Director of Max Planck Institute resigns after bullying accusations

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BERLIN, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Tania Singer, the director of Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, will resign after accusations of bullying, the Max Planck Society (MPG) announced on Wednesday.

An MPG statement seen by Xinhua confirms that Singer would resign on "her own initiative from her position as director" and that "she would continue her work as a scientist on a small scale apart from the Leipzig Institute without a leading function."

Singer and MPG agreed not to reveal further details for the "protection of everyone involved". The renowned Max Planck Society currently maintains 84 individual institutes and research facilities with a total budget of 1.8 billion euros (2 billion U.S. dollars).

The resignation follows media reports of young scientists accusing Singer of discriminating against pregnant women, attacking employees personally and repeatedly slandering colleagues. "There was an atmosphere of fear," German magazine Spiegel cited a former postdoctoral researcher.

In response to the reports, MPG had set up a commission to investigate the accusations against Singer which then confirmed "significant leadership misconduct" by the former director of Max Planck Institute. Enditem

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