Gunma University professor fired for doctored research data and slanderous tweets

Kyodo, Staff Report

Gunma University announced a punitive discharge of a professor Wednesday who allegedly used falsified data for his academic papers and slandered the school and its students on Twitter.

According to the college, Masashi Emoto, 56, who teaches on the faculty of medicine at the school of health sciences, used images of an experiment that had been falsified for his four papers on immunity research published between 2008 to 2010.

Emoto admitted there were falsifications but denied his involvement and refused to retract the papers.

An NHK report said Gunma University could not determine whether Emoto himself modified the data but the professor bears responsibility for the wrongdoing. He was fired on Oct. 5.

The university said Emoto also issued repeated tweets, including “Gunma University is hopeless,” in 2011 and 2012 under a pseudonym. The NHK report said Emoto denied making the tweets.

The university was alerted in February 2012 about Emoto by someone outside the school and started an investigation.

“We are deeply sorry for the damage to the trust in educational and research activities,” the university said.