenure, but based on the record, her publications were more than adequate.

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  47. Tenureship is dependent on several factors: research activity and productivity as judged by funding status and publications in peer-reviewed journals, quality of research as adjudged by peers from other institutions around the world, collegiality, quality of teaching, community service as defined by service within the department, university and scientific community.

    I'd say she was a failure on all counts. A middle-aged woma, prone to anger and a professional failure was a deadly combination.

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  48. I examined the Science Citation Index further. Of the 1389 papers from UAH, only 22 related in any way to biology. Ms. Bishop therefore published almost 20% of the total biology paper production (in the SCI) since UAH's inception. Moreover, her two most cited papers, referenced above as 21 and 13 citations, rank her #3 and #4 on the most cited list in UAH biology. While she would only rank as average in a second-tier institution, based on her publication record alone, she is actually a star in biology at UAH. Don't let the despicable crime she committed alter the reality of her academic productivity at UAH. O.J.'s crimes did not obviate his being a great football player.

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  49. There was a problem with the SCI search engine. I re-computed the numbers. There was a total of 6874 papers in the SCI from UAH, of which 370 related to biology. Ms. Bishop's highest cited paper placed her #60 (top 15%), and her median cite of 7 places her well above the average biology median of 4. Not a star at UAH, but still above average.

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  50. Thanks for all your comments.

    I have edited the blog to reflect and respond to various fairly lodged criticisms.

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  51. I consider myself an average, perhaps a bit above average scientist in the biological sciences compared to my colleagues and the people I went to grad school with. I have a bit over 1,800 citations (from a bit over 60 publications) in the last 10 years. From my perspective, any discussion of publication and citation record is just silly. It was insignificant. How can anyone take someone seriously who published with their grade school kids as authors????

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  52. Selective_serotonin_reuptake_inhibitor--SSRIs are anti-depressants. I wonder if her whole family takes them, and that's why the kids are credited. Or perhaps the family shares a genetic condition?

    I think the original poster is overstating the "fraud" and cheating elements.

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  53. Citation index is so passe'. Nowadays it's the impact factor of the journals where articles get published. Needless to say online journals that barely edit the articles and serve only to pad the authors' resumes have zero impact factor.

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  54. I view the original blog, including the author's update, as a Monday morning quarterbacking hatchet job. Based on the SCI publication results, obtaining an NIH grant at a third-tier institution, and reported statements of students and colleagues before the fact, there is no obvious reason that she was not eligible for tenure. Maybe the reality is that she was screwed out of tenure, and this threw her over the edge! Certainly does not justify killing or even harming anyone in any way, but let's not evade reality here.

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  55. Very interesting. Basically she's nuts. But she's hot in a Cindy Sheehan kind of way.

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  56. One of the strangest aspects of her academic life may be her use of three of her children as co-authors of a university level paper. I would think that that fact alone would discredit her. Does anyone know whether any other professor has made similar use of their child--or ANY juvenile, for that matter--as a co-author? Is this a normal university custom?

    It also does seem odd that she was not the last listed author for the three recent papers, which indicates that she did not initiate the work. This makes it sounds like she was essentially doing work prescribed by another person. So she did not initiate the work for her recent publications, and neither was she the sole "force" behind the Neuristar, even though she seems to have gotten good publicity because of it.

    It would be interesting to see the details of her EEO complaint of gender discrimination. In light of that, it is puzzling that she killed both sexes. It would also be interesting to know what medication or counseling she received during her life, and at what times.

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  57. The first account I read after the shooting (sorry didn't think to save the link) said that Bishop's husband worked at their lab which was across the street from the university.

    Since then I haven't seen any more information about her husband’s place of employment which is apparently in their home. I also read that he had a vital interest in his wife’s tenure because without a university association, their lab wouldn’t be able to compete for grants.

    Bishop learned she wasn’t getting tenure last April, so If she didn’t get another university job by now, both of them may have been getting desperate. Perhaps he didn’t know she was going to open fire at the faculty meeting, but considering her volatile past, he probably should have kept fire arms away from her.

    I believe there’s a lot more to be learned about this troubled woman who’s already gotten away with mayhem more than once.

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  58. The first article I read about the murders began with "Harvard educated Professor...". President Obama and his crew are Harvard folks too. Seems reality about Harvard is public these days. They give diplomas to people who have no education, and are total fools when the light shines upon them. Too bad for those in the room with Bishop, and for our country. Being "Harvard educated" in the future should mean nothing or worse.

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  59. More new bad, online news: Students signed a petition against her in 2003.

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  60. It sounds like her children worked on the research and/or the paper for her and/or her husband. That together with the news that they were not allowed to play normally in their Ipswich neighborhood makes one think that these children must have had hard lives with these parents.

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  61. Great blog! Some very interesting questions you are raising. Have you seen this?

    http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2010/02/my-brush-with-the-alabama-shooters-psych/index.shtm

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  62. To be or not to be. Her history may attempt to explain, but does not excuse her actions. She has been and it a killer. She should be judged for that alone.

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  63. Interesting collection of info.

    You may wish to note that "Lucy" commenting above is using your blog to spam "her" website selling cell phone accessories, and is almost certainly an automated spam-bot. I recommend removing these links as they appear, because where one stays up, many more will follow.

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  64. One online article states that the Neuristar was Amy's invention. This blog does not give that impression. I am wondering whether the mainstream media will end up giving her an image of a less than brilliant person.

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  65. Did you see the abstract for the paper the kids contributed to? It's possibly a science-fair type project, albeit a big more complicated. They probably treated the cells with ethanol.

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine and paroxetine are prescribed to relieve clinical depression and a variety of other disorders. Recently tardive dyskinesia, as well as other movement disorders, have been found to be a clinical side effect of SSRIs. In light of these emerging side effects, we asked if motor neurons were affected by SSRI. Motor neurons were challenged with fluoxetine and paroxetine at clinically relevant doses as well as at lesser and greater doses. Ethanol was used as a negative control and another group of cells was left untreated. As expected, in alcohol-treated cells, there was significant decrease in cell survival and neurite outgrowth. In untreated cells there was no effect in either cell survival or neurite outgrowth. In fluoxetine-treated motor neurons there was ∼52% cell death while in paroxetine-treated cells there was 14% cell survival and both SSRIs caused significant loss of the percentage of neurite-bearing cells. Both SSRIs decreased cell survival in a dose-dependent manner. This study is provocative enough to call for further in vivo studies.
    http://tinyurl.com/yf3xrqh

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  66. Terrific analysis. I also wondered about the dove press journal, the fact that her husband and three children were co-authors and that the whole thing read like a (high quality) science fair project. That Cherokee is a bogus operation, and the '3 employees' is lists are the children is pretty well established by your analysis.
    What do you make of the fact that the patent for her inQ petri dish replacement has yet to be issued? I think she applied for it in 2007.

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  67. The comments above about first author/ last author are absolute nonsense. The order of authors tends to represent their contribution to the study. The first author could be the Principal Investigator and guiding light behind the project, as well as the person who had done the most work on the study. I suspect that was the case with Dr. Bishop, and the amateurish attemps to read something negative into her being first author are completely irrelevant. Usually, the driving force behind a paper is listed as the Corresponding Author or Reprint Author.

    I suspect she was screwed out of tenure, and this drove her over the edge. I have known people who did not get tenure or, conversely, were forced to retire early. They tended to perform irrational actions as a result, although obviously nothing as horrific as Dr. Bishop. Don't under-rate the impact of not attaining tenure in today's economy for anyone, much less someone at the breaking point.

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  68. @ Anon 1L14 pm.

    Bishop wasn't screwed out of tenure. She was an academic fraud who had been screwing UAH and the students who took her class.

    The only fault in what UAH did was allowing her to stay as long as she did knowing that her research never progressed.

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  69. How can anyone say someone was "screwed out of tenure" when their kids have apparently done much of their research/writing for them? Isn't it totally abnormal for teenagers/children to help a parent perform college level work? Shouldn't one expect that a professor would either do their research alone or find an adult co-author(s) rather than recruit a juvenile(s)? Could it have been that she had difficulty finding anyone to collaborate with because she was too hard to get along with? So she HAD to fall back on her family to help her do her work?

