Top P.I.'s Say That Their Presence In Labs Acts As Safeguard Against Fraud, Sloppiness

Photo: Youngblood PLAY IT AGAIN: Replication is the key to reducing inadvertent errors or fraudulent results, maintains USC's W. French Anderson. Last fall, Francis Collins, a prolific and widely respected scientist, retracted all or parts of five papers he had coauthored in the preceding two years. Collins, the director of the National Center for Human Genome Research at the National Institutes of Health-which in January became the National Human Genome Research Institute-apparently was the v

Billy Goodman
May 11, 1997

Photo: Youngblood

PLAY IT AGAIN: Replication is the key to reducing inadvertent errors or fraudulent results, maintains USC's W. French Anderson.
Last fall, Francis Collins, a prolific and widely respected scientist, retracted all or parts of five papers he had coauthored in the preceding two years. Collins, the director of the National Center for Human Genome Research at the National Institutes of Health-which in January became the National Human Genome Research Institute-apparently was the victim of a dishonest graduate student in his lab from the University of Michigan, where he had been before coming to NIH. According to published interviews with Collins last fall, the student fabricated and misrepresented data (Notebook, The Scientist, Nov. 11, 1996, page 30). Alerted to possible problems by a journal editor who was considering a paper submitted by Collins and the student, Collins checked some results and redid some work, then confronted...

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