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Restriction of Disputed Articles

The journal Meccanica, affiliated with publisher Springer, announced the retraction of 11 scientific articles written by Alberto Carpintieri, a professor at the Polytechnic University of Turin and former director of Italy’s National Institute of Metrological Research (INRIM). The justification for such action is that the editorial process that led to publication of the articles had been compromised. Until 2014, the journal had been edited by Carpintieri himself, a controversial figure in Italian science. In 2012, more than 1,000 scientists signed a petition asking both for him to be removed from command of INRIM and for suspension of funding of research into piezonuclear fission, a controversial energy-generating method proposed by the professor that is said to result from the crushing of rocks—during earthquakes, for example. Other researchers have tried unsuccessfully to reproduce the author’s experiments that supported his findings. In a 2013 scientific article, Carpintieri had also proposed that the Shroud of Turin, a linen cloth that Catholics believe may have been used to wrap the body of Jesus Christ, really is more than 2,000 years old but that the carbon 14 dating method that indicated it as being newer had been compromised by the effects of an earthquake that occurred in Jerusalem at the beginning of the Christian era. That story, incidentally, was in one of the articles that had its publication suspended by Meccanica editors.