Letters

I read with great interest your article on NIH researchers Walter Stewart and Ned Feder, who are investigating scientists for fraud and other misconduct. I think that the article did a good job in pointing out something quite different from what was intended, namely, the closed shop or “guild” mentality of the scientific community. The fact of the matter is that scientific research is a business, just like the music industry, the auto industry, or television repair. Witness J

Avraham Sonenthai
Sep 4, 1988

I read with great interest your article on NIH researchers Walter Stewart and Ned Feder, who are investigating scientists for fraud and other misconduct.

I think that the article did a good job in pointing out something quite different from what was intended, namely, the closed shop or “guild” mentality of the scientific community.

The fact of the matter is that scientific research is a business, just like the music industry, the auto industry, or television repair. Witness James Wyngaarden’s statement: “Their scientific productivity has been extraordinarily low.” Research is a product, no different from any other.

However, this business is definitely not run in a professional manner. The sciences are rife with favoritism, politics, hype, egoism, and self-promotion. More than one career has been built on the backs of technicians and graduate students whe deserved coauthorship and were unethically locked out of it. And let’s not forget all the...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?