Dear Fake Scientist


Dear Fake Scientist,

I find it fitting the illustration for this post is a stock photo of a model posing as a scientist, because that's pretty close to an exact description of what you are.

I've been observing you for a while now, and must admit I am pretty impressed at how many people you have managed to fool - and for so long!

I remember seeing some of your (glaringly obvious) beginner questions on a popular cosmetics making blog only 3-4 years ago.

Imagine my surprise to see you positioning yourself as a highly experienced cosmetic scientist with over 10 years of industry experience a short 2 years later.

That takes some serious talent.

After copying and rewriting material others had created through hard work and research, you put your own name to it and used it to offer online courses. But your knowledge in formulating really wasn't up to snuff, was it?

Several of your students approached me looking for guidance and help. Not only did they feel intimidated by you, but they were confused and wanted clarification about theories and methods they were being taught. They were also unsure about your formulas. Despite paying you to educate them, they were so uncertain about the course material and your teaching, they felt the need to look elsewhere for guidance.

I answered their questions, but it was so worrying to see some of the formulas you had approved as correct and safe that I was compelled to write this article.

Not too terribly long after that, it was a relief to see your course offerings had been taken offline with excuses of restructuring or some such.

I was hopeful you had decided to stop posing as a professional chemist, but unfortunately, no.


There's a Saying

I'm sure you've heard of this saying:
you can fool some people all of the time
and all people some of the time
but you can't fool all the people all of the time

The Danish Con

There was an incident in Denmark a few years ago where it was discovered that a woman in a highly visible top public position had falsified all of her qualifications and breezed through an entire screening process involving numerous committees to land the job as director of a very prestigious art museum.

She did have an interest in art, but her University degrees, background information, and everything else she had presented to get the position were complete falsehoods.

She talked a great game and successfully lied her way straight to the top. No one thought to question her qualifications because she seemed so convincing.

When she was presented to the public as the new Director, there was a lot of media attention and everyone was pleased the museum had landed such a highly qualified expert.

And everything went smoothly...

...for a while.


After School Activities

You didn't disappear after shutting down your courses but instead, busied yourself recruiting as many real chemists and scientists to your numerous online forums, groups and subgroups as possible.

I think you managed to place yourself in your present position by utilizing many of the same techniques the Danish con used.

And how does one manage to keep their cover while answering questions they haven't a clue how to answer?

An expert con will skillfully divert attention by deferring a query to a real expert so it looks they are merely asking for a second opinion.

Another useful method can be to feign impatience ("we've answered this question before - please check the resources section").

It works like a charm most of the time.

But remember the last line of that saying?

You Can't Fool All the People All the Time

As time has passed, a new situation has developed. You see, I'm not the only one who knows the true story.

As a matter of fact, there is a growing number of people who are fully aware you are not at all what you claim to be.

You probably won't be too pleased to learn these people have not only been gathering information, but they have also been comparing notes.

At this point, I think there's enough material complied to write a book – maybe even two.
  • hiring others to rewrite stolen material so it couldn't be recognized 
  • posing as 2 other professions (with no qualifications) before posing as your present 'profession'
  • fabricating previous accomplishments
  • stealing
  • taking credit for others work
  • using copy/pasted answers from real experts as your own
  • creating an entire catalogue of false online profiles
  • leaving scathing false online reviews of businesses you don't like 
  • stalking, harassing, and/or slandering people who know the truth about you
  • trolling other online groups and forums

This unflattering list goes on (and on), but then, you know that.

What Happened to The Danish Con

You might be wondering what happened to the Danish con. I admit I got a little curious and did some digging, but it didn't take very long for me to find out. 

As months passed, it had started to become evident that there were several curious 'holes' in the museum directors supposed knowledge. I mean let's face it, it's hard to fake over a decade of education and experience – no matter how clever a liar you are.

One day, a journalist sat down to check a few details and found several things he couldn't make sense of. Among other things, he wondered how could someone of this age could have that many years of experience? The numbers just didn't add up.

The journalist requested an interview and courteously provided the questions he wanted to ask in advance.

Within hours of seeing the interview questions, the Danish con vanished. Her home empty, her phone unanswered. She simply disappeared.

When the truth came out the next day, the scandalous story was splashed all over the news and media.

People were flabbergasted she had gotten away with it for so long, and the situation caused quite a bit of embarrassment to the numerous people who had approved and hired her.

But here's the thing:
most people would have hired her, because she was an expert con.

It wasn't too terribly long before the excitement about the Danish con passed, and from what I have been able to find, she fled the country. But the scandal is still well remembered here in Denmark. I'm pretty certain any Danish readers of this blog know exactly who I am talking about.

