Friday, 2 Dec 94 Washington, DC
1. MIT RESEARCHER FOUND GUILTY ON NINETEEN CHARGES OF MISCONDUCT!
The federal Office of Research Integrity last week announced that
Theresa Imanishi-Kari deliberately falsified research -- and then
covered up her initial misconduct with additional falsifications.
The fabricated results were published in a 1986 paper co-authored
by Nobel laureate David Baltimore. A faculty review committee,
convened after a post-doc raised questions, found errors in the
work, but no evidence of fraud. The scientific community, WHAT'S
NEW included (WN 18 May 90), rallied behind Baltimore when he
defended the integrity of the research before Rep. John Dingell's
Investigations Subcommittee. But the unhappy truth is that it
has fallen to federal agencies and Congressional investigators to
uncover the facts surrounding every recent case of scientific
fraud. Universities have been reluctant to pursue allegations of
misconduct and faculty-review boards unwilling to believe that a
colleague would deceive them. The public has been left with the
impression that research is not conducted in the public interest.
2. 104TH CONGRESS: FRESHMEN ORIENTATION MEASURES DEPTH OF CHANGE.
As it had after other Congressional elections, the Kennedy School
at Harvard offered a crash course for the newly-elected. But the
class of '94 registered instead for Congress 101 as taught by the
conservative Heritage Foundation. Unlike Harvard's open version,
reporters will be allowed in only for lunch and dinner speakers.
Still, it should be an education. The conference begins Thursday
with Edward Teller and ends on Saturday with Rush Limbaugh.
3. WHAT'S NEW HEREBY GRANTS PERMISSION TO COPY THIS STUFF--PLEASE
After years of battling government efforts to restrict scientific
communication, scientific societies are split over efforts by the
American Geophysical Union to force corporate researchers to pay
for photocopying from AGU journals. The American Physical Society
refused to join AGU in a suit against Texaco over copies of eight
articles made by a researcher for his own use. It is the purpose
of scientific societies to spread research results and it is the
clear desire of those who publish in APS journals that their work
be as accessible as possible to all users. Texaco's claim that
the practice fell under the "fair use" provision of the copyright
laws was rejected by a federal appeals court, but Texaco vows to
take the case to the Supreme Court. If courts are still arguing
over photocopying, imagine the problems we face in cyberspace.
4. WASHINGTON POST COMMENDS RESEARCHER FOR RETURNING $600K GRANT!
An editorial in the Post praised the cancer researcher for giving
back his grant because of his concerns over genetic manipulation.
The editorial did not explain that the Maharishi International U.
Professor now plans to travel back through mists of time, delving
into ancient Asian wisdom in a search for holistic cures for 20th
century diseases. We should all be grateful for his decision.