Do Scientific Fraudsters Deserve A Second Chance?

Published: Jun 24, 2016

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.

Back to news