Saturday, March 18, 2006

Korean government revokes Hwang's license to conduct stem cell research

On March 16, 2006, South Korea's government revoked permission for disgraced scientist Hwang Woo-suk to conduct embryonic stem cell research, the latest blow since revelations arose last year that his most high-profile work was based on forged evidence.

The Health Ministry took the step even though the government has not completed its investigation into the scientific scandal.

In a study published last May in the New England Journal of Medicine, half of the respondents said they would delay publication while the sponsoring company seeks a patent.

from "Con Men in Lab Coats," Scientific American, March 2006:

--> (A minor footnote to this affair is our removal of Hwang from the 2005 Scientific American 50 list; see the retraction on page 16.)

--> We should also think hard about whether Hwang's deceit went undetected for months because so many scientists and science journalists wanted to believe that ESC research was progressing rapidly, because that would hasten the arrival of miraculous therapies and other biomedical wonders. Extraordinary results need to be held suspect until confirmed independently. Hwang is guilty of raising false expectations, but too many of us held the ladder for him.


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