Category Archives: misconduct

Luis Serrano and Maria Lluch reject conciliation under a weird pretext

«Academia is full of rogue scientists doing their own shit using public assets» ©

These people turned out to be unable to stand up to their own deed.

On 06 Feb’17 in Barcelona there was a conciliation meeting with the CRG’s legal representative about legitimacy of a computer scientist’s dismissal from this Spanish research institution.
CRG’s legal representative was a young girl from a lawyer firm, so they decided to spend money for the legal service, having their own legal department.

This girl has burst into tears after being told off by the official in the conciliation office (Department de Treball, Afers Socials i Families, Generalitat de Catalunya).
She had nothing to do with these people and she took it hard.

Conciliation officer (Maria Bachs) told that she met such disrespect the first time in her practice: when a public organization (scientific one!) which can’t help admitting the breach of the law is so disrespectful to it, also clearly demonstrating no care about its public reputation and lack of responsibility.
So unless the following is signs of corruption and rogue science, there should be another reasonable explanation.

They had to admit that the dismissal was illegal, but they said that they want to bring the case to the Court because they are «accountable for the money».

How is it consistent with the payment to the off-site company for a legal service, having it their own on site?

But there were a lot of weird inconsistencies in this case, please see below.

Update: Court hearing is scheduled for 31 January 2018. This is Spain.

Forced to talk alone with Maria Lluch Senar…

(yes, that was spooky!)
…whereas what Maria Lluch proposes «does not make any sense» © Luis Serrano Pubul
(and that was very true)

This is all about scientific institution. This is where your tax money goes to…

How much money, for instance? — see here (H2020) in general,
more exactly: €2,454,522: ERC-2014-ADG grant [1]
So the DB for Mycoplasma project should have been funded from this money…

First, ask yourself: what would you do if a blatant liar aggressively required from you recognition of her scientific authority (whereas it’s way far to be even necessary)?
And what if she were supported by her patron?

CRG is «an international biomedical research institute of excellence»

CRG mission, vision and values:
«Integrity, ethics and social responsibility»

Mission of CRG (Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona)

Oops! Really??

Dictation to process concocted data, coercion to talk only alone (that was felt very awkward) with someone allegedly responsible, work without necessary collaboration, repeated threats, bullying, slandering, repeated lies, and dismissal at the end — was this all included in that «integrity», «ethics» and «social responsibility»?

«Now I did a job. I ain’t got nothing but trouble since I did it… not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character. So let me make this abundantly clear» © Firefly

Luis Serrano Pubul: «I think what maria proposed does not make any sense»
A few months later the very same person fired the main addressee of this letter for refusal to recognize the same maria’s scientific authority — interesting, isn’t it?

On 06/07/16 18:39, Luis Serrano Pubul wrote:
> Dear Katerina
> Could we meet next week […]?
> I think what maria proposed to connect directly to the MS raw data or sequencing data does not make any sense.

All right. Very true. But wait, what?

Luis Serrano Pubul: «You need to leave the lab if you do not talk with her alone»

On 15/11/16 10:26, Luis Serrano Pubul wrote:
> Katerina I can try to be there, but remember what we discussed if you cannot work with Maria and you cannot talk with her alone you need to leave the lab end of December. She is your boss for the project.
> Thanks
> Luis
>
> From: Katerina Кirsаnоva
> Sent: martes, 15 de noviembre de 2016 10:21 a.m.
> Cc: Luis Serrano Pubul
> Subject: Re:
>
> Dear Luis,
> I wouldn’t like to discuss it with Maria tete-a-tete, please.
> I just need the doc file with specification on the formats.
>
> Cheers, –
> Catherine
> El 11/15/16 a las 07:45, Maria Lluch Senar escribió:
>> Hi Katerina
>> We can talk about MS files at 16,30. Is it ok for you?

Of course they perfectly knew that Katerina could talk alone with Maria.
But when you’re threatened and coerced to talk alone with someone no matter what is going on and no matter whether your job requires work collaboration — this feels flat out wrong, at very least it makes you just sick. Moreover, if you’re already absolutely certain: you cannot give them what they are eager to get from you — and that is not your job and professional skills.

K. was doomed anyway, Luis was playing here as by the time of this his email, several weeks before it, Maria already wrote K. that K. would be fired anyway:

On 28/09/16 14:23, Maria Lluch Senar wrote:
> I have talked with Luis and he said me that he has given you the opportunity to work for three months in the lab and to finish the project.

Maria wrote that (with cc to Luis Serrano Pubul) the very next day after K. was told that she’s her boss: the day before this email, on 27/09/16, Luis told K. in his office that for K. to save her job he gave her 3 months to get along 1) with Maria and 2) with the people in the lab — as at the same time K. was falsely accused that she can work with no one, — so if K. gets along with no one then K. is fired.
In reality both these two so nice «warrants» were put away almost immediately.
«There’s no honor among thieves».
K. had no problems whatsoever with the folks in the lab, that was too obvious, but certainly did not matter: apparently Maria was already promised that after 3 months «the toy» would be discarded.

