Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Good Idea: Close the Lab

According to Daniel Engber, "What Happens to Bad Scientists?" at Slate (December 15, 2005; hat tip, Shenzhen Whitey), one of the first things to do in a case of possible scientific fraud is:
[S]eize notebooks, equipment, and computer files and hold them under lock and key until the investigation is over.
In short, "Lock the labs, sequester the notebooks."

Perhaps Seoul National University is following this advice. According to Kwon Ji-young in this morning's Korea Herald, "Panel closes Hwang's lab in probe":

Seoul National University closed down Professor Hwang Woo-suk's research lab on Sunday as it began a probe into his stem cell research, school officials said yesterday.
The probe is being chaired by Chung Myung-hee, an SNU faculty member in the College of Medicine, about whom I know nothing . . . yet.

I had already seen this news last night when my wife had her MBC on and was watching the 9:00 p.m. news report, and since the lab closure took place on Sunday, it will be old news to some readers, but here it is anyway.

And it is good news. I'd hate to wake up one morning within the next few weeks and read that Hwang has been asked for a crucial notebook but has "forgotten where it is. . ."


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