The news story relates the aftermath of the Hwang Woo-suk case, as South Korea tries to figure out what Hwang did with all the money, given that the research on stem cells wasn’t actually on the up-and-up. The article relates several fairly astonishing admissions from Hwang, including the one that got the headlines: they tried to clone mammoths from DNA and failed. Less headline-ready, for being more plebian, were the expenditures on travel and even a wedding for one of the scientists.
If anyone was thinking that Hwang was going to shrug off this affair and step back into a trusted position in the scientific community, the first sentence of the article would disabuse them:
Disgraced South Korean stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk said on Tuesday he spent part of private donations for his research in failed attempts to clone mammoths, extinct members of the elephant family.
The practice of science relies upon scientists accurately reporting their work. Because of this, fraud in science can be overlooked for some time, but if and when it is noticed, the result is pretty much what is known as shunning in the Amish community. The persons found to have broken that trust are not accorded trust again. There simply isn’t any mechanism there for forgiveness or second chances.
It seems pretty harsh. It is pretty harsh, when you consider that we’re usually talking about people with terminal degrees in a field, and that they will find it difficult to translate what they do know into a career without the ability to fully interact with the scientific community.
Contrast that with the antievolution community. Pretty much no matter how wrong or how embarrassing a behavior some advocate is caught in, you’ll find that there is no penalty imposed by his colleagues. It doesn’t even rise to the level of forgiveness; it’s more like some perpetual perceptual defect where error is never recognized and rarely corrected.