Pretty straightforward support for plagiarism

A letter from Toronto

Dear Editor,

In response to Professor Stan R. Blecher’s letter (Pyshnov plagiarism and illegitimate inquiry denied, JUST Response, Letters, February 22, 2003), I wish to point out that Professors Arthur J. Hilliker and Blecher did in fact write letters confirming plagiarism and denying the legitimacy of Dr Dewees's investigation. Their letters may be read on my web site at PyshnovA & PyshnovB.

The letters confirm various aspects of this plagiarism, even though the the actual word "plagiarism" does not appear in the conclusions. But in the following recorded telephone conversation Prof Hilliker explained the absence of this word and said that the letters imply it:

Pyshnov: Do you believe that Dr Larsen plagiarized my work?
Hilliker: Well, of course we do.
Pyshnov: You do, but you never say this. I am sorry – not in the first letter, not in the second letter, you do not say that Dr Larsen plagiarized my work.
Hilliker: We do, but not in so many words.

And further:
Hilliker: I don't think whether or not we had directly used the word "plagiarism" in the sense you want us to it would make much difference. I mean, it honestly wouldn't. I mean, we are pretty straightforward.
Pyshnov: You mean this implies it?
Hilliker: It implies it.
Hilliker also said: "Remember, it would be up to the judge. I would say, on the basis of the documents provided to me, that there seems to be a very, very strong case for plagiarism. That judge would decide whether or not there was plagiarism."

All of this is recorded on a tape which is available as evidence.

Also, their first letter does obviously deny the legitimacy of Dr Dewees's investigation. It says: "We understand, from your letter of May 3, 1995 to Dr Gooch that Dr Dewees is not trained as a scientist; if this is so, it could explain why Dr Dewees's interpretation of the documents we have seen differs from ours". And: "We disagree with Dr Dewees's conclusion, which is evidently that the 1989 paper was not significantly dependent on the work presented in the 1987 manuscript, and thus on your work."

Prof Blecher, in his letter to JUST Response of February 22 2003, says that my other remarks are incorrect. Indeed, I checked the tape and found that when speaking of sending a letter to the press, Prof Hilliker used several expressions, some of which are unclear on the tape. I am sorry if the exact sequence of the words that I quoted is probably not there. The clear words are: "When they publish it, they distort it".

I am glad that Prof Blecher spoke out. He and Prof Hilliker undertook to appear in court as expert witnesses to confirm the plagiarism. Now, one of the reasons why I did not go to court should already be clear to your readers, namely that I felt that they were planning to ruin my case. They were also trying to save Dr Dewees as an unqualified but innocent person. Now that this game is over, Prof Blecher is trying to say that in point of fact their letters did not even confirm plagiarism. Again, the letters are scanned on my web site and freely available.

Michael Pyshnov
Former PhD student in genetics
University of Toronto, Canada

Note: This letter was published by JUST Response on February 26 2003.

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