University Proposes Guidelines After Embryonic Stem Cell Research Fraud

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 17, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 17
, 2006

Seoul, South Korea ( — Seoul National University has proposed new guidelines governing scientific research in the wake of the international scandal involving scientists there who faked embryonic stem cell research. The scientists claimed to have made spectacular advances but their research turned out to be entirely fraudulent.

Hwang Woo-suk, the lead researcher, and several members of the team worked at SNU and lost their jobs as a result of the scandal.

The SNU Committee on Research Integrity has published an exhaustive report on what constitutes fraudulent research and how SNU staff and faculty can expose it if it happens.

It outlines misconduct, according to a Korea Times, which includes fabricating research, faking data that doesn’t exist or hasn’t been proved and distorting research results.

It also discusses improprieties — such as falsifying research papers or adding the names of scientists to papers who did not participate in research. Hwang’s team did both.

The committee, which the school formed in July in response to Hwang’s misconduct, will investigate any allegations of misconduct or improprieties.

"Many professors in our school don’t know about our committee," Cho Jin-ho, a spokesman for the panel, told the Korea Times.

"Through this opportunity, we will introduce ourselves to professors and researchers at our school and prevent research fabrications and impropriety from now on," he said.