Merkel ally fights over copying

Merkel ally fights over copying

BERLIN - The Associated Press
Merkel ally fights over copying

German Education Minister Schavan (L) talks with Chancellor Merkel. Schavan is the second German minister to lose a doctorate due to plagiarism. REUTERS Photo

Germany’s education minister was stripped of her doctorate on Feb. 5 after a committee of academics concluded that she plagiarized substantial parts of her 1980 thesis, which dealt with the formation of conscience.

Annette Schavan, 57, is the second minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet to lose a doctorate after being accused of plagiarism. Former Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg resigned from his post in 2011 after it emerged he copied large parts of his doctoral thesis.

The minister said that she will not resign from her post. The head of the academic committee that voted 12 to two, with one abstention, to remove Schavan’s doctorate said the decision followed a thorough review of her thesis.

The plagiarism allegations were first raised last year by an anonymous blogger.

Bruno Bleckmann said the minister’s thesis “contains a substantial number of unaccredited direct quotes from other texts.”

Schavan also failed to cite the works she used in her footnotes or bibliography, leading the committee to conclude that she had “systematically and intentionally claimed intellectual achievements that weren’t her own,” said Bleckmann.