As the list of people who know the truth about you continues to grow, I can't help wondering how your story will end.

Comments

Unknown said…
This story sounds strangely familiar?
Judie Emmanuel said…
Wow! Who has done this dreadful act?
Anonymous said…
It really hurts when stolen from
Jill Applegate said…
Who are we talking about here so I know who to avoid in the future. I’m at a loss as to who this pertains to...
Well it is a pitty when you are actually knowledgable but you don't believe in yourself enough to be honest with people that follow you! I know a few people like this and I find it pathetic. Sooner or later people open their eyes and boolies, copy cats and conners get humiliated...I am really curious to see what comes next with this case...
Anonymous said…
It’s disrespectful that this type of turdness occurrs.
And the bullying that goes on in that same community is pathetic.
Fantastic article my long legged friend!
mimosa said…
Are we talking about the same person?
I also experienced this recently. I have been attracted by their advertisement, blog and the website design. They look so professional.

After I sign up for the programme, I realise it was a scam.
They misguide us about how hard self studying is and require a lots of effort and research yet they never gave us any information on how to get the information on realible sources.

When we have questions, they never gave us any exact answer nor guideline. Nevertheless, they will ask us to sign up another course because it was not included under current course.

Another thing is they will kept telling us to invest in ingredients bacause they told us that the only way of learning is through experimenting by one self. Ending up I bought a lot of ingredient and investing a lot of money with empty knowledge taught by them.

Studied for a year with them, I have not learn anything from them yet invested so much money.

They open a so called online classroom, without any teacher answering professionally. Mostly every question is self discusssed. When one of us gave wrong information, it's mislead the whole classroom yet the so called Profesional Cosmetic Chemist never come out to correct it.

The so called Profesional Cosmetic Chemist only come out when they need vote or to promote a product.
Jade Violet said…
Wow. It never seems to stop astonishing me how others can freely take credit for others work. Some that lack creativity and knowledge seem to have no problem taking what is others. What a steaming pile of donkey dookey....
Lise M Andersen said…
Thank you one and all for leaving a comment and your show of support. It is disheartening to experience this kind of fraudulent behavior and complete lack of ethics or conscience. One wonders what kind of life experiences it takes to create this kind of twisted person in the first place. If I ever find the answer, I'll be sure to share!
Anonymous said…
Is there any proof of your claims? I know which person you’re talking about but i wanna see black on white proof for such harsh clains. Otherwise this is just hate talk, sorry but I’m a believer if facts and not “we found out”
Lise M Andersen said…
Hey there Anon - You could start by asking them to document their qualifications.
Binky Melnik said…
Hi, Lise:

This is disappointing; I’ve seen this happen in another field, where someone steals others’ works and creates instructional videos which are beloved by her audience. She has a Patreon setup so people can pay her for her videos. They’re unaware that she’s stolen nearly *everything* unless or until someone pipes up and says, “Hey! This is my work!” That doesn’t seem to tarnish her reputation in the slightest; her audience is so very grateful for the instruction. It makes me feel ill watching the adulation she gets.

What concerns me is that maybe this Fake Scientist is someone some of us follow (and perhaps even pay her. Guh!). I realize that you’re not naming the Fake Scientist most likely to avoid charges of libel, but because most of us probably don’t want to encourage her (or give her money, which you indicate is a problem), is there a way you might hint at who it is so we can avoid her making money from us? Giving her money isn’t even the worst of it; if she’s ripping others’ work off or giving bad information, we’re not benefiting, and others are, uh, de-benefiting. (I had to make that up because I couldn’t think of a real word to use there.)

Thanks for any clues you’re able to provide if you can; I don’t want to be encouraging charlatans.

And don’t let the bastards get you down! At least you can feel good knowing you’re doing the right thing and not pulling the wool over the eyes of eager learners.

Binky
Anonymous said…
Or follow the money. Who has something to gain?
Anonymous said…
Where can I find out more about “The Danish Con”? Google hasn’t been very useful and it sounds like a fascinating story.
Lise M Andersen said…
Hey there Anon 1- I’m not sure following money is relevant in this case.

Hi Anon 2 - the Danish con was director of the museum called Arken (“The Ark”). Google will in all likelihood bring you to Danish newspapers with the story. I’m not sure how much you’ll find in English as this was only big news in Denmark, but you might be able to find help via Google translate.
Lise M Andersen said…
Hi Binky - Thanks for your comment. There are sadly many dishonest people. Libel is when you publish a false statement. That's not applicable here.