State Investigations dismisses a senior official who announced that he works near Mecca instead of Murcia | Sciences

State Investigations dismisses a senior official who announced that he works near Mecca instead of Murcia |  Sciences

The State Research Agency, under the Ministry of Science, has dismissed one of its top officials Francisco Tomás Barberanone of the most cited scholars in the world, for his links to the Saudi conspiracy to manipulate classification International universities. Thomas Barberan falsely declared in 2020 that his main place of work was at Taif University, an hour’s drive from Mecca, rather than Murcia, where he researches at the Segura Center for Soil Sciences and Applied Biology, affiliated with the Council of…

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The State Research Agency, under the Ministry of Science, has dismissed one of its top officials Francisco Tomás Barberanone of the most cited scholars in the world, for his links to the Saudi conspiracy to manipulate classification International universities. Thomas Barberan falsely declared in 2020 that his main place of work was at the University of Taif, an hour’s drive from Mecca, rather than in Murcia, where he researches at the Segura Center for Soil Sciences and Applied Biology, affiliated with the École Supérieure de l’Ecole. Scientific Research (CSIC). This trap, which can only be seen in the database, has artificially strengthened the Arab establishment in the world classification Shanghai, the most influential university rankings in the world.

Thomas Barberan was so far president Area of ​​Agricultural and Food Sciences of the State Research Agency, a public body 1,360 million euros The annual budget allocated to fund scientists in Spain. The researcher, who was born in Murcia 65 years ago, is a food technologist specializing in the role of gut microbes in health. His name appears in the prestigious List of highly cited scholars, prepared by the London multinational company Clarivate. The more researchers from this list a university has, the higher it ranks Global rankings international.

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Graduation from Taif University (Saudi Arabia), where Francisco Tomás Barberán, CSIC, announced employment.

Saudi universities offered up to 70,000 euros a year in their bank accounts for Spanish scientists to adjust their main place of work in the Clarivate database, according to an investigation by the newspaper EL PAÍS published in April. In total, 19 well-known researchers in Spain have been listed as Saudi since 2014. Tomas Barberan has repeatedly refused to explain the terms of his contract to this newspaper, claiming that he was providing all information to CSIC’s ethics committee. “In no way has any harm been done to CSIC,” he said on November 7. The agency has just opened a disciplinary case against him, emphasizing the “presumption of innocence.”

Thomas Barberan’s imaginary move to the Mecca region helped Taif University enter the ranks of universities Top 900 in the world in it classification Shanghai in 2021. This Arab institution had ten highly cited scientists last year and entered the top 300 in the university rankings, but after the scandal exposed by this newspaper, it now has only six of these coveted researchers. Specialized report Joran Bildengrunfrom Barcelona Consulting Company Ceres AcademyIt is estimated that Taif University will fall About 25 jobs the next day classification From Shanghai. Going down is a setback for Vision 2030 projectIt is a plan promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and aims to make at least five Saudi universities among the top 200 by the end of this decade.

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The government investigation agency fired Thomas Barberan on November 13, the institution’s physicist director confirmed Dominic Esperio. The dismissal came seven months after the fraud was discovered, but only a few days after the CSIC disciplinary file was opened. “We would like to highlight that Dr. Francisco Tomás Barberan has been carrying out his tasks in a very satisfactory manner, contributing to the development of his field of knowledge in a decisive way, and for this reason we at the State Research Agency greatly appreciate the work done,” says Esperio. “The agency does not want anything In no case, with this change, do we prejudge the outcomes of actions that may be open and that could affect Professor Thomas. However, he considered it appropriate to proceed with the renewal of the Regional Presidency to ensure maximum transparency and independence in all procedures.

The University of Cordoba expelled its professor, Rafael Luke, a year ago, with a 13-year sentence without work and salary, after discovering that he had falsely declared that his main place of work was King Saud University, in the Saudi city of Riyadh. Spanish University About 150 jobs collapsed in it classification from Shanghai due to Luque’s scam, leaving the top 800 companies, as estimated by consulting firm SIRIS Academic. CSIC does not appear in this international ranking of universities. Pere Puigdomenique, former head of the CSIC’s ethics committee, said on November 28 in an article in El Pais that Spain’s public administration procedures themselves “contribute to the corruption of the system.” In his opinion, “It is difficult for organizations to analyze possible cases of malpractice and come up with disciplinary measures, partly because of corporate traditions, but also because public service rules prevent them from applying them.”

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