British Government is considering a petition filed by an NRI scientist demanding revocation of the Knighthood to Sir Ian Wilmut, best known as the creator of the first cloned sheep Dolly, for having admitted that one of his colleagues deserved "66 per cent" credit for the project.
In his petition, molecular biologist Prim Singh claimed that Wilmut "is a self-confessed charlatan" who "apparently lacks adequate scientific understanding". The petition, also signed by three other former employees of the Roslin Institute, near Edinburgh, urged the Queen to "withhold, recall or reduce the Royal Assent from the Knighthood of Professor Ian Wilmut". 63-year-old Wilmut won global acclaim after being credited in 1996 with creating Dolly, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell, and was knighted in the New Year Honours for services to science.
Prim Singh, who initiated the petition, has a history of conflict with Wilmut, The Times reported. At an employment tribunal in 2006, he claimed he had been racially discriminated against by Wilmut because he was Asian. Although he lost that claim, the tribunal found that he had been unfairly dismissed as head of nuclear programming at Roslin. All his allegations against Wilmut personally were dismissed and are the subject of an appeal.