On the day the we learn that the Korean veterinarian, Hwang Wu Suk, has been fired and is solely to blame for falsifying data and coercing women to undergo oocyte donation, Robert P. George and Eric Cohen on the National Review OnLine, give us an informative report on the scandal and its effects in science and the nations of Korea and the US:
Of course, the scientists seeking to sell embryonic-stem-cell research hardly rely on reason alone to make their public appeal. They rely instead on a potent combination of celebrity and pathos, with 30-second television commercial spots promising to make the lame walk again and testimony from actors like the late Christopher Reeve and Michael J. Fox. To advance their cause, they have set aside the rigorous skepticism and high empirical standards that are the bedrock of responsible science. Political utility is now among the criteria for publication.
To this end, Science magazine “fast-tracked” the Huang cloning papers in order to send a message to American policymakers: South Korea is advancing, America is falling behind, all because of the Bush policy on embryonic-stem-cell funding