“It seems (the) concept of not talking about bad news is well-entrenched in the stem cell field.... I’ve been informed that I’ve ruffled the feathers of a couple elite VIPs of the stem cell world by covering the STAP stem cell story on my blog and doing the stem cell crowdsourcing experiment.
“Would they really prefer that we all just skip along merrily singing kumbaya?
“The reality is that the STAP stem cell situation is a serious threat to the stem cell field. As someone who is a big fan of stem cells and advocates actively for stem cell research, I wasn’t going to turn a blind eye.”
“I like social media as a tool for transparency, Dave. It gets criticized for being overwrought, or witch-hunting in nature. But I didn't see that in Paul's post. This may explain, though, why he contacted me on Twitter about a post I wrote a while back called "The Trouble With Scientists" that is a defense of bloggers and smart scientist bloggers. Think of Rosie Redfield's blog post on the so-called arsenic-based life report that helped show the flaws. Or the blog Retraction Watch, by Ivan Oransky, who's both an MD and a journalist. The kind of thoughtful online discussion that I think you saw in Paul's piece adds to efforts to make research more open and more accessible. And acknowledging its flaws is just as important in the process as praising its successes.
“And I do NOT believe a scientist should be punished for writing responsibly about issues in research. I think it's praiseworthy.”
“It’s important to point out here that I don’t think this STAP situation, even if it gets even worse, can derail the positive momentum of our field overall, but it can slow things down. Also, the stem cell field needs public trust. When I am out there communicating with the public about stem cells and answering their questions, sadly they often spontaneously mention 'scandals' and 'controversy.' Many folks seem to associate these with the stem cell field already.”
“Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants."