‘When biologist David Baltimore testified earlier this month before a congressional panel that has spent two years investigating charges of impropriety in connection with his 1986 paper in Cell, he wasn’t alone. Sitting in. the audience and offering moral support to the director of MIT’s Whitehead Institute were some two dozen colleagues, many with scientific reputations to match the Nobel laureate’s. “David is very important to the scientific community,” says Columbia University’s Eric Kandel. Asked to explain why he hopped on a plane to spend nine hours in a hearing room listening to members of Congress attack a piece of research that he was not involved with, the neuroscientist answered, “What happens to him affects all of us.” Although members of the House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee insist that they are not trying to judge the merits of the work itself, Baltimore told the panel that “there are many...

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