What Can We Learn From The Investigation Of Misconduct?

[Editor's note: Discussions of research misconduct are becoming more and more prevalent, in the halls of academic and research institutions as well as on the front pages of newspapers. But few in the scientific community have experienced the issue as personally as the six authors of the now infamous Cell paper, among them MIT's David Baltimore and Tufts' Thereza ImanishiKari. Since May 1986, when Margot O'Toole, a postdoc working in Imanishi-Kari's lab at MIT, first raised doubts about some of t

The Scientist Staff
Jun 25, 1989
[Editor's note: Discussions of research misconduct are becoming more and more prevalent, in the halls of academic and research institutions as well as on the front pages of newspapers. But few in the scientific community have experienced the issue as personally as the six authors of the now infamous Cell paper, among them MIT's David Baltimore and Tufts' Thereza ImanishiKari. Since May 1986, when Margot O'Toole, a postdoc working in Imanishi-Kari's lab at MIT, first raised doubts about some of the results printed in the paper, three different investigations—conducted by MIT, Tufts, and NIH—and two congressional hearings have been held to probe into the affair.

In the most recent hearing, held last month, Rep. John Dingell (DMich.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, asked several people to describe how their institutions handled—or mishandled—the allegations brought by O'Toole.

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