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Legal Process Presented In Ryan Report Requires Reconsideration

Since their release earlier this year, the recommendations of the congressionally chartered Commission on Research Integrity (CRI) have generated ongoing controversy (B. Goodman, The Scientist, Jan. 22, 1996, page 1; B. Goodman, The Scientist, July 22, 1996, page 3). It should surprise no one that the report containing those recommendations has been the subject of much debate. The commission, chaired by Kenneth Ryan, was required by its charter to perform a difficult balancing act: juggling th

Dan Burk

Since their release earlier this year, the recommendations of the congressionally chartered Commission on Research Integrity (CRI) have generated ongoing controversy (B. Goodman, The Scientist, Jan. 22, 1996, page 1; B. Goodman, The Scientist, July 22, 1996, page 3). It should surprise no one that the report containing those recommendations has been the subject of much debate. The commission, chaired by Kenneth Ryan, was required by its charter to perform a difficult balancing act: juggling the interests of the scientific community, the public, and various governmental agencies. Amid such acrobatics, any of these constituencies might have found their particular interest was fumbled or even dropped, and none of them could possibly receive the center-stage attention that they expected.

What might instead surprise members of the scientific community is the degree to which the commission's report shifts the balance between legal and scientific interests in misconduct...

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