Bell Labs forms panel to study research misconduct claims

Tuesday, May 21st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MURRAY HILL, N.J. (AP) _ Bell Labs has formed a panel to study accusations of scientific misconduct, possibly calling into question the validity of some recent impressive experiments.

The five-member panel was formed last week after an outside researcher provided Lucent Technologies with information about the experiments. Bell Labs is the research arm of Murray Hill-based Lucent.

Bill Price, a Lucent spokesman, would not say what the exact accusations were or who had made them.

``We've asked the panel to look into concerns about the validity of data published in five papers,'' Price told The New York Times for Tuesday's editions.

In 2000, scientists led by Dr. Bertram Batlogg, director of solid state physics research at Bell Labs, began publishing a series of articles on how they grew crystals out of organic molecules and then varied their electronic properties by applying electric fields from transistors attached to the crystals.

There has been persistent skepticism about the experiments, both because of their importance and because other scientists have not been able to reproduce them.

The panel will be led by Dr. Malcolm R. Beasley, a professor of applied physics at Stanford and the former dean of its School of Humanities and Sciences. Beasley said he has not received information on the accusations, but he hoped to complete the review by the end of summer.