In the nature article Majorana’s quantum action As of 2018, the first author, Dr. Hao Zhang, and the “corresponding author”, Professor Leo Koenhoven, were partly negligent and partly indifferent. There was no doubt that scientific integrity had been violated. This is judged by the Executive Board (CvB) at TU Delft on the basis of recommendations of the Committee on Scientific Integrity (CWI) at TU Delft, supported by external experts, and advice from the National Authority for Scientific Integrity (LOWI).
The CWI investigation was launched in the publication in 2020 after TU Delft pointed out the problems of researchers from the field. The authors then re-examined their previous measurements. They found that the main conclusion was not sufficiently substantiated and withdrew the article. The CWI has asked a number of independent international experts to look into the issue. Their findings were partly announced in March 2021.
In February 2022, the Executive Board received a new internal report regarding potential irregularities surrounding several publications on Majorana’s research. There may be data processing irregularities by one or more authors in publications prior to 2019. As a result, a new investigation into the CWI has been launched. This continues.
As a result of this action, the Executive Board, QuTech management, and senior researchers have recently made a lot of communications about scientific integrity. This conversation continues. In response to this situation, the Executive Board also wants to examine potential modifications required in TU Delft’s existing instruments to protect scientific integrity.
Partly as a result of this situation, a “Data Supervisor” has been appointed at QuTech since October 2021, as is also the case for the faculties at TU Delft. Qutech recently launched a progressive data management policy established. The Data Administrator implements this policy and supports researchers in the “open publication” of their research data.
“It’s good for scientists to sound the alarm when they see irregularities in their colleagues’ research. Science always means looking critically at the results, questioning them and debating them,” says Tim van der Hagen, rector at TU Delft University, Delft. From CWI, outside experts and LOWI have looked into this case, we know on the one hand what went wrong with the researchers involved and on the other hand we can improve the integrity program at QuTech and TU Delft. Once the second investigation is also complete, we can look at whether further action is needed.”
The Executive Board regrets that it has taken such a long time to process this complaint, but at the same time believes that given the nature of the complaint and the nature of the scientific and social interests involved, such a period was necessary to handle carefully. LOWI also emphasized this in his advice.
says Levin Vandersiben, Scientific Director of QuTech, TU Delft’s Quantum Technology Research Center. and TNO. “Majoranas is still promising, so we continue to work on demonstrating it unambiguously, through recently developed concepts. At the same time, we are working hard on various other lines of research in realizing a quantum computer and quantum internet.”
The Majorana particle is the basis of one of the four lines along which QuTech conducts research in developing a quantum computer. QuTech is also researching the basic building blocks (qubits) of a quantum computer, based on superconductors, semiconductors, and diamond, as well as electronics and computer engineering to control qubits. Qubits based on Majorana can be more powerful than other types of qubits.
Once this Integrity Anonymous Status Report appears on the UNL website, you will find the link here.
read over here LOWI’s anonymous advisory report.
Here you will find General part of the expert’s reporton behalf of the CWI.
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