My commentary on the National Institutes of Health's Office of Scientific Integrity in the May 13, 1991, issue of The Scientist [page 12] referred to its overreaction to political pressure in combating fraud. I think it's important to add a mention of some related history. In an earlier era of red-baiting, NIH refused to award grants to such distinguished scientists as Linus Pauling and Elvin Kabat, because they were accused (without trial) of misconduct.

Because most readers are probably not aware of that shameful history, I am grateful to The Scientist for publishing this addendum. In evaluating current reactions to congressional pressure, a concrete example of an earlier mistake may be more useful than abstract arguments.

Microbiology Department
Harvard Medical School

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