WASHINGTON—Although many scientists may wish otherwise, the political debate over scientific misconduct is not likely to end anytime soon. Despite the decidedly mixed reviews of last month’s two-day grilling by Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) of MIT biologist David Baltimore and others involved in investigating allegations of error stemming from a 1986 Cell paper, Congress seems eager to extend the discussion. Two more congressional panels have scheduled hearings this month on the topic, and legislation is being drawn up that would require universities and other institutions to improve their procedures to root out and prevent misconduct.

At the same time, federal regulations are expected to appear shortly on how universities and other institutions must respond to allegations of misconduct. The rules, now being polished in last-minute negotiations between NIH and the Office of Management and Budget, are the final steps in fleshing out legislation passed in 1985.

And scientists have not...

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