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Scientific Misconduct: Part 4 - The Costs of Hubris (cont'd)

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The FASEB View

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology ("FASEB") conducted a Public Affairs Symposium ("Symposium") on April 6, 1992 during the 1992 FASEB Meetings in Anaheim, California. One of the Symposium speakers was Professor Howard Schachman, a former FASEB president and a current professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley.

In the April/May issue of the FASEB Newsletter ("Newsletter"), Professor Schachman is quoted as saying,

"'Fabrication, falsification and plagiarism should be subject to government oversight, not the personalities and styles of scientists which are matters of education at institutions.'"

This statement seems disingenuous in that the "institutions" referred to by Professor Schachman have a very poor track record of meting out punishment or sanctions in "matters of education." Numerous alleged instances of fabrication, falsification or plagiarism have not even been investigated, thereby leaving the innocent and guilty to suffer equally. Even now, despite pressure from federal granting agencies, scientists have no organization for notifying funding sources of known misconduct or for stripping guilty peers of the privilege of applying for public money. If tenured, the guilty often remain discretely employed at public expense. If cries of "matters of education" are successful in warding off long-overdue investigations, misconduct will continue unchecked.

Next -- Recognizing Misconduct When You See it

 


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