Nicola Davis in The Observer:
Professor Lewis Wolpert, the eminent developmental biologist and author, has admitted incorporating unattributed text from a variety of sources in his recent popular science books.
Published by Faber and Faber in 2011, You're Looking Very Well was described as exploring “the scientific and social implications of ourageing population in an engaging, witty and frank investigation tackling every aspect, from ageism to euthanasia to anti-ageing cream”.
It has been found, however, to contain more than 20 passages that have been taken directly from academic papers, websites and Wikipedia with no indication that they were penned by any author other than Wolpert himself. The book has now been withdrawn from sale.
A champion of the popularisation of science, Wolpert, a fellow of the Royal Society, is a former chairman of the society's committee on the public understanding of science. He has written on issues such as the origins of belief, embryonic development and depression, from which he himself has suffered.
Wolpert has faced a previous claim of lifting paragraphs from other people's work. An investigation last April into a review copy of his forthcoming book Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man? also found passages taken from uncredited sources, leading to publication being suspended shortly before its release date. The book was rescheduled for release in May this year.