    Sadly, her story is really stranger than fiction.

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  70. This was an interesting collection of data and I thank you for putting it together. The suspicions you raise might well have played a role in her denial of tenure. However, as someone who has been in the academy for over 25 years, I have to make two observations:

    1). Your legal source to me overstates the role of the Department Chair in tenure decisions. The department chair, by virtue of his/her position as a mentor, access to information and as the interface between colleagues and the adminstration, has somewhat more power than other faculty, but the weight of a tenure decision rarely rests with her/him. The Chair signs a letter that is supposed to present the views of the department or committee that deliberates the case. Are there exceptions? Of course, but generally the chair acts as a representative of the department and there are serious repercussions if s/he goes against the department will.

    2). While Dr. Bishop's accounting of work seems sketchy, if not downright weird, an unchanging web description of her work should not be as big a part of your arsenal. A major research project might stay the same for 5-10 years because research is time consuming (the recent book about Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa cell line points out that it toook 20 years of essentially the same procedure before cells could remain viable in the lab) and updates are usually seen in grant applications and personnel documents, not on a website.

    Unlike bloggers, most academics can't just change their web profile as they want. I have worked at two institutions that required you to get permission from the administration if you wanted to change your web information (even typos and misspellings introduced by staff); it was an incredible pain and most people just gave up. My current institution is better, but the process is still controlled by staff for whom maintaining the web is very low priority. My current department adminstrator hasn't updated the website in two years despite numerous requests and new information. The people I know who maintain an up to date presence have their own websites or research assistants/publicists who do this for them. I would hate for non faculty to get the sense that a static or unchanging web presence is a sign of fraud, when in most cases, its the creakiness of academia.

    Sadly for her victims and family, Bishop has much worse crimes to answer for than academic fraud.

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  71. You note that in order to get tenure, a professor must "publish or perish." Since Amy (and/or husband?) felt compelled to include their children in "authoring" one of her three listed publications in 2009, it seems like either Amy or Amy and her husband had a strange need for academic/research assistance from them. Or maybe they practiced an oddball twist on homeschooling?

    It will be interesting to see whether any of their family explain why their kids were involved in her official work. And I am wondering exactly how much she contributed as an author.

    For informational purposes, below I have pasted information on authoring from the Wikipedia Academic authorship article. This article does not indicate that the authors should be listed in any particular order. I believe sometimes, authors are just listed in alphabetical order.

    Another question might be why the 2009 article in the medical publication has her children as co-authors, whereas, the two 2009 articles in a scientific publication don't have kid involvement.

    Were the kids involved in every step of the process (i.e., dissection, microscope work, writing, etc.)? Were they also in school and doing homework? How did they cope? Should someone investigate their treatment?

    From Wikipedia:

    Authorship in the Natural Sciences

    The natural sciences have no universal standard for authorship, but some major multi-disciplinary journals and institutions have established guidelines for work that they publish. The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) has an editorial policy that specifies "authorship should be limited to those who have contributed substantially to the work" and furthermore, "authors are strongly encouraged to indicate their specific contributions" as a footnote. The American Chemical Society further specifies that authors are those who also "share responsibility and accountability for the results" [3] and the U.S. National Academies specify "an author who is willing to take credit for a paper must also bear responsibility for its contents. Thus, unless a footnote or the text of the paper explicitly assigns responsibility for different parts of the paper to different authors, the authors whose names appear on a paper must share responsibility for all of it." [4]
    [edit] Authorship in Medicine

    In the medical field, authorship is defined very narrowly. According to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, in order to be considered an author, one must have satisfied all three conditions:
    1) Contributed substantially to the conception and design of the study, the acquisition of data, or the analysis and interpretation of data
    2) Drafting or providing critical revision of the article,and
    3) Provided final approval of the version to be published

    The acquisition of funding, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship. Many medical journals have abandoned the strict notion of author, with the flexible notion of contributor.[5]

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  72. The media is still calling her brilliant and claiming that she is an inventor. Is it because the Harvard name is so powerful? If she had obtained her degree from some unknown school, would the news people be so quick to assume that she had so much on the ball without carefully examining the facts, as you have done? Does graduating from an expensive, well known school guarantee one a reputation for brilliance for life?

    Have any of her novels that were supposed to be so good been published? If they were really that good, why weren't they more popular? Does writing them make her necessarily brilliant?

    She went to the right school. She became her parents' only child, so they probably gave her everything they could, including help with getting a good reputation. Even now, some news people are giving her a reputation for brilliance, in spite of some of her questionable academic practices. (Should they do more research before they write or speak?)

    Socially, she seems like a moron and worse. I just don't see her as brilliant, and theorize that she got helped out in her academic work much of the time by her husband and others (either under or above the table), and that's how she got by.

    If students sign a petition against a teacher, that's an extreme situation right there. Has that happened often? I think not. They could have just given negative feedback in the usual forum for that, but she was bad enough to make them want to take serious action.

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  73. Thanks for the comments.

    Anon: re Lucy being a spam bot? how do you tell?

    Anon: re Patent issue. I'm posting a Blog tomorrow that focuses on Dr. Bishop's husband James Anderson. He and Dr. Bishop are identified as co-inventors on the patent application for the "Apparatus and method for incubating cell cultures". It is called InQ by the start up company that plans to commercialize the invention. Dr. Bishop and her husband are represented by Patent Counsel. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website estimates that with its backlog a Patent Application can take "14 months to 4 years to process." Here is a link to USPTO site in you want to learn more http://tinyurl.com/yzefqwr Dr. Bishop and James Anderson filed their Patent Application May 12, 2006. Based on the filing date and Government backlog, there could be a decision on the Patent Application at any time.

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  74. Thanks for your comments:

    Anon: re "I view the original blog, including the author's update, as a Monday morning quarterbacking hatchet job"

    I am not entirely clear as to your point, but I revise all my Blogs pretty frequently. Sometime I revise because I just see a better way to say something and sometimes because readers have provided me information that corrects, clarifies and at times entirely undermines something I have written. My objective is not to defend my first published draft but improve it through revisions based the input of many other eyes, yours included.

    Anon: "Did you see the abstract for the paper the kids contributed to?" I have the article and the poster. I will add them to the Blog as either links or pix and let you know which and where.

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  75. Anon: The poster is now in the Blog and has the abstract as part of it although the print is quite tiny. I am ashamed to admit I still have not figured out how to upload pdf files and make them part of my Blog. The learning curve is a long one.

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  76. Anon: re "Have you seen this? http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2010/02/my-brush-with-the-alabama-shooters-psych/index.shtm

    The link is broken. Want to try again? I'd like to read it.

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  77. Anon: re: "The media is still calling her brilliant and claiming that she is an inventor. Is it because the Harvard name is so powerful?"

    I think that where you matriculate is definitely a major factor in how people perceive you in certain fields and professions.

    If you are an engineer, an employer will probably be more impressed if you graduated from MIT than Harvard.

    However, Harvard is universally recognized as one of the top schools in the world for a good and valid reason: the high caliber of professors, the research monies pouring in, the zillions in legacies and the very high standards for acceptance of new students.

    By virtue of the fact that Dr. Bishop was awarded a Ph.D in genetics from Harvard, she has automatic and, frankly, well deserved credibility as an intellectual.

    All that said, that does not mean that everything she does going forward will live up to her pedigree or her potential.

    Case in point: Theodore John Kaczynski a/k/a the Unabomber. Kaczynski graduated from Harvard, earned a Ph.D in mathematics from the University of Michigan, another top 10 school, and taught at the University of California, Berkeley, another elite academic institution.

    But in the end, the Unabomber killed three and wounded many more.

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  78. Thank you for all the information. It is nice to get a counterpoint to the positive media perception of her academic ability. As reportedly Amy felt her Harvard reference might be problematical, I think it might be assumed that she might not have been doing so well there. Her reference person received a direct threat, so may have "caved in" to giving her a better reference than she deserved?

