Juan Manuel Corchado: Scientific societies ask for brand new elections for rector on the University of Salamanca: Corchado's status “is seriously in question” | Science | EUROtoday

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Spanish science has mentioned sufficient. The Confederation of Scientific Societies of Spain (COSCE) issued a harsh assertion this Thursday, by which it calls for brand new elections to the rectorship on the University of Salamanca and the pressing launch of an unbiased fee to research the present rector, Juan Manuel Corchado. . “His reputation as a researcher is clearly and seriously in question, which undoubtedly affects the reputation of the University of Salamanca itself and, by extension, that of the Spanish university as a whole, both nationally and internationally.” , says the COSCE, a corporation that brings collectively 88 societies that characterize greater than 40,000 scientists.

Corchado, born in Salamanca 53 years in the past, is a professor of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence and boasts of being one of many 250 most cited researchers on this planet in his area. However, his supposed status comes from citing himself hundreds of instances, receiving hundreds of citations from profiles of non-existent scientists, and ordering his employees to quote him 20 instances in every examine. “From the COSCE we have observed with astonishment the situation derived from the election of Juan Manuel Corchado as rector of the University of Salamanca,” begins the assertion from the group, chaired by physicist Perla Wahnón.

The confederation remembers that the Spanish Research Ethics Committee, activated by the Ministry of Science, dominated on June 11 that Corchado's actions “could violate good scientific practices” and requested a “thorough and independent” inspection. The COSCE highlights a “problem”: this committee is an advisory physique and its actions are usually not binding. “Likewise, the State Investigation Agency has provisionally suspended Dr. Corchado's participation in any action related to the evaluation processes that are its responsibility. “Even though it is a first step, it seems insufficient to safeguard what is at risk, the reputation of one of our oldest and most respected universities and, by extension, of the Spanish university in general,” the statement continues.

The COSCE points out “a double problem”: authorized and moral. “So far, from a legal point of view there has been no accusation in court, nor has Dr. Corchado been charged or convicted of any offense, but we wonder if this is enough,” the scientific societies warn. The confederation emphasizes that one other entity, the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities, already issued “a notice for sailors” on the finish of April, when it was discovered that Corchado, after the shock resignation of the earlier rector, was going to current himself as the one election candidate. The rectors then requested to protect “academic and scientific honesty”, with out explicitly mentioning the professor from Salamanca.

“Despite the warnings, Dr. Corchado was elected as rector of the University of Salamanca. Although it is true that in these elections there was a very low participation (10.5%) and that there were many blank and null votes. But, in the final count, about 61% of the total votes were positive,” explains the COSCE. “We believe that it is essential that, quickly, either the Ministry or the competent autonomous authority articulate the implementation of an independent commission capable of verifying the reported facts,” urges the confederation.

The assertion could be very forceful. “Dr. Corchado should also expedite in a timely manner the explanations that he has been announcing for weeks that he wants to give. And, with the utmost respect for university autonomy, after these steps it is likely that the only effective mechanism is the one that must activate that 89.5% of members of the University of Salamanca who did not vote in the last elections and who, together with blank and null votes could have reversed the process and avoided this undesirable situation. To achieve this, it is necessary to promote, from within the university itself, the calling of new elections and the presentation of at least one alternative candidacy. The urgent solution must be provided by the University of Salamanca itself,” urges the COSCE.

This Monday, greater than 150 professors from the Salamanca establishment signed an announcement to demand a really unbiased investigation, with out interference from the rector himself, to “safeguard the prestige of the University of Salamanca and eliminate any suspicion of bad practices or permissiveness with them. ”. This Thursday there are already greater than 220 signatures, together with these of fifty professors and 15 former vice-chancellors from totally different rector groups.

Corchado despatched a letter to the college neighborhood on Wednesday after 8:00 p.m., in response to the manifesto of essential school. “I want to align myself with the concern expressed to preserve the prestige and history of our University, although I cannot share the way in which said concern is expressed. I believe that neither certain media nor certain writings with a media effect are being suitable instruments to preserve such prestige and history, to the extent that they only contribute to generating confusion and calling into question the legitimacy that the polls of this University have given me.” , assured Corchado. “Whoever is not willing to accept the democratic game must receive the greatest reproaches and it is my duty as Rector of this University to come out in defense of the institution that I represent and its democratic processes,” he warned.

Corchado has rejected interview requests from EL PAÍS and other media outlets since April. In his letter, he justifies his silence. “Not having participated in a media story has no other meaning than waiting to be able to argue and justify this situation in the competent authorities and under fair channels,” he maintains. “For that reason, now that the opportunity is given, and apart from the exercise of the complaints already presented for criminal actions [Corchado no explica a qué se refiere]and without ruling out future legal actions that I may have to file to repair the honor damaged by all the lies that have been or may be spread about my professional activity, I have the firm intention of adopting all the necessary measures to be able to overcome this situation through of democratic and transparent actions,” continues the rector.

Corchado's letter has a threatening tone for critical faculty who demand that the rector not interfere in the investigation about himself. “It is not possible to anticipate, as seems to be implied in the document presented, actions that have not happened and that are not going to happen. Something that only maliciously pursues a harmful media effect for the image of this University,” says the rector. “Now is the time to protect the prestige of our Institution and that of all its members, through the most appropriate legal channels. In the meantime, I ask the university community for maximum caution,” Corchado concludes. Critical professors fear that the rector will carry out a pantomime internal investigation to clean up his image. The COSCE statement this Thursday, like the report of the Spanish Research Ethics Committee of June 11, requires guaranteeing an independent inspection.

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