Seoul National University’s disciplinary committee said yesterday that it would fire Veterinary College Professor Hwang Woo-suk for fabricating data in academic papers on stem cell technology. Lighter sentences were imposed on six other professors who were co-authors of those papers ― published and later retracted by the U.S. journal Science.
Dr. Hwang received the harshest punishment that could be given to public servants, since Seoul National is a state-run school. He will be banned from being re-employed in a public position for five years and will receive only half of his retirement money. Moon Shin-yong, co-author of a 2004 paper on embryonic stem cell cloning, and Kang Sung-keun were both suspended for three months. Lee Byung-cheon, the professor who helped create Snuppy ― the world’s first cloned dog ― and Curie Ahn will be suspended for two months, and Lee Chang-kyou and Baek Seung-ha for one month.
Also yesterday, the special investigative team of Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office said the contamination of stem cells in January 2005 was not deliberate as previously announced, but came from researchers’ mistakes. “The contamination of Jan. 9 last year was an accident,” said Prosecutor Lee In-gyu.
by Wohn Dong-hee for JoongAng Daily