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  79. Interesting reading the various opinions...it does seem to me that she [Amy Bishop] had difficulty accepting that her opinions/beliefs might not be accepted by others for any reason other than the inability of others to understand her position...maybe that's why her research was essentially a solo job. It’s much less frustrating if you don’t have to explain things to people who just aren’t as bright - people who “don’t get it.” No comments to resolve or hard criticisms to address when you’re in your silo.

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  80. carol.szymanski@hotmail.comFebruary 18, 2010 at 8:01 AM

    I now know WHY the rich get richer and the prisons are filled mostly by blacks. White crazy women like "Dr." Amey Bishop (a Catholic!) never get called on their actions. If a black man had "mistakenly" killed his brother, he'd've been thrown in jail immediately. What a system--protect the whites, protect the rich, protect the children of professors. Some people get second and third and fourth chances and still screw up royally. "Honey, come pick me up. I just killed three professors and I have no way to get home."

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  81. I can't understand how a supposedly brilliant academic could write a paper together with three juvenile-aged kids. Doesn't that speak to her having a less than optimal intelligence? Surely her collaborators would have been at a higher academic level if she was a truly serious expert in some scientific/medical matter. What kind of academic dialogue could a medical or scientific expert have with family members who were not acknowledged experts, as she was? Isn't part of the learning process a communications process between professionals?

    Currently, her first-listed publication in the UAH Web site, the one she wrote with most of her family, is listed as "In press." Is there not yet a truly final document available? I tried to find it on that journal's Web site.

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  82. Contrary to my prior e-mail, I did get access to her first article that is listed as in press on the UAH Web site. That article does not delineate the responsibilities of each author; however, the running heads (headers) are Anderson et al. Therefore, it would seem that Amy Bishop was not the "main force" behind the publication. She had the degree, but not the wherewithal to produce that article.

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  83. To the poster above citing race issue: I know Amy Bishop personally (and unfortantely one could say). She has mentioned to more than one person that she is of partial black descent (a great, great grandfather - can't remember) and ethnically Jewish. She's also stated her spiritual beliefs followed Unitarian Universalism. Not sure of any of this is truth, or actually matters come to think of it, but it's what she told people.

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  84. Thanks for your comments.

    Anon: "Currently, her first-listed publication in the UAH Web site, the one she wrote with most of her family, is listed as "In press." Is there not yet a truly final document available?"

    There is a published version. If I didn't link it to the Blog, here it is:
    http://www.dovepress.com/effects-of-selective-serotonin-reuptake-inhibitors-on-motor-neuron-sur-peer-reviewed-article-IJGM

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  85. Anon: "To the poster above citing race issue: I know Amy Bishop personally..."

    I think I speak for everyone reading, we would very much like to hear/read your first hand knowledge.

    1. how do you know her? colleague? neighbor?
    2. in retrospect, any clues that she might be capable of the shooting spree that took place?
    3. did you have any opportunity to observe Dr. Bishop and her husband together? Any insight into the power dynamics between them?
    4. any observations of James Anderson you can share?

    I don't want to overwhelm you, so I will stop there.

    Hope to hear back from you either on the Blog or via email. maryagnesoconnor@gmail.com

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  86. carol.szymanski@hotmail.com: re your observation/question that race may have played a role in how Dr. Bishop was treated in the past such as when she shot and killed her brother, I suspect the fact her mother supported the story that it was an accident was the main reason charges were never brought coupled with the fact Dr. Bishop was a young female and presumably had no prior criminal record.

    That said, I totally agree with your premise that race is still a factor in how an accused is perceived, prosecuted and punished in America.

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  87. For those interested, this is the family's blog for Dr. Joseph Leahy with updates on his condition and progress:

    Joseph Leahy's family blog.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Thanks for the comments.

    Anonymous said.."For those interested, this is the family's blog for Dr. Joseph Leahy with updates on his condition and progress..."

    The link doesn't work. Can you post the actual URL and we can copy/cut/paste.

    Thanks.

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  89. mary agnes:

    This is the url for the Leahy family blog:

    www.josephleahy.blogspot.com

    Thank you for this wonderful blog. I am glad to have found it.

    ReplyDelete
  90. I am wondering whether the media will sufficiently dissect the issue of whether she was really academically qualified. Many articles seem to repeat Amy's husbands statements, which are definitely biased in Amy's favor, but do not report much of the more negative information that is in your blog. The newspeople do not seem to be delving into her recent paper, and alerting the public to the fact that almost her whole family helped on her last research paper. Their family being like that, and the newspeople not reporting it both seem odd. This was like a child labor situation. Were the kids dissecting animals for the parents, or what? Were they doing school, working for the parents, and not doing typical kid activities like bicycling or basketball (not from the reports about life in Ipswich, anyway)?

    Another question: Since "Amy's" most recent paper was about antidepressants, did she obtain a supply and use them herself (under the table?). Was she drug dependent or crazed?

    I also wonder whether the other local shooting, at the high school, somehow triggered Amy to act irrationally. Maybe it brought up too many bad memories?

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  91. Thanks for the link, Anon.

    Re depression issue: I don't know if Dr. Bishop was clinically depressed, but facing the imminent loss of employment in a non-existent job market with a family to support had to have increased her stress and anxiety.

    Plus, the same shaky record that probably played a factor in her not getting tenure would have been the same record that other universities would be looking at in making hiring decisions.

    Finally, at her age - 45 - she would be competing for jobs with newly minted Ph.D's mostly in their 20s. This would be tremendously humiliating for anyone. For a 45 year old Harvard grad with anger control issues, it was a deadly mix of anger and humiliation.

    I do not believe that any of this qualifies as a defense to Dr. Bishop's outrageous acts of violence. Also, the evidence of planning - obtaining a gun, practicing shooting, bringing the loaded gun to the Department meeting, and shooting six people - all this demonstrates she did not act out of uncontrollable rage. She chose to kill everyone she shot and but for the Grace of God would have succeeded in six killings instead of three.

    I think Dr. Bishop saw the murders as a way to take control of a situation that was out of her control by destroying as many lives as she could including indirectly the lives of her own children who will likely never recover from the sins of their mother.

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  92. The previous post hits the nail on the head, in terms of the real options Dr. Bishop had.

    There is a bottom line here. Decisions and their associated actions have consequences, and some of these consequences could be unforseen. 9/11 did not occur for no reason; it was years in the making. Similarly, there is a spectrum of responses to not receiving tenure, especially if the decision is perceived as unfair. Most people will look elsewhere if tenure is not forthcoming, but there is always the possibility of a small minority going over the line.

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  93. this sounds awfully biased, and how did YOU get a hold of these internal documents, and who are you?

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  94. The link that did not work lacked the "l" at the end. The operational links is:

    http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2010/02/my-brush-with-the-alabama-shooters-psych/index.shtml

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  95. February 19, 2010 6:34 AM Anonymous said...
    "There is a bottom line here. Decisions and their associated actions have consequences, and some of these consequences could be unforeseen. ...there is a spectrum of responses to not receiving tenure, especially if the decision is perceived as unfair."

    I doubt few (if any) PhDs would view a denial of tenure as anything but unfair. However, the premeditated, cold blooded murder of three professors and the attempted murder of three others were not consequences of Amy Bishop being denied tenure. Cause and effect relationships are built on logic and rational thought. Her actions were anything but logical or rational. I don’t believe you can try to associate any of the blame on the committee or university for denying her tenure. Amy Bishop is 100% responsible for her actions.

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  96. RE: RexRedbone said... FEBRUARY 16, 2010 11:55 AM

    In addition to what RexRedbone listed, Amy Bishop was also charged for an assault in 2002. In a pancake shop, Bishop punched a lady who took the last booster seat. According to a police record, Bishop hit the lady in her head and kept saying that "I AM DR. AMY BiSHOP".

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/02/17/bishop_could_have_been_tried_da_says/?page=1

    For the sake of her children, I hope Bishop's husband, James Anderson, grow out of being puppet of control freak wife.

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  97. Anon said..."There is a bottom line here. Decisions and their associated actions have consequences, and some of these consequences could be unforeseen..."

