Poems, flags and cheers for disgraced scientist

Supporters of Hwang Woo-suk, who was once a national hero and is now being called a fraud, celebrated his work at a candlelight rally Saturday in central Seoul. They read poetry, shouted and waved Taegeukgi, the national flag.
The crowd of about 2,500 raved during the reading of a poem for Dr. Hwang. ¡°We are proud of your hands, working for the country. Those who lied and disregarded your hands will be dead,¡± it read.
The supporters chanted ¡°Resume the research,¡± and ¡°Protect the patent.¡±
Five civic groups, including Dr. Hwang¡¯s Internet fan club ¡°I Love Hwang Woo-suk,¡± and the Korea Spiral Cord Injury Association, hosted the Saturday evening rally at a park in Gwanghwamun.
Dr. Hwang¡¯s supporters have not shown any sign of their enthusiastic support for the geneticist cooling, although an investigative panel with Seoul National University announced that Dr. Hwang¡¯s 2004 and 2005 papers for the U.S. journal Science were deliberately fabricated. Instead, the group plans to file a suit against Chung Myung-hee, head of the investigative panel, for defamation this week.
Dr. Hwang’s supporters argue that the panel was not qualified to investigate his research. ¡°Minor problems related to the publications are overshadowing the originality of the research,¡± said Chung Ha-gyun, president of the Korea Spiral Cord Injury Association. In addition, supporters of Dr. Hwang say he is the victim of a conspiracy. Chang mee-suk, who brought her two children to the rally, said, ¡°I believe that Seoul National University¡¯s medical school is trying to protect its interests and the United States is going to register the patent related to Dr. Hwang’s research.”
Gwak Geum-ju, a psychology professor at Seoul National University, said ¡°Supporters cannot just let their hopes slip away, like eschatologists who predicted wrongly that the end of the world was coming but still hope it will occur in 10 years time.¡±

by Park Sung-woo, Kim Ho-jung for JoongAng Daily


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