We are all aware of the impending attempts by legislative and oversight bodies to insert themselves into the conduct and practice of scientific research. Recent incidents have accelerated the movement toward formation of a variety of institutional review mechanisms to deal with the problem of scientific fraud.

But I believe that there is a much greater threat to the quest for truth than the one-in-a-million scientist who fabricates data. Because the overwhelming majority of outright deceptions - or even honest but incorrect interpretations - is quickly revealed, the community of scientists is never led astray for long by scientific fraud.

While fraud is of concern to us all, it is not an invidious threat to the quest for the nature of reality that is at the core of our profession. Truly invidious - and a far greater danger to scientific enterprise - is the prevailing closed-minded stodginess prompted by suspicions...

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