A Slap on the Face of “Science”
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A Slap on the Face of “Science”


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5 Pages


A Slap on the Face of “Science”



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Reads 101
Language English


Scientific Ethics
1(1): 3-7, 2006
© Truthfinding Cyberpress (http://im1.biz/tfcp)
A Slap on the Face of “Science”
Shi V. Liu
Scientific Ethics
Apex, NC 27502, USA
E-mail: SVL8SE@im1.biz
(Received 2006-01-09; accepted 2006-01-23; published online 2006-02-05*)
Great breakthroughs in stem cell research published in the very “top” scientific journal have now dropped
to the very bottom of scientific trash – totally discounted as fabrication products of some outright frauds.
This high-profile event slapped very hard on the face of “science”. But will this hard hit awake
Once heralded as a great breakthrough that would not happen for decades is now known as the boldest
scientific fraud in memory. The revelation of the Korean stem cell research scandal slaps hard on the face
of “science”. It has not only caused a great set back for the stem cell and cloning researches but also
destroyed significantly the public trust to scientists. As the main porters for scientific communication,
scientific journals should learn a great lesson from this and other “top” scandals. How scientific journals
handle the scandal and what real measures they take will become critical in regaining the public confidence
on science and preventing future scandals. However, how good the scientific journals are doing these?
Hwang scandal, Stem cell, Science publication, Misconduct, Retraction, Scientific justice
Instead of being celebrated as one of the greatest
breakthrough in science for 2005, it became the most
“spectacular” research scandal in modern scientific
The revelation shocked the world: a
“landmark” paper in
(308: 1777-1783, 2005),
a report once hailed as a great “breakthrough” that
would not happen for decades (
308: 1097-
1097, 2005), was actually a fabrication (Interim
Report on Professor Hwang Woo-Suk, Investigation
Committee, Seoul National University, released 23
Dec. 2005), a “boldest scientific frauds in memory”
311:23-24, 2005).
The revelation of the scandal is like an O. J.
Simpson trial in science – dynamically unfolded in
real-time while the probing was and is still going on.
I could not remember any thing more dramatic than
this in my over twenty years of scientific research
life. Even the announcement of the completion of the
human genome sequence had not attracted so much
The impact of this scandal is really
widespread. Even non-scientists know this now
because it has been printed and broadcasted in the
popular media in at least all the major human
The impact is also truly global. I
actually did not miss any new development even
while I was on a cross-ocean international travel
because up-to-date reports on this scandal can be
found on many free-access websites.
This scandal has firmed my decision to
finishing my wittings on two related articles. One
is entitled “What drives scientists craze and cause
them to misconduct?” (
Scientific Ethics
press, 2006). The other is “Why “top” journals
are often so unlucky in infecting top scandals”
Scientific Ethics
1, in press, 2006). There two
papers mainly discuss the pre-scandal events, i.e.,
either the making of scandals by “scientists” or
the publishing of scandal-contained papers by