This is an excellent opinion piece and one that I completely agree with. The cover-up of scientific misconduct happens not only in Germany, but everywhere, including the USA and (notoriously) France. Speaking from personal experience and review of other cases, it appears misconduct review panels often choose not to conduct a thorough investigation - due to bias in favor of the accused, particularly if the accused is a faculty colleague. Currently in the US, the accuser (complainant) is not entitled to any right to assess such investigations. The reports are not due to an independent review body (ORI) until they are completed - sometimes years later - at which time it may be too late to gather critical evidence. This clearly is a policy that should be changed. Any complainant deserves the opportunity to assess the progress of an investigation and demand thoroughness and impartiality. Without such adversarial oversight, I am certain that, in the current system, the crooks get off scott-free more often than not (particularly faculty). \n\nIn light of this, going public with the evidence can be a good idea, and certainly prompts action to investigate and make conclusions. There is a reason Marco Bern posted comments on a Panama website under aliases - to avoid defamation lawsuits, which can be costly to defend. Such defamation lawsuits that are clearly without merit are termed SLAPPs (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation). There is some protection for whistleblowers against SLAPPS in most US states - quick judgments that can be requested for assessment of evidence, and the lawsuit may dismissed quickly (see anti-SLAPP statutes). However, in general such SLAPPs (or threat of them) will effectively silence a whistleblower from making anything public. Marco Bern made facts publicly known but in an anonymous manner, pointing out the culpability of Bulfone-Paus. As far as I can tell, none of those facts have been shown to be false or malicious (perhaps someone can correct me?). I applaud both Bern and Zwirner for upholding the honor and integrity of science.