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SNU to Check Hwang Woo-suk’s Article

Posted December. 12, 2005 08:20,   


Professor Hwang Woo-suk’s article in Science magazine will be re-verified by Seoul National University (SNU) according to Hwang’s request.

SNU decided to re-verify it yesterday after an executive meeting presided over by SNU president Jeong Un-chan, at Hoam Faculty House of SNU concerning the re-verification controversy on Hwang’s stem cell research outcomes. Seven or eight professors attended the meeting.

Roh Jeong-hye, a head of the research team and a professor of bioscience at SNU said after the meeting: “We changed our previous position and decided to reverify the article as Professor Hwang formally made a request to do so.”

It is confirmed that Hwang called Roh at 9:00 a.m. on that day and said, “I will formerly request re-verification of my article on December 12.” He also said the same to Sohn Hak-kyu, a governor of Gyeonggi Province when he visited Hwang while he was in the hospital. Governor Sohn said, “Hwang told me that he will prove his research results scientifically and provide all data relevant to his experiment if Science asks for them.”

SNU is expected to hold a press conference and announce its decision on re-verification and its verification plans at 11 a.m. on Monday morning. SNU will allow outsiders to participate in the re-verification process. Oh Seong-hwan, a director of the planning office at SNU, said regarding how to verify Hwang: “We can set up an office of scientific integrity or sort of a fact-finding committee. I think we should include outsiders in them.”

It seems that Hwang’s team concluded they cannot postpone open verification of Hwang’s article as Professor Schatten of the University of Pittsburgh has already started investigating the article, and Science magazine is collecting relevant data.

Joon-Woo Ha hawoo@donga.com