Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Bioethics-meets-Jerry-Springer debacle (otherwise known as the Korean Stem Cell Fiasco)

I have been watching in horrified silence and disbelief as the entire story of Hwang Woo Suk and the deceptions surrounding his research and so-called 'findings' has unfolded. The story has all the elements a bad Jerry Springer episode: lies, deceit, betrayal -- the only that is missing is someone ripping off their clothing. And just when you think things can't get much worse, another layer of untruthfulness is revealed; colleague and fellow blogger Glenn McGee is right: it's like peeling an onion -- and it's enough to make you cry. Hundreds of blogs are following the story -- and not surprisingly, opponents of stem cell research are feeling righteous indignation and justification. The consequences of this Hwang's actions will be felt for a long time to come: public faith has been lost and future stem cell research will face heightened scrutiny. The best thing that can come from this fiasco is facing up to what we must learn from this painful lesson -- the importance of teaching and enforcing truthfulness and transparency in research.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Okay, I'm going to ask what is probably a very naive question...but why wasn't the genetic testing done when Hwang first made his claims? Doesn't this seem like it would have been a logical first step towards validating the research 'findings' - and, not incidentally, preventing something like this from happening in the first place?