Alan Boyle writes in "Stem cell debate looks beyond scandal":
Donald Kennedy, Science's editor-in-chief, was sympathetic: "This is really a twin tragedy —both for the people who were misled over there [in South Korea] and for the people who were misled here. ... I'll certainly join in any ritual apology."
Science launched two investigations of the practices that led to the publication of the fraudulent papers. Kennedy told MSNBC.com that both probes — one by five of the journal's editors, the other by an independent panel — should be ready for review by the AAAS board in mid- to late April. (AAAS is a content provider for MSNBC.com.)
Kennedy said he is often asked whether he could see anything in retrospect that Science could have done to detect the fraud before publication. "I cannot, but my colleagues may," he said.
From IPBiz on January 14, 2006:
In the conflict-of-interest statement supplied to Science for the 2005 paper, Hwang replied on behalf of all authors and checked a box to designate that a patent was "anticipated, applied for, or held," according to Editor-in-Chief Donald Kennedy. He did not supply requested details about the patent, Kennedy said.
"At this point, we do not know whether the patent is awarded or expected, and whether it is Dr. Hwang's or one of the other authors,'" Kennedy said in an e-mail response to questions. "Our retrospective review of our procedures that we will be conducting shortly will include an evaluation of our conflict-of-interest policies."
IPBiz note: Schatten's published application 20040268422 was publicly available on December 30, 2004, and the status of said application could have been determined at the time of the submission of the Science manuscript through public PAIR. Published application 20060037086 became available on February 16, 2006. Of Hwang, in addition to telling Science that he had submitted patent applications, Hwang had told a reporter for the New York Times that he had submitted PCT applications. Thus, apart from not following up on what it was told, Science could have independently investigated the presence of applications, both in the name of Schatten and of Hwang. As an aside, it is not clear what Hwang knew of Schatten's applications, and when he might have learned it.