Luis Serrano's wife, Isabelle Vernos, corruption, CRG, Barcelona, ERC: European Research Counsil, Conflict of interest

From Library of the European Parliament, «Conflicts of interest in public administration», 05/02/2013:

[1] Isn’t it piquant:

Chair of Women In Science/Gender Balance Committee at CRG,
Isabelle Vernos is at the same time…
— Director’s (Luis Serrano’s) wife & member of the ERC Scientific Council.

But otherwise. What was that?
Franco style (á la féminin) of management in science?
Hard to bring up other allusions…

Maria Lluch Senar & Luis Serranuo Pubul, working with them: K. calls for Conflict Resolution Committee

See here who actually has called for the Committee. Then see how they put it in their dismissal notice below. So mean. And such a shame for the prominent lecturer on ethic subjects in science.

First his «co-leader» of the project excludes you from any work collaboration, then slanders that you «can work with no one» and then he completely supports that slander — so nice, isn’t it? 

Luis Serrano, CRG, with his favorite are brought to Conflict Resolution Committee

But indeed it was just a part of their freak show:

«A non-negotiable requirement from Luis, i.e. that Catherine must recognize the scientific authority of Maria as co-leader of the project and work under her direct supervision, remains unacceptable for Catherine. Therefore the Conflict Resolution Committee has been unable to find a common ground for understanding between the parts on this key issue and regretfully concludes that a conciliation process is not possible under the current conditions»
(email from the Committee of 13/12/16 10:40)

At no point this coercion was really necessary for the Mycoplasma project. Quite on the contrary, looking on its history: it was harmful for it.

And of course this, along with the fact who actually called for the Committee was not quoted in their dismissal notice.
They dishonourably used this Committee just to make it part of the concocted evidence of insubordination.

Ignored email: really, it was just hopeless

Subject: Re: NCBI’s starts/ends…
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2016 17:39:09 +0100

Dear all,

Please discuss the format in open and constructive manner.
As there is a strict standardization and DB processing rule «Excel is forbidden» (see: here was a pic forwarded later, see below)
the format should be a reasonable amounts of tab-separated text files uploaded one-by-one.
Each of this text files should not exceed 10Mb to be uploaded and processed in a reasonable time.
Each column of each file should be described in detail.
File names should have meaning and described in details otherwise text field in the upload interface should be filled in.

Current processing and analysis is done for 2-spreadsheet Excel files (no more than 10Mb of size) as a trade-off for accurate format description (done by Luis) of a standard files of results coming from a proteomics experiment and my good will to make all my best for the lab.

Processing of Excel files into the DB with analysis on the fly is not a common practice and generally is not accepted due to obstruct capacity to support the standards and analysis as consistent and reasonable prompt.
So CSV only (XML/JSON for those biologists who want die hard is an option too).

However, once the standard is created and described the way it was done by Luis and with the participation/by a professional IT specialist it is still possible to make sure that service is scalable and reliable.

Thanks, —
Catherine

— this is the referenced pic of the outstanding cruelty (actually called the extreme despair), and K. was summoned to the Administrative Director office then, and then of course K. apologized to the only one affected poor kid…

Maria Lluch & Luis Serrano: lies, damned lies and dismissal notice

Dismissal notice (the same day got, the same day fired)

Conflict Resolution Committee of the CRG was called by Katerina, not by them, as they try to imply it in their dismissal notice (see below).

Also in this document they have actually just repeated their slander — see as well in the time line schema: «no one can work with you, you have bad communication with everyone» — this was said to Katerina in September as their reply on her question: why they wanted her to move in the lab if they asserted that she was so bad as a person?
They asserted this shit («no one can work with you») after she had agreed to move in the lab in July: she was told then that they wanted her to move because they needed for her expertise. Would you agree to move in the lab when you’re told that you can work with no one?

The last trip up was especially nice from them whereas initially Maria had excluded Katerina from any communications with data providers even though it was an utter requirement for the tasks which Katerina had to perform. So she had to figure on her own what were the data sources, and, surely, everything was fine with the other colleagues, no communication problems, just normal lab folks, who have been just helpful and nice. Otherwise, without them, the project could not move at all.

Also in CRG’s dismissal notice they have lied explaining the reason for the dismissal as if it was a repeated insubordination to Maria Lluch, i.e. to the favorite of Luis Serrano. She was not even an official boss of K., she was only set up as such after being set up as a project co-coordinator (exclusively by the authority of her patron).

The truth is that firstly it was repeated harassment, slander and repeated lies.
Maria Lluch’s misconduct and incompetence, imposed as her «scientific authority» and unaccepted by K. (and the acceptance of that was not her duty at all), K’s refusal to give in to data manipulation had that cost: the dismissal.