In connection with a recent surge of criticism of science, much has been said about the self-correcting capacity of science. Unfortunately, the Stewart and Feder “affair” (The Scientist, July 11, page 1) shows that this process hardly works in real-life situations. Instead of being praised for their effort and devotion to uncover fraud in science, these two researchers have been charged with “indulging in scientific McCarthyism and even treason.” Other members of the biomedical community expressed fear of “draconian type legislation which would be very damaging to the scientific enterprise.”

In my opinion, such a fear is unjustified—after all, somebody has to make order in the house of science, and if we are not willing to do it, society and government are entitled to do it for us. It is obvious that the problem of misconduct and fraud in science is a product of an inadequate system of...

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?