I congratulate The Scientist on its coverage of the Stewart-Feder case in the May 17 issue, including the statement by the two embattled scientists themselves (page 11), and the thoughtful Commentary by Margot O'Toole (page 12). As might be gathered from my quoted remarks here in the same issue (Franklin Hoke, page 1), I am completely on the side of Stewart and Feder.
It is true that they ventured outside biomedical research in using their "plagiarism machine" to examine a biography of Abraham Lincoln, but this took them only about a month, whereas their work on scientific integrity has been proceeding for more than 10 years. What they did involved a natural extension of scientific curiosity. The NIH authorities, who had been giving their work consistently "excellent" ratings, could have delegated someone to talk with them about the matter, perhaps with advice to get back closer to problems of scientific...
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