Sunday, November 28, 2010

The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers

No 79: George Papandreou. for making the best of Greece's worst year.

rime minister | Greece
Even before the 2008 financial crisis, the Greek economy was running on borrowed time, an ossified system that predictably buckled under the weight of the crash. When George Papandreou took office as Greece's prime minister in October 2009, he found that the budget deficit was not 6 percent, as his predecessor had claimed, but 12.7 percent, four times that allowed by the eurozone's rules.
Papandreou has spent 2010 telling Greeks hard truths about the unsustainable nature of their welfare state -- and sounding an international warning that Greece is the canary in the European coal mine. The Minnesota-born son of a former socialist prime minister, he has rolled out an austerity plan that will raise taxes and rein in the bloated public sector, a package ambitious enough to convince Europe to keep Greece afloat even as it has provoked riots in Athens. And he has argued that the disaster should be a wake-up call for the threat sovereign debt poses far beyond Europe's borders. "It's not an issue of countries acting on their own," he said. "We need a more coordinated strategy not only in Europe but around the world."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Duke geneticist resigns as investigation continues


Troubled Duke geneticist Anil Potti has resigned, according to an email sent by the Director of Duke University’s Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, Hunt Willard, and posted online by the Duke Chronicle today. Willard says that investigations into alleged research misconduct in Potti's work will continue. “He accepted full responsibility for a series of anomalies in data handling, analysis and management that have come under scrutiny in the past months,” he says.
Potti came under fire in July 2010 for allegedly puffing his resume. Duke halted clinical trials based on his research and opened a research misconduct investigation. The university restarted those trials in January 2010 after an earlier cessation caused by questions raised in 2009 by biostatisicians Keith Baggerly and Kevin Coombes of the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer in Houston. A key paper of Potti's was retracted earlier this week.
Update -- Statement from Duke
Duke now says that a second paper co-authored by Potti and published in Nature Medicine will also be retracted. "This process has been initiated due to concerns about the reproducibility of reported predictors, and their possible effect on the overall conclusions in this paper. Other papers published based on this science are currently being reviewed for any concerns," it says in a statement. It adds that the three suspended clinical trials have now been closed.