Greenie Watch posts these three articles in a massive expose of the corruption at Australia’s former elite Science Organization. I say former, because it has been apparent for some time that the CSIRO have switched roles, from Science to Agenda driven propaganda. This includes faking, bullying, forgery, bribery and swindling.
Yes, just like the journalists in my previous post. No, actually, much worse.
A CORRUPT AUSTRALIAN SCIENCE ORGANIZATION
Three reports below about crookedness at Australia’s largest scientific research organization, the CSIRO. The Green/Left have no committment to truth and honesty. “There is no such thing as right and wrong” is their gospel. So they eventually destroy anything they get control of. And given their support for global warming and persecution of any kind of dissent, it is clear that the Green/Left now run the CSIRO. See here and here and here and here and here
CSIRO faked documents, whistleblower tells court
A senior CSIRO manager who blew the whistle on the alleged illegal use of intellectual property by CSIRO was forced out of the country’s peak scientific body after senior staff convened “sham” job selection panels and faked an official document in an attempt to mislead him, a court has heard.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal made a damning assessment of the internal workings of the national science institute and criticised two senior executives for giving unreliable evidence in court. One of those men is group executive Calum Drummond, whose position sits one rung below CSIRO’s chief executive.
But despite the tribunal’s dramatic castigation, the boss of CSIRO, Megan Clark, told a Senate estimates committee in February there would be no internal investigation of the matter, nor any disciplinary action taken against the two senior staff.
CSIRO’s treatment of Martin Williams, a highly successful former business manager, may not have been unique. An investigation by the Herald has found that in some sections of the organisation, bullying is rife. In February, the CSIRO announced an independent inquiry would review claims of bullying and harassment, chaired by the former Commonwealth ombudsman Dennis Pearce.
In the case of Mr Williams, whose job “was to keep scientists out of jail” by ensuring contracts were legally vetted, things began to unravel in mid 2008 when the CSIRO division he worked for merged with two others and he found himself without a position.
But instead of following normal procedures to redeploy Mr Williams – a deputy of the former Textile and Fibre Technology division who brought in more than $53 million of research funding over a decade – senior staff gave him conflicting advice, disregarded company policy and convened “sham” selection panels, the tribunal heard.
In one instance, a senior manager, Damien Thomas, sent an email to Mr Williams that the tribunal’s Deputy President James Constance concluded was “deliberately false”.
The affair left Mr Williams with a severe mental illness and unable to work: “The bullying completely destroyed my health,” Mr Williams said.
In a 10-day hearing last year, his case against the Commonwealth’s workplace insurer, Comcare, exposed CSIRO’s woeful redundancy process.
Deputy President Constance found the “inconsistent and at times ill-considered” advice given to Mr Williams by senior staff a significant contributor to his illness. He made no findings on the panel selection process.
“I am satisfied that the conflicting advice was a result of insufficient care being taken in the management of Mr Williams’ situation or of a deliberate intention to mislead Mr Williams,” he said.
He also found Dr Drummond, the former head of the merged division, now group executive of manufacturing, materials and minerals, an unreliable witness.
A spokesman for the CSIRO, Huw Morgan, said the tribunal’s findings related to the witnesses’ poor memory of the events and were not a reflection of their professional conduct.
Mr Williams’ duty to authorise CSIRO partnerships could put him at odds with the organisation’s scientists, including several researchers he alleges “fell into contract” with the Victorian government using intellectual property not owned by CSIRO.
Mr Morgan said while a funding proposal was submitted to the government, a partnership was never approved or agreed to.
Mr Williams, who has not been able to work since September 2008, said the CSIRO had transformed from a benevolent organisation into a ruthlessly competitive workplace, that was burdened by pressure to generate income.
“I got nothing. I got worse than nothing.”
CSIRO accused of more shabby tactics
In late 2004, Sylwester Chyb was teaching at the prestigious Imperial College in England when the award-winning entomologist was presented with an exciting opportunity – becoming a molecular cell biologist at Australia’s peak scientific body.
