There are differences of opinion over the precise definition of scientific misconduct and over how to deal with it. We also don’t have a very good idea on how often it occurs. It probably is not unreasonable to assume, however, that it happens much more frequently than the few highly publicized cases would suggest—if only because it is unlikely that all instances of misconduct are discovered and, of those discovered, that all become public knowledge.

Moreover, my own experience suggests that it is nearly impossible to get a fair investigation of the facts unless there is incon trovertible proof from the outset. The experience of others suggests that even that may not be enough, especially if the accuser is a junior scientist.

What is so remarkable (and disturbing) about my case is that in spite of having virtually everything in my favor, I very nearly lost. I was of relatively...

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