Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Scientific American: Hwang down in flames

In the March 2006 issue of Scientific American, Sara Beardsley's "Down in Flames" (p. 20, 22) suggests that Hwang was "caught by other scientists" and implies that Korean scientists may now be "radioactive" as to possible research collaborations.

The fraud of Hwang was revealed BY his co-workers TO third parties (such as PD Notebook), who were the ones doing the catching. Beardsley neglects to mention the stiff price paid by PD Notebook and the co-workers. Further, the Korean authorities did a much better job of rapidly uncovering this fraud than did Bell Labs with Jan-Hendrik Schon.

Although she alludes to Hwang blaming others as an excuse to cover up his own failings, it may well be that others are committed malfeasance. This story is a lot more complex than simply saying Hwang did something bad and he got caught by other scientists.

Truly mediocre reporting by Scientific American.


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