Too many credentials

May 21, 1999

A senior academic at Robert Gordon University has been accused of faking his qualifications.

Robert Bradley, former head of the school of applied sciences and professor of physical chemistry is currently under investigation by the Royal Society of Chemistry, following allegations that he falsely claimed to be a Chartered Chemist and a fellow of the society (CChemFRSC) - the society's most senior academic accolade. He has recently been removed as head of the school.

This week, Tony Ashmore, registrar of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said:

"We are aware of an internal disciplinary action relating to Society qualifications at the Robert Gordon University. We have assisted the university and are pursuing the matter ourselves."

The University said: "The post of head of the school did become vacant earlier this year. The existing incumbent demitted office by agreement with the university. We will not comment further on the circumstances."

It is clear that stationery at the school did for some time state that Professor Bradley was a fellow of the society when he was not, but this week Professor Bradley claimed he was the victim of malicious "mischief making". The confusion over his qualifications arose from an innocent error, he said.

Professor Bradley said that when he took up his post in 1997, an error was made on the department's new stationery, leaving his predecessor's academic credentials next to his name. "At that time I was not a fellow, while the previous holder was. But since then I have become a fellow." The RSC confirmed that Professor Bradley was a fellow "at the present time".

Professor Bradley said his removal as head of the school was in no way related to the investigations. "It was a straight management decision, so I could spend more time on my research," he said.

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