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Do Scientific Fraudsters Deserve A Second Chance?



6/24/2016 7:44:14 AM

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Late last year a scientist at the University of Manchester received a grant from the venerable Cancer Research UK to study cancer immunology. Normally, that news would have raised cheers. Instead, it raised eyebrows: “Are donors/patients ok with that?” asked watchdog and physician Ben Goldacre on Twitter.

The reason for Goldacre’s skepticism? Silvia Bulfone-Paus had 13 papers retracted for image manipulation in 2011 — scientific misconduct that, at least in the United States, could well have earned her a lengthy ban from government funding. Indeed, Bulfone-Paus received a similar ban that year from a funding body in Germany, where she was working at the time. Given the competitive nature of science funding, one person’s successful grant application is another person’s rejection letter.

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