Tuesday, June 15, 2004

In response to the situation pointed out by Richard: First about precedence, I don't think that that will be an issue because within the scope of universities having existed for hundreds of years in Europe, this has hardly ever happened before. Actually, I'm just making the idiotic assumption that someone has tried it sometime in the past and clearly it never caight on. Maybe it's never happened at all. Nobody takes away diplomas because the diploma was presumably awarded because the couse of study gave someone a certain qualification within that field. That is, a qualification of ability or knowledge or method. Not ethics. At most places the ethics are assumed to be part of the course of study or that only ethical students would be awarded higher degrees. Maybe some places care and some don't. But the degree is awarded based on the fact that at that time and place, that student has achieved a certain level within that field. This is completely independent of what they plan to do with that education (ie, degree). As Richard already pointed out, the university has no responsibility for what individuals do after the degree has been awarded. Just as if my medical school were to happen to lose accreditation 5 years from now, that would not nullify my degree. The only way that a university could be responsible is if the student showed signs of unethical behavior during the course of study and awarded a degree anyway. By responsible, basically I mean embarassed within the academic community. The same embarassment which is what really serves as punishment for people like these that put forth fraudulent research.

Anyway, that was long and rambling and probably not interesting at all.