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Professors Mull Review Panel Membership

Posted December. 14, 2005 06:15,   


When asked whether only SNU professors should take part in the investigation committee for verifying stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk’s research results, five professors were in favor, two opposed and one was undecided.

The professors in favor of verification said that there are enough professors at SNU to verify Hwang’s research and that the controversy is an SNU internal problem.

One SNU professor said, “Professors majoring in DNA and forensic medicine at the medical college as well as the veterinary college of SNU should participate in the committee.” Another professor said, “Experts from other universities may not take part in the committee.”

One professor who was opposed, said, “If the committee only consists of experts from SNU, the public will criticize it and say that the committee is just taking care of its members.”

Opposition to younger professors on the review panel-

When asked whether younger professors who insisted on the verification of Hwang’s team’s research result should take part in the committee, three were against it, two in favor and three were undecided.

Professors who opposed the participation of younger professors viewed their demand for the verification of Hwang’s research result as an attempt to cast aspersions on Hwang.

One professor insisted, “The demands of younger professors for verification of Hwang’s research results can be regarded as inner friction among the faculty of the agricultural and bioengineering college, veterinary college and natural science college.”

Another professor said, “What is important is the objectivity of the committee,” adding, “The University of Pittsburgh’s cooperation, if a joint investigation is needed, should be considered as well along with the participation of younger professors.”

When asked whether a third verification body should take part in the committee, only two were in favor the idea. One out of the two insisted on cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh, while another said the National Institute of Scientific Investigation and the Academy of Life Sciences and Biotechnology in Daedeok should be a part of the review panel.

Verifying suspicions-

Regarding the scope of the verification, four professors said that allegedly duplicated photographs and DNA fingerprints should be the subject. Two professors said, “The procedures pertaining to cloned stem cells should be verified.” Another two declined to offer specific verification observations.

One professor insisted, “If no problems are found with the allegedly duplicated photographs and DNA fingerprints, there is no need for further verification.” But another professor said, “An all-out verification of Hwang’s research results is needed in order to dispel any possible controversy.”