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South Korea: Thoughts on the Case of the Stem Cell Fraud

Oranckay reflects on the meaning of the local controversy surrounding South Korean scientist Hwang Woo Suk, who had been acclaimed as a national hero until he admitted flaws with his “breakthrough” research on stem cells. Many still defend him. He writes: “I think Korea has reason to be encouraged by the fact that the rest of the world fell for Hwang’s fabrications. Most countries only get to do international mail order fraud. 10 or 15 years ago if a group of Korean scientists had said they’d cloned stem cells they’d have been laughed at. Korea might be given more scrutiny next time around, but the world believed that Korea has the potential to make landmark scientific breakthroughs and was willing to be fooled.”

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