Hwang Woo-Suk is a douchebag - how does this affect stem cell research?

This is a discussion on Hwang Woo-Suk is a douchebag - how does this affect stem cell research? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; If you follow science news at all, you should know about this by now. On the off chance that you ...

  1. #1
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    Hwang Woo-Suk is a douchebag - how does this affect stem cell research?

    If you follow science news at all, you should know about this by now. On the off chance that you don't:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems...1/s1544890.htm

    Basically, it came out that a leading researcher has faked just about everything he's ever done (except, according to NPR, the cloning of a dog). This includes cloning human embryonic stem cells.

    I don't want to get into a debate about the merits/morality of stem cell research, since those have proved to be just as fruitful as trying to change someone's religion.

    What I would like to discuss are the potential ramifications on stem cell research at large. I think the general public has very little idea why people are spending so much time and money researching these, and that this will probably make up a lot of people's minds that it's not something worth pursuing. It could even make a generally anti-science public even more so. How many times have you gotten the standard "Well, scientists used to think the world was flat!"? Now there is just more ammo for this.

    In my opinion, someone prominent needs to come out and explain why this is a good thing. Yes, it's terrible that he was able to mislead people, but as soon as it was found that he was full of crap, he was fired, and his work has essentially been tossed into the trash. It shows the strength of the peer review and the fact that no work is untouchable, even one that people want very dearly to be accurate. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure this will not happen, and we'll see stem cell research become even more marginalized, since the researchers will not only be accused of playing God, but also just making things up.

    Thoughts?

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    I personally think people are just gonna call him an idiot for faking stuff. What he was working on is fairly irrelevant in that case, I think. I think everybody who has an opinion on the ethics is decided enough that this won't do much in the long-term.

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    My worry is that people who haven't decided yet will be swayed by this, when it can actually be seen as a total positive.

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    the hat of redundancy hat nvoigt's Avatar
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    Someone faking it has never hindered the rest of humanity to continue. If faking it would lead to people stoping the act in question altogether, we would have stopped procreating long ago .
    hth
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    He said...

    I don't want to get into a debate about the merits/morality of stem cell research, since those have proved to be just as fruitful as trying to change someone's religion.

    ... so flamable content on that subject removed.


    <Edited out for sencelessness without the post above.>
    Last edited by Blackroot; 01-11-2006 at 03:49 AM.
    Code:
    Error W8057 C:\\Life.cpp: Invalid number of arguments in function run(Brain *)

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    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    <fx>shakes head knowing that the typical member of the forum is in no way adult enough to see the actual point here and will instead turn the debate to the ethics of the work</fx>

    I suspect the media will do it's best to pour scorn onto scientific research, it gets more attention. The research establishment will do nothing to address the positive issues of him being found out, it doesn't get papers published.

    The average Joe in the street is nose led by the media, thus I suspect the net result will be an increase in the negative perception of science.

    In purely factual terms, this is wrong, but since when did facts ever enter into a media hosted debate?
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

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    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    I agree with your post 100%

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    Peace
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    Only those uneducated on the subject are going to be swayed by this. And since its only those who are uneducated on the subject that fear this type of research in the first place, I can't see public opinion being swayed by much... Though I agree that any change of opinion is likely to be a negative one.

    I have little faith in the ability of the majority of our worlds leaders and law makers, but I can't see anybody anywhere even considering using 'possible fabricated results' as a reason to restrict research. The world is full of people who lie to further their own ends and this is no different.

    Disappointing though...
    "There's always another way"
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    And since its only those who are uneducated on the subject that fear this type of research in the first place
    I disagree quite strongly.

    I have little faith in the ability of the majority of our worlds leaders and law makers
    I agree quite strongly.

  10. #10
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    Can a mod please close this? This isn't to going anywhere good.

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