Hieratic -Hierarchical Analysis of Complex Dynamical Systems – is a DG Connect funded project (via FET). It started in November 2012 and it should run for three years. It worths almost two and a half millions pounds. The project has six principal investigators: four of them are English, and three of them are from the University of Birmingham. The project is managed by Jon Rowe from Birmingham.
On the administrative side, the project was accepted by FET as result of a specific call in complexity science called Dynamics of Multi-Level Complex Systems (DyM-CS). The project officer is also a Brit: Mr. Julian Ellis. The project reviewers are from Poland and Spain: Józef Sienkiewicz (Gdansk) and Pedro Jurado Real (Seville).
On the scientific side, the project is multidisciplinary. It mixes themes,concepts and subjects from complexity science (hierarchical complex systems, coarse graining), mathematics (dynamical systems, networks theory, graph theory, stochastic processes), computer science (formal verification, process algebra), artificial intelligence (genetic algorithms, multi-agent systems), software engineering (computer simulation, open source software such as Mason and Prism), ecology, chemistry, bioinformatics
Obvious problems with the project:
1. The immense aggrandising: a team of only six people pretend to be expert in so many scientific disciplines
2. Deliberate deceit: there is nowhere to find any explanation or tutorial in multi-disciplinary context. The inherent confusions are exploited both in the proposal and in the project deliverables and the project webpage.
3. All project documents contain very little references, despite the huge relevant or very closely related work. The proposal contains only while one deliverable contains only one reference!
The expert viewpoints on the project
1. The project visibly discriminates entire categories of workers, such as women and senior researchers. No member of such categories has found a role within the project.
1. The proposal is a massive case of misconduct. It contains all known forms of misconduct: plagiarism, falsification, fabrication and author misrepresentation.
2. The plagiarism is record breaking in respect with the number of plagiarised sources. This was possible by a systematic rewording of the major research ideas and concepts from the literature. An example: the systematic deceit based on the rich synonymity of the concept of “coarse graining”.
3. Some deliverables contain plagiarism as well (self-plagiarism)
4. The intention to deceive is very easy provable. There is no case of honest error and no extenuating circumstances. This a cold blooded and meticulously engineered research fraud.
5. The project significant funding for salaries, promising to hire senior researchers in computer science. Instead, they hired only junior researchers, like PhD students and fresh postodocs. The difference has gone into the Pis salaries.
6. One reason for complete rejection of women by the project management might be the fact that they are more difficult to suppress as whistle-blowers of misconduct.