This is straight out fraud which fortunately has not contaminated the co-workers of the guilty party, according to parallel investigations by three Continental universities.
Equally significant as the primary fraud (shit happens), the reports express grave concern about the intellectual standards and the leadership in the research community where the fraud took so long to be revealed.
Three young researchers blew the whistle on Stapel in August, bringing their concerns to the head of the department. In addition, three other young researchers “had previously raised the alarm.” Two professors had suspicions but apparently didn’t come forward. From the report: “The committee concludes that the six young whistle-blowers showed more courage, vigilance, and inquisitiveness than incumbent full professors. ”
On the home front Jo Nova found that some proportion of nearly a $Billion of climate-related education and PR work was commissioned which appeared to be designed to promote a political agenda. Not academic fraud but worthy of mention. Not that a Bil is very much money these days by the standards of the current administration.
While cancer patients will have to pay more or wait longer for treatment, the Department To Fix The Weather handed out nearly 1 billion dollars in 2010-2011, some* of which was used to “educate” people about energy efficiency and the benefits of government policies.
*UPDATE: While there are a lot of “education” grants in 2012, there are some research grants going to the CSIRO (eg in 2012 at least $13m of the $40m that year was for research at CSIRO). In 2010 (the big dollar grant year) many more of the grants were for “strategies”, for IPCC matters, for universities and the CSIRO — though none of the grants I’ve seen on a random sample add up to anything like the total outgoing.)
Is this advertising by any other name? Instead of running an ALP campaign advert, they award money to groups which promote their policies and get disguised third party ads by NGOs who collect donations and are seemingly the voice of the community (what percentage of these non-profits comes voluntarily from the community and what percentage comes via forced payment from tax?).
“Do Something” picked up $800,000 to become a type of GONGO and run a website that will apparently duplicate many of the messages taxpayers are already paying for on government sites. Other grants go for “efficient” lighting, which obviously isn’t economically efficient, or it wouldn’t need a government grant. Why are taxpayers in Roma, say, paying for hot water systems for councils in Glen Eira? Don’t the residents of Glen Eira pay for that in their rates? These layers of cross payments between different levels of governments and to allow seemingly “independent” groups to become disguised wings of government are a burden on Western Civilization. Every step that makes the payee more distant from the outcome makes it less likely money will be used wisely.