Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Ten years ago today, Lucent Technologies released the Final Report of our committee on possible misconduct by J. Hendrik Schön. The conclusion was clear: that there had been extensive misrepresentation and, by implication, that the entire body of work was suspect. Actually, the report had been largely finished for a while, but Lucent wanted a chance to have their lawyers and management check things over. This was a small price to pay to have the report publicly released in full. Remember that they had no legal obligation to release anything, but they released everything. The response to the report was very gratifying. Although there had been until then some holdouts who felt that the investigation might be some kind of witch-hunt, the extensive documentation that we provided of the many instances of misconduct assured that virtually no one maintained that belief afterwards. In spite of this sense of satisfaction and closure, however, we took no joy in delivering that verdict.