Protecting the integrity of the scientific method
Lost amid the tragic revelations of the scientific fraud perpetrated by South Korean stem cell researcher Hwang Woo Suk and his collaborators is the fact that the scientific system works.
Erroneous scientific discoveries, whether fraudulent or the result of honest misinterpretation of data, cannot stand up long to the scrutiny of the scientific method.
“Yes, but can you repeat it?” is an old saw of the process of experimentation. While the tragedy of the recent events will surely be the opportunity afforded those opposed to stem cell research to harden their stance, the rest of us should be heartened by the rapid uncovering of the facts, and the public should be reassured that the systems in place will continue to protect the integrity of the scientific method.
LAURENCE H. KEDES MD
Director, USC Institute
for Genetic Medicine