    I think your point is well taken and does not equate with blaming UAH or any one but Dr. Bishop for her actions. Amy Bishop is solely responsible and to blame for the deadly choices she made.

    At the same time we live in a world where employers need to expect and prepare for workplace violence.

    There is a saying: no good deed goes unpunished. Reports are that Dr. Bishop learned she was denied tenure last year. UAH let her work this year to help her transition to a new position somewhere else. Amy Bishop should have been removed when tenure was denied and if her contract promised her a terminal year, UAH needs to examine the wisdom of keeping disgruntled employees on staff for another year. Even if they don't become violent like Dr. Bishop, they still must be bad for morale and not good ambassadors for the school.

    When most employers decide to terminate an employee, human resources will walk the terminated employee to the door and take away employee access privileges. A college is a public place and harder to secure than a private workplace, but every measure to provide a safe campus should be explored.

    None of this excuses Dr. Bishop, but may help reduce future workplace violence.

    ReplyDelete
  98. My statement above ("There is a bottom line here. Decisions and their associated actions have consequences, and some of these consequences could be unforeseen...") seems to have been misinterpreted by some readers. Let me provide an analogy that may clarify my point.

    When I was younger, I was a relatively fast driver. Sometimes, I would cut in front of another driver very sharply. Most drivers reacted moderately, and pulled back a few car lengths. Some would tailgate, and turn on their brights. Some would then deliberately cut in front of me. Finally, some were so enraged that if they had a gun available, they probably would have shot me.

    Now, from an objective independent perspective, they were solely responsible for their response. If anyone had actually shot me, they would have been prosecuted for murder. However, even in that extreme case, I would have been partly to blame, whether or not recognized by the legal system. Because of my actions, an adverse response was stimulated. They would not have shot me had I not cut them off.

    That's how I view the UAH problem. Obviously, Dr. Bishop is responsible for the killings, and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But, if it turns out that tenure was denied unfairly, those who made the decision have some responsibility, probably not legally but perhaps morally.

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  99. Anon: re your comment "if it turns out that tenure was denied unfairly, those who made the decision have some responsibility, probably not legally but perhaps morally."

    I disagree both with your point and the analogy.
    When you were young you engaged in reckless driving and had an accident resulted, you would have been responsible. If a driver over reacted and shot you, you would not be legally or morally responsible even though your reckless and irresponsible was illegal and the actual 'trigger' for the hot head driver you cut-off.

    Here, UAH is not engaging in reckless, irresponsible or illegal conduct in denying Dr. Bishop tenure.

    Even if she were able to prove it was "unfair",so what?

    The vast majority of employees in America are 'employees at will' which means they can be fired at any time, for any or no reason, with or with cause and the termination decision does not have to be fair.

    The entire point of tenure and what makes it so desirable is that it gives you the professor job security, protection against unfair dismissal.

    There is no basis in law, fact or reason to suggest that UAH or anyone involved in the decision to deny Dr. Bishop tenure is in any manner morally responsible for the killings and violence she committed.

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  100. Excellent analysis! I am sick and tired of the portrait of her being a brilliant scientist in the popular media. Her publication record has been low, dated back to her doctoral and pre-doctoral days. I don't recall seeing any publication of hers until 97 or 98 (with the 1st one being an abstract). Since she received her PhD in 93, she apparently did so without a paper? Why is a Harvard graduate with her research productivity so worthy of the praise? The Chronicle has a nice summary of the episode, including some accounts of the tenure bid. None of the external evaluators were impressed. This was a clear-cut case!

    http://chronicle.com/article/The-Fatal-Meeting-Death/64295/

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  101. Mary Agnes wrote: "She chose to kill everyone she shot and but for the Grace of God would have succeeded in six killings instead of three."

    Dr. Moriarty recalled how Dr. Bishop followed her into the hall, pointing the gun at her and pulling the trigger repeatedly (the gun just "clicked" each time). So it appears Dr. Bishop's intention was to kill at least seven people, and that those who were spared owe their lives to the perpetrator running out of bullets more than anything else.

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  102. When a school hires a junior faculty in a biology field, they invest a large sum of money to help the new faculty start a lab (for example, my school supports average one million dollars per faculty in biology; of course this number varies at great distant, depending on many factors). Therefore, when a school recruits a faculty, the school has no intention/expectation to fire the faculty in 5 years. However, if the faculty fails to meet the school's standard, it only makes sense to deny tenure of the faculty in 5 years.

    There are many factors to be considered during tenure. Some are relatively objective such as a good standing publication, grant and teaching; Others can be subjective such as being social or political at some extent.

    To my opinion, Bishop's scientific achievement does not appear promising. Even though she listed a lengthy publication list in her lab website, there are only a few papers were published in peer-reviewed journals after she joined UAH. Her two 2009 papers seem considerably decent as someone above pointed out, but not good enough to support her tenure. Of course, the family paper is a whack job strictly in a scientific sense. The questions that Bishop tried to address, data quality and conclusion were at a high-school level. Not surprisingly it was published in non-peer-reviewed journal (Besides, look at how close the submission date is to accepted date).

    Her teaching skill is obviously bad, as shown by multiple complaints that were filed and signed by a dozen of her class student. I got the impression that Bishop couldn't care less about teaching her class, based on the students' claim that Bishop simply read the textbook and hardly made a eye contact with students. Given that Bishop was on tenure-track, this behavior is very dangerous move to tenure.

    Winning a state contest and receiving 25K may look great to people, but to me it's just a trick to add something (that does not appeal experts) to her resume. Besides, 25K can be spent in one month to run a lab.

    Giving another year to a faculty after tenure denial usually serves two purposes. One first denial is not a death penalty. If the faculty is expecting very good publications or funding in line, he/she has a chance to appeal and retry out tenure. From my experience, this case very often produces positive results.

    In more frequent cases, the faculty uses this chance to find a job in other place and to take care of his/her lab members (graduate students, post-doctoral fellow and technicians).

    All that said, I think Bishop's case is more likely about how the society tolerates "smart" people. When your daughter kills your son, you as a mom may not want to lose two children by turning your daughter to police. But the question is if covering your daughter is really good for her. When one was able to get away from murdering
    its own sibling at young age, what message would the one get from that?

    Bishop shouted repeatedly in a pancake restaurant that she must have the last booster seat because she is "Dr. Amy Bishop". I suspect she learned this long time ago when she got away from the murder.

    Some people say her IQ is 160. But I don't see it in her scientific publication. I don't see it in her behavior.

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  103. Ordering of authors conventions differ across disciplines. In economics the norm is to use alphabetical ordering though I and my coauthors don't always do this and often order by size of contribution.

    Bishop's papers were in reputable journals apart from the last one. But she didn't publish much for someone in biology seeking tenure. I agree with the comments about webpages from others - many universities have completely out of date webpages, which is why I have my own website. Her teaching evals on Ratemyprofessors.com are rather mixed to say the least.

    ReplyDelete
  104. mary agnes o'connor said... "The vast majority of employees in America are 'employees at will' which means they can be fired at any time, for any or no reason, with or with cause...

    I meant to say, with or without cause.

    ReplyDelete
  105. In response to my analogy of reckless driving, Mary Agnes O'Connor said:

    "Here, UAH is not engaging in reckless, irresponsible or illegal conduct in denying Dr. Bishop tenure."

    No one on this blog has adequate facts to make such a statement. All that we do know is four of her publications while at UAH were in journals accessed by the SCI, and she had received an NIH grant. Two of her papers had modest citations, the highest being in the top 15% of UAH cited biology papers. If she were applying for tenure at Harvard or even a second tier university, this would be an inadequate publication record. But for UAH, it might very well be adequate.

    What I find reckless and irresponsible is drawing conclusions in the absence of facts. A case in point. Steven Kinzer wrote a book about the coup that overthrew Mohammed Mosadegh in Iran, in 1953. According to all press reports, there was widespread chaos in the streets, and a popular uprising was taking place to get rid of a dangerous leader. Not until the late 1990s were documents declassified to show that in fact the CIA had taken the lead to arrange the coup. Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, had been the ringleader. The bottom line from this experience is: don't take press accounts in real time as gospel, and don't get carried along with the hysteria.

