Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Retraction Watch: chemist who had PhD revoked still claims it

Via Retraction Watch (article written March 1): 
By the time Shiladitya Sen was officially declared guilty of research misconduct in 2018 by U.S. federal officials, The Ohio State University had long since stripped him of his doctorate in chemistry. 

Years later, however, Sen is still billing himself as a PhD in the signature of his work email at a company that provides lab mice and other animals to many scientists, Retraction Watch has learned.

Sen, now a director of analytical chemistry at Charles River Laboratories, with headquarters in Wilmington, Mass., confirmed to us by phone that he has not earned another doctoral degree. He hung up when asked why his email signature claims he has a PhD.

According to an investigation by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI), Sen “knowingly and intentionally” falsified and/or fabricated data in a now-retracted 2013 paper in PNAS, his PhD thesis, a poster presentation, and two grant applications to the National Institutes of Health. He agreed not to seek federal funding for three years.

A Charles River Laboratories spokesperson told us company’s policy is “not to comment on employees of Charles River.”

I have to say, I am a bit surprised at this, but then again, it's not like people really check transcripts and diplomas. It happens, I guess. 


  1. Sometimes they do check. I had a potential client do a background check. They asked me why I told them my PhD was in "organic chemistry", when the University said it was in "chemistry". I still got the contract.

  2. I was asked to provice copies of my diploma or transcript by 2 workplaces and this is more than a decade after I got my degree.

  3. It sounds like federal officials were involved in the Shiladitya Sen case, and I guess their involvement must have forced OSU's hand. I would expect my department to avoid drawing attention to the situation and try to sweep it under the rug if it came to light that an already-graduated PhD had done something wrong. My department was a pretty big one, and the last time anyone got a degree revoked must have been long enough ago to not be part of the grad student lore when I was there.

  4. Great. That will give a fighting chance to the other 150 applying for that one job...

  5. Interesting times at WSU Chemistry. A former graduate seems to have covered himself in glory, including thesis plagiarism:

    However, it sounds like such things are taken less seriously these days:

    "In response to the allegations that he plagiarized Hamlin’s thesis, Dias says he has done nothing wrong: “I have appropriate citations.” Washington State University, which awarded Dias his PhD declined to comment on whether they have carried out a misconduct investigation. A statement from the University of Rochester says, “Dr. Dias has taken responsibility for these errors and is working with his thesis advisor…to amend the thesis.”"


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20