Urged by CSIRO to accept the position and promised he would lead a team working towards discoveries in the area of his specialty – insect neurobiology – Dr Chyb saw a bright future in Australia.
But within days of uprooting his family in 2005 and moving to Canberra, things began to fall apart. Now the eminent scientist is taking the CSIRO to court, accusing it of bullying, deception and breach of contract. “It was the biggest mistake of my life,” Dr Chyb said.
His experience is the latest revelation in a Fairfax Media investigation into the workings of Australia’s peak science organisation, which has revealed evidence of serious mismanagement and questionable practices.
There were clear warning signs even as Dr Chyb negotiated his contract. According to his statement of claim, shortly after his final interview, Dr Stephen Trowell, an official in the same division, invited him for a coffee at the CSIRO Discovery Centre at Black Mountain.
“I had never heard of Stephen Trowell, but he claimed to be working in my area,” Dr Chyb recalled. “He said, ‘Don’t worry, if you’re unsuccessful, then you can work for me.”‘
It was only years later Dr Chyb discovered that his appointment had been recommended by external reviewers to the CSIRO to overcome Dr Trowell’s perceived shortcomings.
Dr Trowell’s comment was troubling because it would have been a significant demotion for the Oxford and Cambridge-educated scientist. After he raised his concerns, the contract Dr Chyb signed had another scientist identified as his line manager. Despite this, Dr Chyb’s statement of claim in the Federal Court says that on his first day of work he discovered that Dr Trowell was indeed his boss and would remain so until midway through the following year.
It was a portent of what was to come. He became increasingly upset at what he perceived to be a campaign against him and he contributed to the tension with what he acknowledges was direct language. The funding promised for long-term research into insect chemoreception he says largely never materialised.
In mid-2009 his division bosses refused him permission to accept a publishing deal for a groundbreaking book on the Drosophila, or fruit fly, which is a widely used laboratory model organism. He was not allowed to work on it even in his own time.
In the end it was the breakdown of Dr Chyb’s relationship with Dr Trowell that led to his departure. It was only years later that he discovered an external review by international science leaders had made a frank assessment of Dr Trowell’s scientific standing.
“The committee considers that although the leader has a track record of patenting and as a CEO of a start-up company … he does not have as much credibility as the committee feels necessary,” the document said.
“The addition to this group of Dr S. Chyb, a researcher with a good publication record and interest in insect gustatory receptors is seen as a positive development.”
In April 2009 Dr Trowell accused Dr Chyb of intimidating a younger scientist; he was forced to formally apologise a few days later for an email he circulated containing the allegation.
At the end of the year a misconduct investigation was sparked, which led to Dr Chyb’s departure. He had been accused of trying to profit from the accommodation allowance CSIRO gave a recruit – he had moved into a studio flat Dr Chyb and his wife owned – but Dr Chyb had expressly sought permission for the transaction. Now CSIRO is relying on this allegation as part of its defence against Dr Chyb’s legal claim.
While he was defending that accusation Dr Chyb discovered a discrepancy in the money budgeted for his researcher’s relocation on a document which carried his signature. Dr Chyb was sure he had never signed it.
And he was right. An external investigation commissioned by CSIRO found his signature had been electronically forged on to the page.
The investigation against Dr Chyb over the researcher’s stay never eventuated. Instead, CSIRO made Dr Chyb’s position redundant.
“They painted a picture of no-compromise, blue-sky science,” he said. “But [I] ended up working … on very applied projects. There would be no way I would give up my permanent job for that.”
Dr Chyb’s court hearing is set down for later this year.
Straight out swindle by CSIRO
The CSIRO has duped one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies into buying anti-counterfeit technology which could be easily compromised – passing off cheap chemicals it had bought from China as a “trade secret” formula.
