[open-science] Fwd: content-wire : Italian Group demonstrates Nobel Prize Research Data Published by Nature is Wrong

Paola Di Maio paola.dimaio at gmail.com
Thu Jul 27 16:44:39 UTC 2017

On replicability, science Italians and the  Nobel Prize
For discussion

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From: Factiva <emailednews at email.global.factiva.com>
Date: Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 10:10 PM
Subject: content-wire : Italian Group demonstrates Nobel Prize Research
Data Published by Nature is Wrong

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Italian Group demonstrates Nobel Prize Research Data Published by Nature is

Content Wire, PDM, Wednesday, 26 July 2017, 452 Words, Copyright © 2017
Content Wire (Document CWRE000020170727ed7q0002t)

Gabriele D'Avino, 35 year old researcher formed at University of Parma, now
at Cnrs Grenoble, was truly fascinated by the study on ferroelectricity
conducted by Nobel Prize in chemistry James Fraser Stoddart, Scottish
Edinburgh, 75 years old.

Stupp and James Fraser Stoddart had found electron electric electricity at
room temperature in three organic compounds and coauthored the article
"Room-temperature ferroelectricity", published on August 23, 2012, by
Journal Nature.

Hoping to be able to build on the results, D'Avino tried to replicate them,
and found that they did not add up. There seemed to be some errors, but did
not dare trust himself alone. He asked his former professor Dr. Anna
Painelli, Department of Chemical Sciences of the University of Parma, for
verification, and eventually demonstrated - with experimental evidence -
that the maths and logic on ferroelectricity signed by Professor Stoddart
were incorrect and could not have led to the published results.

The D'Avino group wrote in late 2016 to Nature, commenting on the research
published four years before and after seven months of internal and external
audits Nature conceded, eventually publishing D'Avino's note and, in
addition, a response from Stoddart himself, in which the Nobel for
Chemistry admits, albeit retentively that his views have changed since
publication of the article, however the overall validity of the outcome of
the research notwithstanding: ferroelectricity at room temperature was

Italian daily La Repubblica <https://tinyurl.com/ycw76pwd> reports that the
University of Parma initally wanted to make a point that Italian research,
although often ignored by international institutions, can be of great
caliber, enough to refute the work of a Nobel Laureates. After all
iron-electricity, such as ferromagnetism, is the basis of many
technological applications: computer memories for example, says the article.

D'Avino, in an interview to the newspaper says "initially I was convinced
that the published arguments were correct, so I tried to study it to push
it forward " when still at the University of Liege. "The calculations,
unfortunately, could not be replicated."

Eventually it took the weight of serveral senior academics at Parma, such
as Anna Painelli, Matteo Masino and Alberto Girlando, as well as teams all
over Europe two run experiments over two years to prove that the data
published in the did not support the claims made by the authors.

So far, Nature has not retracted the article.

The controversy coincided with a petition put forward by a group of Italian
academics appeal <https://tinyurl.com/ydx3cmxd> requesting the recognition
of Emeritus Professor Vincenzo Balzani, of Bologna University, pioneer of
molecular machines, the topic for which Stoddard, Sauvage and Feringa were
awarded the Nobel.
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