    Again, before drawing conclusions about the denial of tenure for Dr. Bishop, wait until the facts are in.

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  106. I think this is pretty damned interesting. Why haven't I seen this covered in any mainstream press reports?

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  107. "I think this is pretty damned interesting. Why haven't I seen this covered in any mainstream press reports?"

    What do you mean by "this"?

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  108. I just reviewed the information about co-authors in the American Medical Association (AMA) Manual of Style, as it seems so odd that almost Amy Bishop's whole family co-authored "her" most recent paper on her UAH Web site. If anyone is interested, that Manual has a section 3.1.5 titled Order of Authorship. Guideline number 2 in that section states that "The first author has contributed the most to the work, and the last author has contributed the least."

    If the publisher was using AMA style, then it would seem that one of the daughters had primary responsibility for "Amy's" last paper, and her husband had the least responsibility.

    I really wonder about two things Number one: How did the first listed daughter manage to do school and also be primarily responsible for this paper? Number two: Did all the coauthors meet the criteria for authorship?

    In sections 3.1 and 3.1.1, the AMA Manual discusses Authorship Responsibility and Authorship: Definition and Criteria, respectively, giving some excerpts from a JAMA article concerning authorship and ethics. The manual states the excerpts show "a deep appreciation of the basic ethical responsibilities of authorship and point to the basic ethical obligations of authorship..."

    The AMA Manual indicates to me that maybe having all those family members as coauthors might have been unethical. It is hard to imagine the younger coauthors having all the listed qualifications d responsibilities that the AMA Manual describes.

    This last paper that Amy was involved with was a medical, not a scientific paper, and it should have been undertaken in a serious, ethical manner. If her young kids did help out on this research and paper, it would be really interesting to know exactly what they did. I am willing to bet that whatever they did did not meet all the listed requirements in the AMA Manual of Style.

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  109. stop blaming it to others - she failed herselef. You don't know the tenure review procedures there, you also don't know those who were murdered by her. Why she shot and killed the chair person first when he reportedly supported her appeal? The staff person has nothing to do with the tenure case but was also shot. Her record of scholarship speaks for itself!

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  110. It is not unusual at UAH for a department chair's recommendation on tenure to be ignored. There are recommendations of the faculty in the department, then the department chair, then the college's committee, then the dean, then the university's committee, then the provost. Only the department members and department chairs have a good knowledge of the field and the impact of the research on the discipline. But other layers may have more influence (perhaps rightly so, perhaps politically linked).

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  111. Thanks for your comments.

    Anonymous said "I just reviewed the information about co-authors in the American Medical Association (AMA) Manual of Style..."

    Thanks for sharing your findings. This is the kind of information that needs to be gathered and evaluated in reaching a final judgment about whether Dr. Bishop intentionally misrepresented material information.

    After substantive competence, personal integrity seems to me to be the most important quality of a scientist because other scientists rely on the integrity of your reported results.

    If Dr. Bishop's peers in the field knew she was passing her children off as co-researchers and co-authors and falsely claiming that her work was a collaboration with several Cherokee Labsystem professionals while failing to mention the lab was run out her home, I doubt any scientist would want to rely on any findings Dr. Bishop ever reported.

    Further, if she is using grant money for this research, I think there are additional serious issues raised. E.g., Were her kids paid with grant money?

    Obviously, the central issue is Dr. Bishop's shooting spree on February 12. To the extent Dr. Bishop's lies and cheating are exposed in the areas we examine here, it may help cast a healthy dose of skepticism when we examine her claim "I don't remember shooting anyone."

    Dr. Bishop was not a newly minted Ph.d when she misrepresented material information in connection with her published research. Someone fresh out of school may be ignorant of the rules and protocols of medical research you reference.

    While at Harvard, Amy Bishop was an Instructor at the medical school so she certainly can not claim ignorance as to the material you cite.

    In my view, your findings just strengthen the conclusion that Dr. Bishop intentionally misrepresented material information about her research to make herself look better. She is a liar and a cheat and when we listen to her claim "I don't remember shooting anyone" lets not forget what she is.

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  112. Re: My post about the AMA manual: I am thinking about giving UAH a query about her last paper and how it may influence how they treat her as she goes out the door.

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  113. I did e-mail the UAH president with my concern about the paper and the ethics of the matter. I am wondering it would be good to inform any of the legal people.

    I noted that even today, some news people continue to call her brilliant. It is irritating, as they focus on a supposedly good quality of hers, distracting from the bad news about her. If people believe she is brilliant, then they will feel sorry for her for not being given tenure. Then they will start to justify her actions. That is not good.

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  114. anon: re: "The following URL addresses...Roger - Shuler"

    Your link took me to a page that just showed code then crashed my computer. I have an apple which never crashes so I can only imagine what would have happened it I was on my pc.

    I deleted your comment so no one else would crash.

    Please check your links before posting again and make sure they work. Anyone crashes my apple three times, please don't post any more links. Comments, yes. Links, no.

    Thanks

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  115. Anonymous said "I did e-mail the UAH president with my concern ...I noted that even today, some news people continue to call her brilliant."

    NYT and Boston Herald have picked up on our discussion and are now reporting what we have been examining for a week. See my latest Blog article where I link to the NYT and Boston Herald articles.

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  116. Anonymous said...

    In response to my analogy of reckless driving, Mary Agnes O'Connor said:

    "Here, UAH is not engaging in reckless, irresponsible or illegal conduct in denying Dr. Bishop tenure."

    No one on this blog has adequate facts to make such a statement.
    ----------------------------------------------

    I disagree. I have presented ample evidence to demonstrate that Amy Bishop misrepresented material facts related to her professional scholarship that shows a lack of integrity that could compromise any academic program and research. For these reasons alone she deserved to be denied tenure. What reasons UAH relied upon have yet to be disclosed and may never be unless they become part of the defense in her criminal case.

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  117. Thanks for your comments.

    Anon: "The bottom line from this experience is: don't take press accounts in real time as gospel, and don't get carried along with the hysteria."

    The only "press" I discussed in my Blog article were Dr. Bishop's own press release on her launch of the cell drive by balloon which I critically reviewed.

    Frankly, I see no evidence of "hysteria" in any of the reporting on this subject by the Commentors here or the mainstream media for that matter. I am sure if you tune in Nancy Grace it may sound like "hysteria," but I think that is just the way she talks.

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  118. Taking anyone's life because they denied you tenure is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. However, you are obviously not an academic; so I thought I might tell you a few things. Please understand I am not supporting this woman by any means. But, faculty oftentimes forget to update their websites. So, the same plan 5 yrs down the line is a non-issue. She clearly was doing some research. Also, it is common for faculty to talk about some research project in local newspapers especially if it involved students, even if the experiments are not as earth-shattering as Galileo's dropping of objects from the leaning tower of Pisa. Her paper with all her children does raise red flags, though. That was good work. Other than that, much of you have written can be argued away very easily.

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  119. Here's an archived version of her website. It lists some publications you may have missed.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20070820140857/www.uah.edu/colleges/science/biology/amy/amy.htm

    Also, it's not unusual for someone to focus on a very tiny, specialized area of research in science for many years.

    I found the photo to convey a very different person than the mug shot. She looks like someone who is quite normal in that.

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  120. dr, BC, Canada

    I examined Dr. Bishop's evaluations at Rate My Professor yesterday. The comments ranged from abysmal to laudatory, a not uncommon scatter found on that popular site (The sort of 'tough, but do what he/she says and get an "A".', vs 'horrible, don't ever take him/her'). One gets the sense that her reception in university among students would fit thousands of profs and instructors that would not have a petition circulated against them, and/or be considered unfit for tenure. I wonder if the press has cherry-picked a bit on the negative impression she'd gotten there.

    Rate my prof ratings have been tested in a study comparing them to in-house evaluations, and found them reasonably accurate. In this instance, there is nothing there I could see that would predict this unprecedented crime.

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  121. Thanks for your comments.

    Anonymous said: "dr, BC, Canada... I examined Dr. Bishop's evaluations at Rate My Professor yesterday."

