Miscounduct and Grantsmanship <Pine.SOL.3.91.951216213835.5595B-100000@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA>

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Mon Dec 18 09:42:23 EST 1995

On Sun, 17 Dec 1995 U27111 at UICVM.CC.UIC.EDU wrote:

> >So, we should not be too harsh on Drs. Bendarik and
> >Matsuguchi - who are the first to cast stone ?
> Well, in the case of Dr. Bendarik (who was at the CDC at the time
> of this misconduct)... why don't you go into the aids newsgroup and
> ask all the people in there who have been given a death sentence of
> being HIV+? ... or those already in full blown AIDS and presently
> dying?  See in there who is willing to be the first one to cast a
> stone?  As a matter of fact... I think I may just cross- post your
> original posting on this and see what *real* people have to say?
> Personally, I think it's terrible for scientists in such positions
> to abuse their responsibility in such a manner (putting themselves
> first, above those there are supposedly helping).

I don't know the particurities of the case, and in no way
attempt to vindicate Bendarik or Matsuguchi. All what I am
saying that we have to look deeper at the roots and then 
for anyone it should be crystal clear that the existing 
system (grantsmansip and many other aspects of it) is
highly conducive to such behavior. No offices, "ORI" or
whatever, will succeed in eliminating it for as long as
all what they treat are the symptoms, not the causes.
Like police, it can perhaps curb the crime (cheers to ORI),
but it certainly can't restor the ethical values in 
society (read - modern science). It is highly unlikely,
that institutions like ORI can get too much farere than
mere scapegoatting. 

> I understand your argument... but when one does finally get caught
> - examples should be (need to be) made.
> I agree the ORI is nothing more than spitting to put out a fire...
> and there are a lot more worst ones out there... but even more to
> stop accepting what is unacceptable behavior.
> I really think we needed to clean house... and a Congressional
> Hearing on Gallo would've have just been the ticket needed.  For
> instead of having the Gallo's pay for there actions, we are
> rewarding them for getting away with it.  And thus setting an
> example for others to follow in their footsteps [just like one of
> the nobel laureates you may have been referring to who was targeted
> in a recent Science article for hoarding data; so he could get a
> patent first!]
> But Barton (R-Texas), the guy who took over Dingel's chair on the
> House subcommittee which oversees the NIH, he decided to drop the
> Gallo investigation... and apparently, nobody in the scientific
> community cares.
> Nor did they really care about Bendarik and Matsuguchi until the
> ORI specifically targeted them and told us not to like these guys?
> Thus, in that sense, I agree with your comments.
> But as the [Gallo] staff draft report stated, well before the
> Barton decision,... "that while the HHS did it's best to cover up
> the wrong-doings, the failure of the entire scientific
> establishment to take any meaningful action left the disposition of
> scientific truth to bureaucrats and lawyers, with neither the
> expertise nor the will essential to the task." ["In Gallo case,
> truth termed a casualty - Report: Science subverted in AIDS
> dispute" by John Crewdson.  Chicago Tribune, January 1, 1995.]
> ...and the scientific community stills fails to take any meaningful
> actions!  ...in the Gallo case, in the 40-50% cases which are never
> uncovered, etc. etc.
> So if a few small fish do get fried now and then... why can't some
> of us gloat and hope for a change?
> -Kathy

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