All countries all disciplines

In the subsequent discussions and reports (most of them in the weekly scientific and medical journals), two important facts emerged. Firstly, research fraud did affect all disciplines: articles appeared showing that Admiral Peary had not reached the pole, a German graduate student in chemistry had spiked the starting material in an experiment on enantio-selectivity, a professor at Chandigarh University claimed to have found fossils in the Himalayas that in reality had come from several other different parts of the world, while recently Karl Sabbagh has documented a scandal well known in botanical circles since the 1930s of a professor who transferred plants from Teesside to the Scottish island of Rum.20 Secondly, it affected all countries, whether Western or the then Iron-Curtain ones, and sometimes cases from there brought out new points or emphasised old ones in a particularly dramatic manner. Such was the case in Australia, for, as Norman Swan pointed out in a striking paragraph in the second edition of this book,21 in two instances there were the classic features of scientific fraud. Whistleblowers often come off worse than the fraudster; the checks and balances of fraud do not stop fraud; institutions care more about their reputations than the integrity of science, and, when powerful men are involved, their peers "turn into wimps who are prepared to use ad hominem arguments rather than objectivity".

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