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Silencing The Dissenters: An Unwise, Ignominious Move

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) should reverse its directive stopping the work of researchers Walter Stewart and Ned Feder, reassigning them, and impounding their files. No public interest is served by silencing voices that speak out when something is amiss. The work of Stewart and Feder has focused on two areas. The first is the study of how the principles of science should guide the professional practices of scientists; the second is providing ad

Margot O'toole

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) should reverse its directive stopping the work of researchers Walter Stewart and Ned Feder, reassigning them, and impounding their files. No public interest is served by silencing voices that speak out when something is amiss.

The work of Stewart and Feder has focused on two areas. The first is the study of how the principles of science should guide the professional practices of scientists; the second is providing advice and evaluation for scientists who believe they have witnessed scientific misconduct.

After having supported this work for years, NIDDK recently declared it to be outside its mission. However, that the study of the professional practices of scientists falls within the mission of the National Institutes of Health is shown by NIH's mandate requiring those institutions receiving NIH funds to offer courses on precisely these issues. In fact, of all...

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