The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Friday, March 24, 2006

plagiarism in and out of FYC

I attended an interesting session at the CCCC conference yesterday on plagiarism--not on what to do about it, or how to detect it, but on complicating our ideas about it. Steve Youra of Caltech, using the controversy about the recent Korean stem-cell article (which turned out to have been both faked and unethical), discussed how authority and authorship are different in the sciences. How can we unreflectively talk about authorship as being the product of a single mind, he asks, when so many students will go into professions like medicine, engineering, and the pure sciences where multiple authorship is the norm?

Sometimes, though, things are pretty simple. The WASHINGTON POST has hired a blogger, Ben Domenech, apparently to "balance" out its online presence (conservatives don't like the White House blogger the POST's Dan Froomkin and his White House Briefing). But Domenech is according to's Joe Conanson, just a flat-out plain-old Stephen-Ambrosy plagiarist.

UPDATE: Domenech resigned today.


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