Fraud on the wing

The linkurl:__New Yorker__;http://www.newyorker.com delves into a scientific fraud this week (see below). This one, upward of five decades old, was uncovered largely by ornithologist Pamela Rasmussen, an assistant prof at Michigan State who is co-author of ?Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide,? linkurl:reviewed here.;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7070/full/438916a.html In preparing the guide, she took to task one Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, member of the Royal Fusiliers, inte

Brendan Maher
May 28, 2006
The linkurl:__New Yorker__;http://www.newyorker.com delves into a scientific fraud this week (see below). This one, upward of five decades old, was uncovered largely by ornithologist Pamela Rasmussen, an assistant prof at Michigan State who is co-author of ?Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide,? linkurl:reviewed here.;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7070/full/438916a.html In preparing the guide, she took to task one Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, member of the Royal Fusiliers, international spy, and world renowned ornithologist who died in 1967. The intriguing picture of Meinertzhagen as played out in the pages of the __New Yorker__ is that of a bombastic schemer who may have rewritten history in his favor on a number of occasions. Many of such occasions took place in the British Natural History Museum in Tring where he apparently poached bird specimens from the vast collection there to later re-label and pass them off as his own. Such a fraud is particularly worrisome for someone like...

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