What pushes scientists to lie? The disturbing but familiar story of Haruko Obokata. (2015)
“If Obokata hadn’t tried to be a world-beater, chances are her sleights of hand would have gone unnoticed…
John Rasko and Carl Power,
The Guardian 18 February 2015
“The spectacular fall of the Japanese scientist who claimed to have triggered stem cell abilities in regular body cells is not uncommon in the scientific community. The culprit: carelessness and hubris in the drive to make a historic discovery
“The year 2014 was one of extremes for Haruko Obokata. A year of high highs and even lower lows. Barely 30 years old, she was head of her own laboratory at the Riken Center for Developmental Biology (CDB) in Kobe, Japan, and was taking the male-dominated world of stem cell research by storm. She was hailed as a bright new star in the scientific firmament and a national hero. But her glory was short-lived and her fall from grace spectacular, completed in several humiliating stages.
“Aside from her lack of “integrity and humility as a scientific researcher”, what did she do wrong?
“Two obvious reasons spring to mind. First, unbelievable carelessness.
“Second, hubris. If Obokata hadn’t tried to be a world-beater, chances are her sleights of hand would have gone unnoticed and she would still be looking forward to a long and happy career in science.”
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