The Swiss-based multinational Novartis signed up two years ago to use a CSIRO invention it was told would protect its vials of injectible Voltaren from being copied, filled with a placebo and sold by crime syndicates.
Police and drug companies are battling counterfeiters who are selling fake medicines that have killed hundreds of people. Last year Interpol seized 3.75 million units of fake drugs and arrested 80 people.
The invention sold to Novartis to protect against such counterfeit attacks – a microscopic chemical powder painted on the neck of its Voltaren ampoules – was being marketed by DataTrace DNA, a joint venture of CSIRO and DataDot Technology, a publicly listed company.
But a Fairfax investigation has established that CSIRO officials and Datadot executives misled Novartis about the technology in order to close the deal, after receiving explicit internal warnings the Novartis code could be easily duplicated.
Now, hundreds of millions of Voltaren ampoules across the world could carry the easily compromised DataTrace product. The injectible version of the drug is not approved for use in Australia.
Three months before the deal was signed, the scientist working on the technology, Gerry Swiegers, issued a last caution against proceeding. “The code which has been offered to Novartis may not be fit for purpose … because the code material is commercially available from a variety of vendors,” Dr Swiegers wrote to DataTrace in March 2010. “If there is a serious counterfeiting threat to the Novartis ampoules, then this code risks being quickly and easily cracked in a counterfeiting attack. Serious questions could then be raised, especially if the successful counterfeiting attack resulted in injury or death.”
But the deal went ahead anyway in July 2010. And despite having promised to supply a unique tracer code, DataTrace issued Novartis cheap tracer it had bought in bulk from a Chinese distributor.
The bulk tracer had been earmarked for low-risk applications with no real security concerns. But when DataTrace sold it to Novartis, it said the formula was a trade secret, and Novartis is believed to have been contractually forbidden from trying to identify its make-up.
Asked in general about industry practice, Jeff Conroy, the chief technology officer of Authentix, a rival company, said it was common “to require either a non-disclosure agreement and/or a non-reverse engineering clause when supplying a security material”. It would be “very typical” to not disclose the precise material used in the tracer.
Had Novartis reverse-engineered the tracer potentially in breach of its contract, it would have been able to identify its components and check whether the phosphor formula was available elsewhere. In fact, at least two firms were selling the identical material to hundreds of firms around the world.
Damning internal documents seen by Fairfax show DataTrace and some of the most senior officials at the CSIRO knew that Novartis was being misled in a deal believed to be worth $2.5 million.
On August 7, 2009, Greg Twemlow, the DataTrace manager who engineered the deal with Novartis, emailed CSIRO managers Peter Osvath and Geoff Houston with this subject line: “Proposed answer to the question, ‘is our Tracer code commercially available’.”
“This is how we propose to answer the question if it’s posed. We want everyone answering consistently. Answer: The CSIRO will make your Novartis codes using their Trade Secret methods and I’m sure you’ll appreciate the importance of secrecy for Novartis and all of our clients. Having said that there may well be a possibility that aspects of the code could be simulated with commercially available products.”
But it was much more than a possibility. Mr Twemlow himself confirmed this was the case in a “highly confidential” paper he prepared for a January 2010 DataTrace meeting attended by CSIRO officials. “We currently source end-product, ie we deploy the product as purchased by us for our clients,” it said.
A leaked email list from one of the potential suppliers of the phosphor, a British company called Phosphor Tech, “indicates that many hundreds of companies could be buying the same materials we use for Tracers”.
“The key question from our clients has generally been, ‘Do we make our own Tracers?’ Our answer has always been that CSIRO handles this.”
Mr Twemlow himself understood the risks, according to internal company correspondence. “Greg, when we talked just before Xmas  you indicated that if we used Chinese lamp phosphors in high security applications, then it would be ‘only a matter of time’ (your words, not mine) before the system would be copied and compromised,” Dr Swiegers wrote in January 2010.
