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Purdue researcher's appeal delayed 10 days
By Brian Wallheimer
(Lafayette, IN) Journal & Courier

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A decision on the research misconduct appeal of a Purdue University scientist will be delayed about 10 days.

Many Purdue faculty and staff take vacations between the end of summer class and the beginning of the fall semester. University spokeswoman Jeanne Norberg said it makes sense to delay the appeal until after the original deadline for a decision, which was expected around Sunday.

"We want to do it right and have everyone here," Norberg said.

Rusi Taleyarkhan, a professor in Purdue's Department of Nuclear Engineering, was found guilty of two counts of research misconduct by a panel of researchers from Purdue and other institutions.

Taleyarkhan claims to have achieved bubble fusion, which could lead to a cheap, environmentally clean and unlimited source of energy if found to work.

But Taleyarkhan has been accused of dozens of counts of misconduct, including fraud.

An inquiry cleared him of several charges in 2007, but an investigation this year found him guilty of two counts -- adding a student's name to a paper knowing the student did not work on the research and claiming to a scientific journal that his bubble fusion results had been independently verified even though he had been involved in the verification experiments.

He was found not guilty of dozens of other charges in that investigation.

Taleyarkhan's attorney, John Lewis of Lewis and Wilkins in Indianapolis, said Taleyarkhan agreed to the delay and believes it could work to his advantage.

"There's so much information for this committee to review," Lewis said. "Any extension of time they need to review would be a benefit to Dr. Taleyarkhan."

The three-member appeal panel is expected to come to a conclusion by Aug. 26. Norberg said the final determination may not become public then, though, because university officials will have to take time to review it.

The appeal is the last option for Taleyarkhan, though Lewis has not ruled out a lawsuit.

Taleyarkhan has already filed one lawsuit against two Purdue nuclear engineering professors, claiming defamation, harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress over the matter.


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