Reaction in the science community has been impassioned and partisan over the April 9 decision at the National Institutes of Health to "reassign" scientists Walter Stewart and Ned Feder to new posts, effectively ending their independent scientific integrity research at the institutes. Stewart and Feder's self- initiated investigative work, conducted over the past decade, has sparked intense controversy at times and has been central to a number of high-profile misconduct cases.

The pair's probes often have forced professional science to confront troubling issues. Some scientists have called Stewart and Feder's questioning improper, ill-informed, and destructive to both science and individual scientists. But others have welcomed the debates as part of a necessary, if often trying, process to renew and strengthen the scientific method, which they see as broadly undermined by considerations other than the pursuit of scientific truth.

On the first day of their forced reassignment, May 10, the two...

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?