    On February 14th, I posted "Student Feedback On Accused Murderer Dr. Amy Bishop" on the Shepherd and Black Sheep Blog. It provides a very fair sampling of student reviews and concludes as you do, that Dr. Bishop had good and bad reviews from students, nothing dramatic one way or the other.

    Independent of the student feedback published on Rate Your Professor, it has since been disclosed by UAH that at least some of Dr. Bishop's students felt so strongly against her teaching style that they petitioned for her to be removed from the classroom.

    It is unclear at this time whether the student petition was a factor in the University's ultimate decision to deny Dr. Bishop tenure or even when it was presented relative to the final tenure decision.

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  122. Hello Ms. O'Connor. I wanted to thank you for exposing Amy Bishop as a fraud.

    It took the mainstream media over a week to even begin to MENTION the fact that her academic record is "weak," and no one has addressed the fact that it is obviously fraudulent.

    The Huntsville Times has yet to even mention the fact that her academic record is so maladjusted.

    The Boston Herald mentioned that she used her kids, but spoke of them as teens...as if that made it ok.

    The New York Times is sort of hinting at it today. But they excuse the cover up of her brother's murder as just something that people in small towns do to "care for one another."

    As if.

    So anyway, thanks for exposing this.

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  123. Thanks for your comments.

    Anon said: "Here's an archived version of her website. It lists some publications you may have missed. http://web.archive.org/web/20070820140857/www.uah.edu/colleges/science/biology/amy/amy.htm

    I had Dr. Bishop's CV and all her publication lists while at UAH including her last one when I wrote the Blog article. Your link does not point to her last publication list but an earlier one.

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  124. I doubt the student petition figured as the decision to deny tenure had been made by March. Also, the department chair blew the students off when they tried to present the petition.

    Several months later, Amy Bishop blew him away.

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  125. Thanks for your comments.

    Anon. said: "you are obviously not an academic; so I thought I might tell you a few things."
    _________________

    You are obviously not a diplomat, but that's ok. And, you are mistaken. I was once long ago for a year a law school instructor.

    I believe I have gathered and presented substantial evidence in the Blog article to support the conclusion that Dr. Amy Bishop tried to cheat her way into a tenured position and lacks the integrity to deserve tenure.

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  126. Check her on http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=%22amy+bishop%22&as_sdt=2000&as_ylo=2008&as_vis=0

    You get a reasonable selection of normal publications by normal journals over the last couple of years.

    Now do the same for the other people in the department and so you have a benchmark for comparison look at someone famous at random.

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  127. " Reports are that Dr. Bishop learned she was denied tenure last year. UAH let her work this year to help her transition to a new position somewhere else. Amy Bishop should have been removed when tenure was denied and if her contract promised her a terminal year, UAH needs to examine the wisdom of keeping disgruntled employees on staff for another year."

    Reports are that there is an appeal process that can be followed when tenure is denied.

    The ignorance of you people is amazing. People questioning whether she was qualified for her job, as if Harvard had given a failing student a PhD. Duh, she's clearly mentally ill. She probably kept her act together better earlier in her life, and thus performed better and earned the PhD, but has come unglued as an adult to the extent that it has seriously impaired her performance.

    Remember John Forbes Nash, people. (Go look him up. I'll wait...) Just because you go profoundly nuts at one point in your life, it doesn't mean you were always that way, or that you're really incompetent or stupid and somehow were let through.

    The people saying that the paper with her kids was "child labor" are idiots. It was pretty likely some kind of a family school project. The kids got a taste of working on a real-ish scientific experiment, with some real scientific gear provided by Mom, and got to see the process of writing a paper. It wasn't published in a major journal, so who cares? If it's a vanity press journal then it seems like an *ideal* match for a family science project paper.

    I wonder how many music-oriented families have "recorded an album" together using the parents' equipment, and sent out CDs.

    The person concerned about her access to SSRIs is an idiot. Neuroscientists have access to lots of drugs, which are required for their work. Especially if they're working on animals who need to have painkillers or anesthesia or need to be euthanized. It's likely that she'd have an ability to order just about anything from antibiotics to morphine, through someone in the department with the appropriate licensing from the DEA. Controlled meds are monitored by the DEA. I don't know if they monitor things like antidepressants but I doubt it. They probably focus on things with street value. Heck, in the lab where I work I needed my boss' medical license faxed to a vendor to order some special "GelFoam" surgical sponges. (In addition to programming, I'm also the lab's backup purchasing guy.)

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  128. "NYT and Boston Herald have picked up on our discussion and are now reporting what we have been examining for a week"

    Great, the Boston Herald - where the idiots ran a story blaming Dungeons & Dragons for f**k's sake.

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  129. If that picture is of the device you call "jury rigged", you clearly don't know real-world academic lab apparatus from a hole in the ground. Looks fine to me. I've seen worse in the neuroscience labs at Harvard Medical School where I work. Sure, we have $100,000 128-channel neural interfaces, and $20,000 microscopes, and $10,000 lasers, and loads of computers, but sometimes we build things out of plexiglass and circuit boards. Hell, during prototyping we'll use cardboard and alligator clip jumpers. More to the point, there's nothing notably 'shoddy' about what's pictured. Nothing taped together. No straggly wires. Nothing falling apart.

    I don't know if the thing works as she claims, but the construction is fine.

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  130. "I really wonder about two things Number one: How did the first listed daughter manage to do school and also be primarily responsible for this paper? "

    In 1998, the Journal of the AMA published an article by an 11 year old girl, Emily Rosa, and her parents, which debunked "therapeutic touch". The editor said "Age doesn't matter. It's good science that matters, and this is good science".

    What makes you think a huge amount of work was involved? Also, how do you know the work was done during the school year?

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  131. I think that some medical research is probably not too much fun, especially for kids. I think the aspects of cleaning up a laboratory, doing dissections, and creating slides could be considered to be more like labor tasks than the glamorous side of research. I am not sure what all Amy and her husband had the kids do in their home lab and on the joint medical research paper. But I have actually worked within a medical laboratory where speciments were processed. Some of that work seems quite mundane and some quite disgusting (i.e., people who work with specimens wear surgical masks, gloves, and lab coats.) Some medical lab work could be described as grotesque. It is questionable whether Amy's kids had too much fun in their learning experience with the parents. Also, being in addition to their regular school work, it might have really overloaded their time with too much responsibility at a young age.

    Since the AMA apparently has strict guidelines about coauthors, this family may have gone against the ethical standards concerning authorship in this field of research. I am assuming that would be the parents' responsibility.

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  132. Yesterday's Boston Herald article had a headline calling Amy brilliant, and the first line read "Amy Bishop’s intelligence was never debatable." Thankfully, today's paper does not harp on her supposed higher mental ability.

    I do not think a reporter should make an unequivocal statement like the above unless the person is 100% sure of their facts. If that reporter had read your blog, or several other online resources, he or she might have had a different perspective on Amy Bishop. As it was, the paper was giving people only one side of the story.

    ReplyDelete
  133. To reply to Jon H, I have no way of knowing what the kids did for Amy and her husband. I am not sure whether anyone will ever know. The kids could of had a blast helping out, and might have been compensated for their efforts. But, the situation might have not been so good. One also has to wonder whether it is better for children to choose their own academic interest. If one of those kids did not want to get into science and/or medical lab work to the extent that their parent wanted, was that acceptable to Amy or her husband? Were the kids free or enslaved?

    You found another example of a child being an author of an academic journal. I don't think that makes it right to involve children in official academic research. Also, the article you mentioned sounds like a non-specimen type of research article. If the Anderson-Bishop family was cutting up specimens and doing a whole process to reach academic conclusions in the medical field, it was quite an involved process.
    Though they weren't working with human specimens, the paper's authors were doing work that required much attention and ability to do different functions.

    The AMA guidelines state that coauthors should be involved in all different aspects of producing a research publication, not just one or two. To me, that means that even the youngest child should have been participating in everything from cutting up a mouse (or whatever they did), to proofreading the final paper. If that was not the case, then the AMA's guidelines have been ignored, and "Amy's" paper was not really coauthored by the people that were listed as coauthors (i.e., the paper is fraudulent).

