Red faces at Bell Labs

Jan Henrik Schon, a young researcher at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, had five papers published in Nature and seven in the journal Science between 1998 and 2001, dealing with advanced aspects of electronics. The discoveries were abstruse, but he was seen by his peers as a rising star.

In 2002, a committee found that he had made up his results on at least 16 occasions, publicly embarrassing his colleagues, his employer and the editorial staff of both the journals that accepted his results.

Schon, who by then was still only 32, said: "I have to admit that I made various mistakes in my scientific work, which I deeply regret." Nature also reported him as adding in a statement: "I truly believe that the reported scientific effects are real, exciting and worth working for." He would say no more.