Congress is in a tizzy; science leaders are worried legislation could do harm to the innocent

WASHINGTON--Fraud in science has become a cause célébre among Washington politicians. For a two-week period this spring, it seemed that everywhere one looked there were concerned and aggrieved congressmen. And as the politicians aired the dirty linen of science in public and fulminated over measures they claimed needed to be taken to assure the public that science would be pursued in a spotless fashion, scientists voiced fears that congressional meddling would make their lives more worse, cripple the scientific enterprise.

Over in the House, Rep. John Dingell was fuming about NIH’s response to allegations from Margot O'Toole, a former MIT postdoc, about the conduct of Nobel laureate David Baltimore and one of his associates who authored a now-controversial 1986 paper on gene expression. "You never talked to Dr. O’Toole?" Dingeil asked Mary Miers, NIH’s...

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