    ReplyDelete
  134. Co-authoring with her kids per se is not a problem, if she were "normal" in other aspects of her research/scholarly productivity. It became a red flag when the other three papers that she has published since estbalishing her own lab at UAH were all first-authored by herself. The first paper in 2005 was a review co-authored with her husband. It took her ~6 years to submit thr first two "research" papers, at a time when tenure review was already unerway. I have seen any reporting of her graduate students. At the Universities that I have been to, NO ONE (in biological sciences with active graduate programs) would have gotten tenure without showing her/his ability to successfully mentor MS or PhD students through their degrees. She either had no graduate students contributing significantly to her program, or she was not s good mentor. As many have pointed out, in this field, first and last authors are the key. Students or postdocs mentored by the PI are usually listed as first authors, while the PI sits at the end. Her CV showed that she rather teaches her kids than her students.

    Like most other academic depts nowadays, pre-tenure reviews are a normal procedures (some do this yearly, and some with less frequency, for example, with a three-year mid-point "major" review). The committee will usually provide an evaluation letter after each review to highlight areas of improvements for a successful tenure bid. We will probably hear more in the coming days, but I am pretty certain that she has knwon her "deficiency" all along, and just could not deliver and could not accept teh outcome.

    ReplyDelete
  135. You are right; I am not a diplomat. However, you have stated somewhere that you would like to know if there are any errors on your blog, which is why, in a helpful spirit, I tried to tell you that why none of your arguments will hold in a court of law. One year as an instructor is not the same thing as a tenure-track faculty. Had you been in a tenure-track position, you would not have written what you have written here.

    Amy Bishop may have had a resume that was not good enough for tenure (that happens all the time), but to say that she is a fraud is nonsense. Her work has been accepted to well-respected journals. There is nothing wrong about a husband-wife working on a start-up. There is nothing wrong in her talking to the press about her achievements. Not updating the research plan on her website is a non-issue.

    This is a woman who needed psychiatric help,
    and unfortunately she did not seek it (we don't know all the facts yet). Also, I think I read somewhere that the paper she wrote with all her children was in a lightly peer-reviewed journal, and she probably knew it was not to be counted in her tenure process.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Thanks to anonymous for the information above, though I disagree about whether coauthoring with your own kids is a problem. Here is a quote from a quote in the 9th Edition of the American Medical Association (AMA) Manual of Style. The Manual attributes it to Richard M. Hewitt, MD.

    "The reader of a report issued by two or more authors has a right to assume that each author has some authoritative knowledge of the subject, that each contributed to the investigation, and that each labored on the report to the extent of weighing every word and quantity in it."

    You might be interested to know that the AMA Manual has six pages of information about guidelines for authors of medical works, and lists three requirements for coauthors. This manual indicates that the medical field does not take being an author or coauthor lightly. In light of what I read in the manual, it seems unlikely that the kids, especially the two younger ones, could have satisfactorily performed the coauthor functions. I think it is anyone's guess whether the older coauthors performed their coauthor function in a satisfactory and ethical manner.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Thanks for your comments.

    Please remember to keep the debate civil, focused on the issues and not make personal attacks against me or any Commentors. If you are unable to make your points without personal attacks, please try harder.

    I remain convinced that the evidence demonstrates that Dr. Bishop attempted to cheat her way to tenure for all the reasons discussed in Shepherds and Black Sheep article including by padding her record with purported collaborative research while failing to disclose the authors were her children and not employees of Cherokee Labsystems, which she also failed to disclose was run out of the family home.

    Also, I do not believe any reasonably prudent researcher would ever want to cite any such work of Dr. Bishop given the lack of integrity she demonstrated as documented in the Blog article.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Thanks for your comments.

    Annon said: "Also, I think I read somewhere that the paper she wrote with all her children was in a lightly peer-reviewed journal, and she probably knew it was not to be counted in her tenure process."

    In fact, Dr. Bishop chose to include on her UAH "Publications, Abstracts and Presentations" the research she published in a vanity press, listing her children as authors. I have embedded Dr. Bishop's article which deceptively claims to be the product of collaborative research in the Blog article: "UPDATE: Mainstream Media Finally Reporting Evidence Dr. Bishop Tried To Cheat Her Way To Tenure"

    ReplyDelete
  139. Thanks for your comments.

    Anon. said: "Co-authoring with her kids per se is not a problem"

    I disagree where the kids are actually kids, i.e., minor children and where their identity as minor children is not disclosed, but is instead disguised by identifying them as being employees of a research which is likewise not disclosed to be run out of the family home.

    I do agree, however, there is nothing per se wrong with families working together in research as best evidenced by Madame Curie's collaboration with her family including her daughter, both of whom won Nobel prizes.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Annon said: "Also, I think I read somewhere that the paper she wrote with all her children was in a lightly peer-reviewed journal..."

    Shepherds and Black Sheep was the first to report in this very Blog article that the research paper listing Dr. Bishop's kids as co-authors but failing to identify them as such was published by an online vanity press. Hopefully, this is where you read it. Why would you want to go anywhere else?

    ReplyDelete
  141. It is a great article. Thank you!

    Just want to mention one thing: Dr. Amy Bishop's publication record is not very impressive, but it is better than many other faculty members at the biology department (as shown on the departmental web).

    I guess that's why she feel unfair..

    ReplyDelete
  142. "In fact, Dr. Bishop chose to include on her UAH "Publications, Abstracts and Presentations" the research she published in a vanity press, listing her children as authors."

    It *is* a publication. Daniel Dennett's webpage lists academic articles and non-academic, non-peer reviewed articles together. The reader is free to draw their own conclusions based on the journal's low credibility. It's not like she claimed to have published it at Nature.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Madame Curie's daughter started working with her when she was eighteen, as far as Wikipedia is concerned. Before that she had an unusual education, but it does not sound like she was helping out in her parents' lab while attending school. Contrarily, Amy's kids might have been doing a lot of helping out in their parents' lab while the kids were attending school. That is what I think could be a less than optimal situation for a child.

    I also am not sure that the coauthor situation occurred for the Curie parents and children. That could be another major difference. The Curie parents wanted to give their children an excellent education, but it does not seem like they used them in the way that Amy and her husband used their kids.

    Being a coauthor gives a person a lot of responsibility and also a lot of benefit. I am sure than Amy could use her coauthorship on the family's research paper to benefit herself by obtaining a job or impressing people, no matter how much she actually did on that paper.

    ReplyDelete
  144. A postscript about Marie Curie's daughter, Irene: She started working as her mother's assistant at the age of 21, after she finished college. Irene wrote papers with her husband, but not with her mother. Both Irene and her mother worked together during the war and suffered from too much radiation. (This is all from Wikipedia.)

    Working as a coauthor or lab employee with a parent during junior high, high school, or the first year of college is a different kind of situation.

    ReplyDelete
  145. "If the Anderson-Bishop family was cutting up specimens and doing a whole process to reach academic conclusions in the medical field, it was quite an involved process."

    Neurons can be cultured in a petri dish. I haven't been able to find information on just how long they can survive in-vitro, but it's pretty likely that no animal was involved after the original cells were obtained.

    You can even buy 'immortalized' mouse motor neuron cell cultures, ready for thawing and use:

    http://www.cellutionsbiosystems.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=3&Itemid=35

    Given that Bishop's work is with neuron's in-vitro, and in incubating them, it's pretty likely she had a supply of motor neurons to work with. They certainly weren't doing in-vivo experiments.

    ReplyDelete
  146. "I am sure than Amy could use her coauthorship on the family's research paper to benefit herself by obtaining a job or impressing people, no matter how much she actually did on that paper."

    Not with it being published in the journal where it was published. That wouldn't be impressive, academically.

    ReplyDelete
  147. I'll also note that today's Boston Globe story recounts an incident where Bishop threw a crying fit at a lab in Boston when she didn't get first-name status on a paper.

    That makes it interesting to me that she didn't take first-name status on the family paper. It suggests that she saw it as her kids' project.

