Institutions investigating fraud within their confines will have biases that preclude fair and impartial hearings. All make mistakes in their interpretation of the values of measurements, in their recording of data, and in their statistical calculations. One might be the most careful, double-triple-quadruple checker on earth and still have such things. All, as well, interpret data in a skewed fashion to some degree, no matter how objective they might try to be, no matter how much blinding one applies. These matters should never be considered fraud, yet it is easy to see how an institution looking for someone to blame might misjudge such matters. \n\nSimilarly, there are degrees of dishonesty. Should a slight trimming of data be considered the same as making up entire results out of whole cloth? Should exclusion of an outlier (which can be more of a matter of judgment than objectivity) be considered the same as ignoring an entire group with discordant findings? Such matters require a judge independent of the institution to make these distinctions. \n\nFinally, science is very, very specialized, such that many institutions would lack adequate expertise in such areas as physical biology, wherein only one or two persons, who may be competitors, are available to render judgments. \n\nBest would be having academic institutions create a judicial body for such things. A law school professor could serve as a judge. The accused should always be granted the right to hire an attorney and, if only graduate student or assistant professor, be provisioned one at no cost. In fact, that would be fair for everyone accused of academic dishonesty. \n\nThis applies to all departments, not just the biological sciences. If you evaluate what happened with respect to Ward Churchill, for example, you will see, no matter what your opinion of his work was, that the University of Colorado would have been saved huge hassles by such an independent board. As it was, Professor Churchill was supported by people who retained an opinion that the University was not being fair. Moreover, the gentleman sued and also appealed matters to Federal Court.