Print 19 comment(s) - last by Nekrik.. on Mar 21 at 8:51 PM

A South Korean doctor who faked his cloning discovery last year was fired today

Hwang Woo-suk, a cloning scientist that worked at Seoul National University, was fired today.  Hwang was a leading researcher at one of the most prestigious universities in South Korea, but had his work discredited last year.  He fabricated research information in two scientific papers, both of which were highly regarded among science professionals.

The scientist claimed that he had successfully created cloned human embryos and was able to extract stem cells from them.  The university held a disciplinary committee meeting, which is when it was decided to officially fire Hwang.     

Seoul National University decided to fire the 53-year-old scientist following a disciplinary meeting, saying he and his co-workers caused the school to lose honor. Six other professors who worked with Hwang were either suspended or had their salaries cut, the school said.

Prosecutors have also been investigating the contamination of the stem cells used in Hwang's lab.  

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Too bad...
By android1st on 3/20/2006 7:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
This guy seems to be a genius, pretty much. Can't say I want to see him cloning humans, but I can't can't say I want to rejoice to see him fired. Wonder what's next for him...

RE: Too bad...
By Howard on 3/20/2006 7:42:31 PM , Rating: 4
A scientist must value integrity above all. If he does not, what then is the science he practices?

RE: Too bad...
By Samus on 3/21/2006 12:07:02 AM , Rating: 2
if he's anything like the japanese, he'll commit suicide.

RE: Too bad...
By PseudoKnight on 3/21/2006 12:07:53 AM , Rating: 3
Cloning human embryos is useful. Cloning human beings is not. It's important to make the distinction when discussing these things.

RE: Too bad...
By SunAngel on 3/21/06, Rating: 0
RE: Too bad...
By pakigang on 3/21/2006 3:33:50 AM , Rating: 2
anybody seen "The Island"

RE: Too bad...
By masher2 on 3/21/2006 9:11:35 AM , Rating: 3
> "Cloning humans is the short cut to cloning embryos. Why wait the extra time for the embryo to develop."

Err, except that we don't have the slightest idea how we'd even start to do such a thing...for humans or any other animal. You've got a rather Hollywood-based image of cloning, I'm afraid.

Top Response
By lemonadesoda on 3/20/2006 6:43:50 PM , Rating: 3
Its good to see that the Koreans have "ethics" when it comes to stem research! LOL. Kidding aside, it's a shame that establishments in the US/Europe would not take such an honour-based approach to correct and professional behaviour. Top marks to them.

RE: Top Response
By CKDragon on 3/20/2006 9:08:07 PM , Rating: 2
By commending the honour-based approach over the general US/Europe approach are you saying that you do not believe that a US/European establishment would fire someone in the same situation?

I don't keep a watchful eye over scientific results/controversies/scandals, so my question is in earnest and not intended as flamebait. I would hope that this guy would be fired in any country for the apparent BS he tried to pull.

RE: Top Response
By smokenjoe on 3/20/2006 11:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
I will second the props for listing honor as a reason for hiring with out that all reasearch is worthless. I have a feeling that a eurapean school might be more likly to cover the problem up and there is certanly soomthing to be sead for a open repuditation of wrong action over glossing it over.

RE: Top Response
By Nekrik on 3/21/2006 8:51:48 PM , Rating: 2
How do you know this? I can't really confirm that they would or they wouldn't, but I haven't seen that this is the way any particucular country would or would not handle every such situation. They may have made the public display as they knew the research would eventually (or quickly) be proven incorrect by European or American Scientists.

Important bits missing.
By mindless1 on 3/21/2006 4:56:59 AM , Rating: 2
The linked article has some pretty important bits missing. This guy may've done exactly what was claimed but on the other hand may have only done same as other researchers, depending on others for part of the research and then he was just the big name, the fall guy for the whole thing.

"Hwang publicly apologized for inflating data for the paper, but accused other researchers of deceiving him with falsified research results."

It's pretty well known that one person cannot start from scratch and prove "everything" themselves in any advanced field, it is inevitably the entire collaborative effort. When there is a weak link, where does the buck stop? He may well be to blame, or on the other hand the scandal over this may have required some kind of sacrifice or at least there was a perception of that need.

RE: Important bits missing.
By masher2 on 3/21/2006 9:16:15 AM , Rating: 2
Once again, you are completely off base. Hwang has already confessed to falsifying research data, and directing other researchers working for him to do likewise. He didn't simply "rely on others" for data that eventually turned out to be inflated or incorrect.

Hwang also stands accused of misappropriating large amounts of research funds, by the way.

Not at all!
By Clauzii on 3/21/2006 2:49:03 AM , Rating: 2
We shouldn´t play so much with our building stones - it leads nowhere anyway - I mean, billions spend every year for the last 20-30 years to solve cancer?

NOBODY in the industry want´s a final solution to anything, unless that "final" solution means selling medicine to You for the rest of Your life.

Who believes that the term "I´m Free!" is valid in science...?

RE: Not at all!
By jester700 on 3/21/2006 7:59:41 AM , Rating: 1
Funny how you pick one example that has't been totally "cured" yet. But look at all the advances made and life expectancies of many types of cancer patients in that time. I think you have selective vision.

How about all the cures that WERE found? Polio, TB, smallpox - a whole raft of them. Stem cell research & cloning may well be the keys to many of the next discoveries. I say bring 'em on!

Maybe we should try "casting out demons" and see how many cancer patients THAT cures.

Liars, all of them...
By GGA1759 on 3/21/2006 5:52:56 AM , Rating: 3
Can't we trust any one any more? Scientists, priests. What's next? Our governments will start lying to us too?

By rqle on 3/20/2006 6:45:57 PM , Rating: 2
poor guy, after he clone the dog, he was already on top, but as part of the science community, publish paper are rarely check and recheck, it usually up to the integrity and honesty of the scientist to not publish fabricated data. will really hurt if everyone in the science field begun submitting work for grants base on false work.

wats next u ask?
By Kryptonite on 3/21/2006 1:42:45 AM , Rating: 2
behold i give u!

the five ass monkey!

By chaosvoyager on 3/21/2006 2:39:44 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe he did exactly what he claimed, but was asked to discredit himself and his research in exchange for something, like the freedom to pursue his research in any way he sees fit, the greater good, or maybe just a better paying position. This IS human cloning research after all, and few subjects are better fule for conspiracy theories.

No, of COURSE I don't believe any of the above, but you never know :P

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