Friday, December 1, 2023

Agency announces hiring of ex-professor fired by UNAM for plagiarism

A former professor dismissed by the National Autonomous University (UNAM) for plagiarism is now apparently employed by the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt).

The newspaper El Universal reported that Boris Berenzon Gorn has been a member of Conacyt director María Elena Álvarez-Buylla’s staff since May 30 and that he was seen working with the science agency’s communications team at an event on August 6.

Berenzon was dismissed by the School of Philosophy and Letters (FFyL) at UNAM in 2013, four months after researcher Juan Manuel Aurrecoechea filed a complaint against him for plagiarizing at least 18 paragraphs of his 1988 book Puros Cuentos.

Aurrecoechea said the plagiarized paragraphs appeared in a book published in 2010 that was based on Berenzon’s 2001 doctoral thesis, El discurso del humor en los gobiernos revolucionarios (The Discourse of Humor in Revolutionary Governments).

The FFyL council fired Berenzon on the grounds that he committed a “serious” breach of his academic responsibilities.

Not citing sources correctly could not be considered “a mere methodological error,” the FFyL council said upon dismissing the former professor, who became the first UNAM academic to be fired for plagiarism.

Berenzon has also been accused of plagiarizing his master’s thesis, El Universal said.

Six years after his dismissal from Mexico’s most prestigious university, Berenzon’s history of plagiarism apparently didn’t disqualify him from employment at the government’s leading scientific body.

“It is a pleasure to have the support of Dr. Boris Berenzon Gorn in this fight against neoliberal science. Welcome to the Conacyt work team,” director Álvarez-Buylla wrote on Twitter on Saturday above a photograph of the ex-professor.

However, the tweet was deleted just minutes after it was posted and on Sunday morning Álvarez-Buylla wrote on the same social media platform that her account had been hacked.

“A tweet was sent from my personal Twitter account of which I disapprove. I do not know the origin and intention of the message. The account has already been recovered,” she said.

Álvarez-Buylla, who has been accused of acting illegally by taking important decisions without seeking approval of the Conacyt board, hasn’t clarified whether Berenzon actually works at the science council or not.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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