German education minister loses Ph.D. over plagiarized thesis
(CNN) -- Her doctoral thesis dealt with how we form our conscience. Turns out she plagiarized chunks of it.
A university stripped Germany's education minister of her Ph.D. on Tuesday, after a blogger caught the plagiarism and spent months vigilantly presenting the evidence to the public.
Annette Schavan is the second minister in conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet who has this embarrassing distinction.
Former defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg stepped down in May 2011, after large passages of his dissertation were found to have been directly copied from other sources.
At the time, Schavan sharply criticized Guttenberg publicly for his shortcomings, according to German media reports.
Since April 2012, the blog "schavanplag" (for "Schavan" and "plagiarism") has compared passages of Schavan's 1980 dissertation with sections of written works by other authors -- in multiple instances they match word for word, or nearly.
The blog alleges Schavan did not properly source her work and claimed others' work as her own.
Schavan, who studied education, philosophy and Catholic theology, received her doctorate with highest honors, including for the verbal section of her dissertation. She has spent her career in education roles in the Catholic church.