HONG KONG—For infectious diseases researchers in Hong Kong, the SARS outbreaks of recent times have meant record numbers of publications and significant funding boosts. But for many, those windfalls have been overshadowed by high-profile resignations linked to a legislative inquiry that sought to apportion blame for the disasters.

Another inquiry started last week and given the repercussions of the earlier investigations, scientists would have good reason for concern. This time, a judicial panel is investigating whether any severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) deaths were related to hospital mismanagement, mistreatment, or other inappropriate actions.

"There's no doubt SARS is an emotionally charged issue for Hong Kong," said Joseph Sung, a clinician at the Prince of Wales Hospital and chair of the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Department of Medicine.

There's a lingering sense of public outrage over SARS, Sung told The Scientist. His department and research came under daily scrutiny...

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