Opioid, corruption, and plagiarism epidemics – on this blog, we do the university angle on these endemic elements of social life.


So there’s the provocative new paper offering evidence that the lower ranked your medical school, the more likely you are to prescribe lots of opioids. Although some observers have noted gaps in the evidence-gathering (the paper’s authors have responded to the criticism), the paper’s conclusion seems to ol’ UD pretty sound – not because less-burnished grads are less intelligent, but because their patient load is liable to be larger, tempting them to save time by tossing OxyContin about; and because UD suspects foreign-born/foreign-educated doctors are easier to intimidate/fool.


You can’t keep a well-connected malefactor down. Park Ky-young’s friends in South Korea’s government have just appointed her chief of the Science, Technology and Innovation Office at the Ministry of Science and ICT, despite her having co-authored the study at the heart of that country’s biggest scientific fraud of modern times. You may remember the stamp (scroll down) South Korea rushed into production, showing a man in a wheelchair elatedly getting up and walking because of a professor’s exciting new stem cell work that turned out to be entirely bogus. It was a huge national embarrassment. But all is forgiven.


Metaplage is UD‘s term for the act of plagiarizing from already plagiarized material. It’s the sort of viral load, call it, one expects to arise under global-pandemic copying conditions. A recent example is a local VIP (school superintendent, head of trustees at a community college, candidate for a seat on a local county commission) who plagiarized his commencement speech at the community college from a guy who plagiarized his college commencement speech from a poet who wrote this skin-crawling crawl down the alphabet.


Nothing, by the way, will beat the plagiarized 2011 commencement speech given by the dean of the University of Alberta medical school. As he spoke, some students began recognizing its source and followed along word for word on their cell phones.

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3 Responses to “Pain, Patronage, and Plagiarism: Issues in Quality Control”

  1. charlie Says:

    No wonder parents fight like hell to get their darlings into Tier Ones. Better drugs and original commencemt speeches….

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    charlie: Tier One commencement speeches may have been written for campus leaders – so they’re not plagiarized; but audiences might notice that the speaker is reading the material for the first time.

  3. charlie Says:

    UD, you’d think if someone was getting some honorary PH.d, they’d be capable of writing some damn thing. When I was thrown outta high school, admins wanted me to write some letter of apology. I didn’t, but if I’d had the money, I would have hired an English grad student to have done the deed. The rich ain’t like the rest of us…,

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