Monthly Archives: February 2006

“Research misbehaviour”

Nicholas Wade has been doing quite a bit of follow-up reporting (see the end of the post for links) on the Hwang Woo Suk scandal (aka human cloning scandal) and its aftermath . One part of the puzzle that hasn’t got too much of attention is the role of Gerald Schatten, the University of Pittsburgh researcher, and the lead author of one of the discredited papers on cloned human cells in the journal Science. The latest report from Wade has more dirt on Schatten’s role. It’s really dirty.

By convention, a senior co-author receives major credit for the research and carries major responsibility for the accuracy of the data. Dr. Schatten accepted Dr. Hwang’s offer, even though he had done none of the research and was not in a position to verify its accuracy. […]

At the same time Dr. Schatten accepted $40,000 in honorariums from Dr. Hwang and asked for a $200,000 research grant, which he hoped would be renewed every year.

While we are on the subject of cloning, let me link to Doug Natelson’s post from a while ago comparing this scandal with another big-bang scandal that shook the world of condensed matter physics: the Henrik Schoen scandal. Let me quote just two similarities:

* Huge impact articles in major journals, with talk of Nobel prizes.

* Multiple big-name coauthors who did not spot anything wrong.

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Here are the other reports/analyses by Nicholas Wade:

Researcher Faked Evidence of Human Cloning, Koreans Report (January 10, 2006).

One Last Question: Who Did the Work? (January 17, 2006)

Lowering Expectations at Science’s Frontier (January 15, 2006)

It May Look Authentic; Here’s How to Tell It Isn’t (January 24, 2006)

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