    Has anyone actually bothered to READ the paper? It would probably say what, you know, they did, and might give an idea of who did what. For example, if there were any electronics involved, the father might have done that since it's in his background. This might not follow the AMA's guidelines, but I'm not sure why that should matter given that it wasn't published in JAMA or in a journal anywhere near the JAMA's level of credibility.

    ReplyDelete
  148. Thanks for your comments.

    Jon H said: "Has anyone actually bothered to READ the paper? It would probably say what, you know, they did, and might give an idea of who did what."

    Yes. I read the paper and the related poster before I published the Blog. There is not word one in the published paper describing who did what, nor is it disclosed that the co-authors are Dr. Bishop's children and husband. Instead, it claims the kids all work for Cherokee Labsystems and that she and James Anderson work for UAH. In fact, James Anderson did not work UAH and the Cherokee Labsystems is located in the family home.

    ReplyDelete
  149. I also looked briefly at the paper and saw that the running heads (lines at the very top left of some pages) were for Anderson et al. I am assuming that if the publisher used AMA style, that Anderson et al refers to the oldest daughter with the help of the other family members. Any other family member could have done only a minimal amount of work on that research and paper, to my mind. I wonder if the publisher would have any additional knowledge about who did what. As I have stated before, no one outside their family may ever know exactly who did what.

    As for the comparison to the Curie family, I really think it is important to note that the Curie parents gave their children an advanced kind of education at an early age, but it was not just an advanced scientific education. Thus, the children seem to have had more choice about what field become involved in during later life. The thing that seems problematical about Amy and her husband involving the kids with their work is that the parents seemed to have a definite agenda to have their kids working on the same work that they were doing.

    ReplyDelete
  150. . said...
    "I doubt the student petition figured as the decision to deny tenure had been made by March. Also, the department chair blew the students off when they tried to present the petition."

    You pointed out that due to timing, the petition likely did not figure into the tenure decision. Following this logic, the statement that the chair "blew off" students seems a bit unfair, as it is more likely he saw no need to take any immediate action since he knew she would be leaving and the situation would resolve itself.

    ReplyDelete
  151. Thanks for your comments.

    Wish all you anonymouses (pl?) had at least distinguishable screen names. It would make following the thread a lot easier.

    The "blew off" comment was a Commentor's, not mine.

    ReplyDelete
  152. Sorry, I was addressing my comment on the student petition to the commentor known as "." I realize that this was not your comment.

    For some unknown reason, I seem to be able to post only as "anonymous"; however, I will henceforth sign my posts as "Dr."

    Dr.

    ReplyDelete
  153. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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    ReplyDelete
  154. I have done many posts related to Amy's last paper that she wrote with her family. Despite her husband's defense of her and their educational activities with their kids, I really find the familial coauthor situation wrong in this case. It is really impossible to think of the two pre-college age kids being able to perform coauthor functions in the sense that the American Medical Association mandates in their style manual for researchers/writers.

    I have decided not to keep posting, as I don't know about the legalities of the apparently more gruesome aspects of the Bishop/Anderson fiasco. I understand from reading the Boston Globe today that the husband's father does not want people to post negative things about them. That is understandable; however, everyone has a right to free speech and free information, I hope. And if people don't talk and write about this tragedy, it only makes it easier for new, similar tragedies to happen.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Thanks for the comments.

    I was warned previously that Lucy is a spambot, yet she seems so nice.

    ReplyDelete
  156. Thanks for your comments.

    James Anderson is that last person in my view that should be speaking for his children's interests.

    James Anderson allowed his children to be used in a scam to misrepresent the nature of Dr. Bishop's research by having them falsely identified as co-authors and employees of his home based business Cherokee Biosystems so his wife's research would appear collaborative.

    At the very least James Anderson is no better than the father of the Colorado 'Balloon Boy' who enlisted his children in a deceptive scheme.

    At worse, James Anderson may be a co-conspirator and accessory before the fact in his wife's premeditated, cold blooded violence of February 12.

    For Mr. Anderson to suggest that his children may be upset with any negative press against them is absurd.

    First, I have not written or read anything suggesting the Anderson children did anything wrong or that any of them are in any manner to blame for the actions of their parents.

    Second, the idea that media reports are what is upsetting the Anderson children would be laughable if the context where not so tragic.

    If they are reading the press coverage, I doubt they can get far past the fact that their mother is in jail facing capital murder charges in the shooting deaths of her UAH colleagues and that other children's parents are hospitalized fighting for their lives because their mother, Amy Bishop Anderson, shot and tried to kill them.

    Yes. The Anderson children are victims. But they are not victims of the press, UAH, the police or, for that matter, anyone outside their immediate family.

    ReplyDelete
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  159. It's totally incredulous the number of learned folks who are commenting here about "Tenure." Your comments, however, are interesting and informative. Simply stated, Mrs. Bishop has killed 1+1+1+1 - - 4 people. Think SERIAL KILLER, a la Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Eileen Wuornos and the likes. Given her personal history via the media, as we understand it, had she been employed at the local burger joint, a road construction crew, housekeeping department, or as a secretary or physician, she would have probably done the same murderous actions, sooner or later.

    ReplyDelete
  160. I work at a Class I research university and handled RPT (Retention/Promotion/Tenure) duties in a scientific dept for five years.

    1 - Based on her grant funding alone, she would never have been considered for promotion/tenure. She might have been recommended for continuance, but if there were other issues (such as teaching or non-collaboration), the lack of grants would have been a death knell. And in her field grants should not have been difficult to get. On the other hand, writing grant applications is tedious and requires networking and collaborating with others to have the best chance for success. $220k in five years is *nothing*. Seriously. That is *nothing* in scientific academia.

    2 - Based on her publication record alone, promotion/tenure would have been problematic. However, clearly the lack of papers is related to the lack of funding. The more funding you have - the more proposals you write that get funded - the more you have to write about and, therefore, publish. If you have a good funded project, you can get 2-3 papers a year out of it, and if you have a lab and grad students, you'll be listed as an author on even more papers. But to have the lab and grad students, you need funding. (That's not even mentioning the conference proceedings, presentations and poster sessions that, again, you can expect to see out of someone with funding and active research in a field like biology.)

    The RPT committee (and it's usually a committee that makes a recommendation to the dept head) would look for the numbers of proposals written and the number accepted; the number of papers (and where they are published - we looked at impact factor, by the way, rather than citations); and lesser activities such as course evals, workload, etc.

    (continued below)

    ReplyDelete
  161. (continued)

    Tenure-track professors in a scientific field are expected to do two things: get funding and get published. Of course they are expected to teach, but no professor is going to get tenure for being a great teacher. You may or may not disagree with that (I don't agree with it, as a matter of fact) but that's how it works. And no one in scientific academia expects it to work any differently. It would be great if there were two tracks to tenure, a research/funding track and a teaching/service track, because some people are great at teaching and not so interested in research, but there aren't two tracks.

    One other thing: If her research plan had not changed in five years and she was getting no funding for it, I would conclude that her research plan needs some work. Otherwise - in that field - she'd be getting funding.

    I should also comment that in universities where the positions are paid out of general funds (as is mostly the case, especially in arts & sciences disciplines like biology) the professor's funding brings a lot of money in to the university. How that money is spent is very carefully controlled and audited, to the point that you cannot spend money on, say, a laptop or a can of Folger's. That grant money goes to specific purposes outlined in the contract; it is not a handful of cash for her to dip into whenever she wants. Also - and I can't stress this enough - $220k will just not go very far in the kind of research she claims to be doing.

    Some areas of scientific academia, such as medical schools, have 50/50 requirements, where a professor is required to fund 50% of his salary through grants and contracts and the remaining 50% comes from general funds. You will often see this arrangement in medical schools. The fact that she only had $220k in grants suggests her college did not follow this funding model; I only bring it up to show how ridiculously low that amount of funding was. Subtract the university overhead (anywhere from 46% to - I am not making this up - 100% (in the state of NY)), and that 220k just turned into 110k. Even schools that do not follow that model often expect professors to do the equivalent as a benchmark for RPT. At 60k/year and 50% overhead, she'd have had to bring in a minimum of 300k to even have met the minimum standard.

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