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Scientists Exonerated By ORI Report Lingering Wounds

ALL-CONSUMING: Exonerated researcher Herbert Needleman reports having had "no original ideas" while his case was pending. Those eventually cleared of misconduct charges say the system is too eager to presume them guilty. Approximately 70 percent of cases of alleged scientific misconduct that come to the attention of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services, end up with the accused being cleared. But what happens to these re- spondents-as OR

Billy Goodman


ALL-CONSUMING: Exonerated researcher Herbert Needleman reports having had "no original ideas" while his case was pending.

Those eventually cleared of misconduct charges say the system is too eager to presume them guilty.
Approximately 70 percent of cases of alleged scientific misconduct that come to the attention of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services, end up with the accused being cleared. But what happens to these re- spondents-as ORI calls the accused-after they are exonerated? The Scientist interviewed 10 scientists and physicians who had been formally charged with misconduct in scientific research and subsequently cleared of those charges. Most say that the system is too ready to presume them guilty-and that the "exoneration" does not totally obliterate their ordeal from the public consciousness.

The 1996 ORI report, "Survey of Accused but Exonerated Individuals in Research Misconduct Cases,'' reveals that three out...

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