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Two unknown Chinese officials, German Gerrit Lohmann, AWI.

Dr. Thresher v. Prof. Dr. Lohmann

          November 17, 2020

Dr. Thresher v. Prof. Dr. Lohmann was my (Dr. Duane Thresher's) first foundational case; see IT Law Expertise in my Credentials on the Apscitu website and About Apscitu Law and Casebook on the Apscitu Law website. This case was from when I was still in academia, doing research at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Germany. My wife, Dr. Claudia Kubatzki, and I worked for Prof. Dr. Gerrit Lohmann , in his climate modeling group.

Evidence in this case can be found in the article I wrote about it, Corrupt German Climate Science, for my controversial website, RealClimatologists.org (see Climate of Incompetence), particularly in the lawyer email thread referred to in that article.

Gerrit Lohmann was an incompetent scientist and to make up for this in his career he had to be corrupt (see Principles of IT Incompetence (IT Hiring: IT Incompetence Breeds Disloyalty and Corruption)). He was also an abusive boss to both my wife and me — to the point of actively trying to prevent us from getting new jobs — which was why we left AWI, which supported his behavior.

Three years after we had left AWI, to help his career-critical publication list Gerrit Lohmann got a paper published, What caused the mid-Holocene forest decline on the eastern Tibet-Qinghai Plateau?, in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, published by Wiley-Blackwell (UK), specifically Debbie Wright, and edited by David Currie of the University of Ottawa (Canada). Lohmann, who didn't really contribute to the paper (he doesn't even speak English, the language of science), listed himself as an author, but also put my wife, Kubatzki, as an author to give the paper badly-needed credibility. (Another author was Chinese, who have little regard for copyright law.)

However, my wife had no knowledge this paper was published and had not, and would not have, consented to it; she only accidentally came across the paper while updating her publication list. Gerrit Lohmann had used her work, lied about what it showed, and pretended to be her when submitting to the journal and responding to peer reviewers, including fabricating a signature and an email address for her; an extreme violation of copyright law.

After enduring months of harassment by Gerrit Lohmann of my wife, her new boss, me, and my new boss (at a U.S. Department of Defense facility), while arguing with all the corrupt non-lawyers involved (editor, researchers, publisher), we finally got to the lawyers: the incompetent AWI (Germany) lawyer, Christoph Ruholl , and the competent Wiley-Blackwell (UK) lawyer, Sue Joshua . We still had to argue with the lawyers, but for a shorter time and with the result that we got the paper retracted. (It's official title now has "Retraction" at the beginning, although, as expected from a corrupt incompetent, for years Lohmann deceitfully didn't include that in the title in his publication list or in any other way indicate the paper was retracted.) In academia, having a paper retracted is extremely serious, often career ending, so forcing a retraction is very hard to do.

From this case I learned a lot of copyright law, including international copyright law. Like much publishing nowadays, scientific journals are published and used online so most of this copyright law was applicable to IT. I also learned to skip uselessly and endlessly arguing with all the non-lawyers involved and get right to the lawyers.

[Update: While researching this article, I discovered the unretracted version of the paper was still available on JSTOR, one of the largest most-used digital libraries of academic journals, and had been for years. This is a serious copyright violation and we immediately contacted the JSTOR legal department and threatened legal action against JSTOR. They replaced it with the retracted version within a few days.]