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The EPSRC calls for an enquiry into allegations of research fraud at Manchester University

(But the University wriggles out of it.)

 


For many years the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) was fooled by the misinformation fed to them by Manchester University. But in 2015 all this changed when they took a fresh look at Courtney's complaints.

This is what the EPSRC wrote to the University (9th July 2015.)

  

Dear Professor Georghiou,

I am writing to you in your role as Vice President for Research and Innovation at the University of Manchester to ask you to address a number of serious complaints referred to us by Mr Bill Courtney. Mr Courtney contacted us in March of this year to express his concerns, and the attached file ‘RE_Bad research into car bumpers that may have cost pedestrian lives.pdf’ contains the subsequent direct correspondence we had with him up to the point at which he provided us with the attached document ‘Response to Ben Ryan EPSRC Re PedSALi project’.

As you will see, Mr Courtney’s complaints stem from an investigation undertaken by the University in 2010 and the multiple concerns  he had raised over an extended period of time in relation to research conducted at the University into ‘SALi Technology’ (concerns which that investigation was intended to address). The ‘Response to Ben Ryan…’ document raises serious questions about the conduct/scope of the enquiry, including that available evidence was not properly considered, that relevant witnesses were not consulted, and that the report’s conclusions are based on assertions unsupported by evidence. The document also raises questions about the response by the University to Mr Courtney’s complaints since the enquiry took place.

Although it may take some time and resource it is clearly important that the University addresses the questions raised in an open, impartial and transparent manner. In doing so it will be necessary to re-examine the basis on which certain statements were made and to produce the evidence to justify the some of the conclusions reached in the report; it may also be necessary to review whether correct procedure was followed and to demonstrate that proper and impartial account was taken of all the evidence available at the time. Because Mrs April Lockyer is directly referred to in parts of Mr Courtney’s response it is of course inappropriate that she should now be involved other than when required as a witness.

Please let Mr Courtney know how you plan to take this forward and the anticipated timescale, and please copy us when you do so. If you prefer not to respond to Mr Courtney directly please explain to us why not so that we may keep him informed of progress.

Looking forward to hearing further from you in due course,

 Ben

 Ben Ryan

Senior Manager, Research Outcomes

EPSRC

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The United Kingdom Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) involvement

 

A UKRIO representative was one of the three people who sat on the formal enquiry panel.

For several years Bill had been concerned that UKRIO participation had given the fraudulent enquiry a false validity.

He now became worried that this false validity might be used by Manchester University as an excuse for not responding to the EPSRC request for a fresh enquiry. So, as a precaution, he sent the following email,

 

  

Dear Professor Farthing,

I am writing to you as Vice-Chair of the UKRIO and also as a member a screening panel that carried out work at Manchester University in 2009.

As you can see from the email below and attached documents, there are serious doubts about the integrity of the subsequent formal enquiry report. It is likely that in the near future, the behaviour of the members of the formal enquiry panel will be investigated, including that of Dr Pablo Fernandez, the UKRIO member.

 There are potentially damaging implications for the reputation of the UKRIO. So you may wish to communicate with Professor Georghiou on this matter.

 References to Dr Fernandez’s involvement and the failure of the UKRIO to pick up on my concerns about this are made on the following web page http://www.cheshire-innovation.com/UK%20Research%20Integrity%20Office.htm. 

Yours sincerely,

 Bill Courtney

 

C.c. Professor Bernard Silverman, Chair of UKRIO

 

 

The UKRIO response was disappointingly coy.

 

 

N.B. There is a titling error in the above email. Courtney does not possess a PhD.

It can be seen from Section 6 of the "What is SALi?" page that Courtney's attempts to gain a PhD at Manchester University were thwarted.

 

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The University responce, 11th September 2015

Professor Georghiou wrote to the EPSRC, declining their request to carry out an investigation.

And yes, as predicted it includes the following "justification" for not holding an enquiry,

 

This response has resulted in shame for British science because:

(ii) The EPSRC accepted Professor Georgiou's arguments as an excuse for ignoring the evidence about fraud. It has now abandoned its request for Manchester University to hold an enquiry.

(i) The UKRIO's role as a charity is to defend the integrity of science.
Instead, by its collusion, it has helped to hide the truth about research fraud.

(ii)Saving face for the science establishment may cost lives.  In the dawning era of driverless cars there is renewed interest in improving the pedestrian safety of motor vehicles.

[See for example http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3011960/Will-Google-s-self-driving-cars-airbags-OUTSIDE-protect-pedestrians.html .]

Britain has already lost a 16 year lead in smart bumper technology thanks to the shenanigans at Manchester University.

We will continue to fall further behind until the Manchester PedSALi report for the EPSRC, falsely claiming that SALi Technology is ineffective is retracted.

 

If you have any links with Manchester University or the UKRIO, please ask yourself these questions:

(i) How many pedestrian lives is saving face for Manchester University really worth?

(ii) How many pedestrian lives is saving face for the UKRIO really worth?

(ii) Can we maintain our present cover-up indefinitely, simply by supporting Professor Georghiou's bluff that there is no need for an investigations?

 

Bill Courtney has alerted the Senate at Manchester University that the scientific method continues to be abused under their stewardship.

He has also provided the trustees of the UKRIO with evidence that their charity is acting in a manner that hides research fraud, when its professed aim is to defeat it.

Update 6 June 2916: Courtney has written to all University subscribers to the UKRIO, calling for the UKRIO to be reformed.

 

 

  

Link to the PedSALi project page

 

Link to the Cheshire Innovation Home page