“The lamp phosphors were meant for bulk applications, not high security ones. This is especially significant in pharmaceutical applications where counterfeit pharmaceuticals could have serious safety implications (life-and-death implications).”
Mr Twemlow said on Wednesday he was bound by confidentiality agreements but that “it was a detailed and complex proposal to a large company … I was the sales guy.” He said the final decision on the transaction was taken by others.” Dr Swiegers, who was retrenched from CSIRO after a bitter falling-out, has since been agitating for reform of the peak scientific body.
Counterfeiting was such a serious commercial and public health risk that Novartis went to extraordinary lengths to ensure DataTrace and CSIRO had security measures in place to prevent the code from being cracked.
In April 2010, Dr Osvath completed a Novartis questionnaire guaranteeing the “protocols” CSIRO would employ “for secure freight logistics … with appropriate security measures”.
The next month he sent an email to Mr Twemlow and others regarding an $8000 quote to create a “secure lab” at the organisation’s Clayton campus in Melbourne. The money was spent installing a wall and security access readers on the lab doors – features which may have assisted in convincing Novartis that its tracer code could not be compromised.
“I was wondering whether it would also suit DataTrace’s purposes, to have signage on the door, identifying the area as a ‘DataTrace Lab’,” he wrote. “While it will be used for other purposes … it might be useful for you, and not stretching the reality too far.”
In fact, a team of auditors from Novartis had already visited Australia to check on the company’s claims. In August 2009, the team visited CSIRO’s Clayton campus and was given a series of presentations by the company, including one by Dr Osvath on “CSIRO: secure supply and support for DataTrace DNA/Novartis project”.
In July 2010 DataTrace announced a five-year deal with an unnamed pharmaceutical company to the stock exchange.
Just three months after the deal was announced to the market, CSIRO sold its 50 per cent stake of the company, worth $1.3 million, for 8.93 per cent of DataTrace’s parent company, DataDot Technology.
There are pages and pages on the faults of the CSIRO in this blog, here below is just the first. Time to shut them down once and for all.
Research on frakking is very limited. The CSIRO and others chase their ‘climate change’ tail instead, doing considerable harm to their reputations. At least they are admitting here that little has been done. Environmental affects of fracking unclear: CSIRO study Review … Continue reading
I once regarded the CSIRO as a superlative organization, not politically parochial but a boon to science and discovery, particularly in rural fields like I was involved in. How things have changed over the previous decade, but more rapidly in … Continue reading
The CSIRO are a shadow of an organization I once admired back before politics took them over. Here at Quadrant Magazine, Tom Quirk digs deep into their present. The Political Corrosion of the CSIRO Tom Quirk On April 5, 2012, … Continue reading
CSIRO trustworthy organisation? ( Via Jonova commenter) http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/whistleblowers-at-csiro-forced-out-and-bullying-rife-20120917-262hk.html
Corruption among Australian Warmists (Via Greenie Watch) CSIRO is a major Australian research organization but it is always money-hungry so it has fervently embraced Warmism. They know where the money is. Sometimes, however, their ethical deficit shows: TWO of three … Continue reading
CSIRO goes off the rails over climate The CSIRO is supposed to be Australia’s premier scientific research organization but hysteria seems to have taken over. The “Planet under Pressure” conference (PUP) in London in March, 2012, is now just a … Continue reading
Doomed Planet Bob Carter Bumper week for climateers We have just seen two more reports about global warming from government agencies – and two more lost opportunities to detail a sensible climate policy More…
Tom Quirk Whither CSIRO? The CSIRO responds to national needs defined by the government of the day – combating climate change and making computer model forecasts of the disasters facing us if we don’t. More… These are the sort of … Continue reading
Scare-mongering dismissed Reader Wally is among the 67 per cent dominating this ABC survey. UPDATE Bob Carter, David Evans, Stewart Franks and William Kininmonth review the latest alarmist CSIRO report – and dismiss that scaremongering, too: On March 13-14, 2012, … Continue reading