Saturday, March 25, 2006

Lowering the Curtain on Hwang Woo-suk

In a little publicized announcement (well, anyway, it took me five days to hear about it) earlier this week, Seoul National University fired infamous stem cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk. The announcement, along with news that "six other professors who worked with Hwang [had been] either suspended or had their salaries cut", marks, one would hope, one of the last entries along an ignominious timeline for stem cell research and scientific ethics.

Though the name of Hwang Woo-suk will now, one would hope, drop from the popular press (although criminal charges are still pending), there is still much to be learned from the institutional structures that permitted this scandal to develop in the first place. Now that the story is drawing to a close, the time for reflection is fully at hand.

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