Until recently, physicist Ranga Dias was enjoying burgeoning stardom for a scientist.
He was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Next Innovators and The New York Times had called the room-temperature superconducting material he supposedly discovered a "magic” substance that would "transform civilization.”
But even during the months that he was being exalted by academics, journal editors and the media, other physicists were pointing to evidence of data manipulation and plagiarism. The first paper that catapulted his career was retracted from the journal Nature last September. Earlier this year, another paper was retracted from the Physical Review Letters. Now eight of Dias’s collaborators have asked Nature to retract a third paper, published in March.