Science in Trial: The Whistle Blower, the Accused, and the Nobel Laureate

Judy Sarasohn, Author St. Martin's Press $22.95 (294p) ISBN 978-0-312-09247-4
One might well add to the title, ``. . . and the congressman, the prestigious journal, the forensic experts and (inevitably) the lawyers.'' There are more characters than in a Russian novel in Sarasohn's account of the four-year investigation of the life and death of an experiment. When Cell published results by Tereza Imanishi-Kari (the Accused) and co-signed by Rockefeller University's David Baltimore (the Laureate) supporting a radical immunological theory, a tiny whistle blew in the brain of an earnest research postdoc, Margot O'Toole. Four years, three congressional hearings and a National Institutes of Health report later, something nasty about science and ambition lay on the floor, not quite dead. Almost all the players in the longest science fraud investigation in NIH history were besmirched, including the Wall Street Journal and other arms of the press that were entirely too willing to follow prestige over the edge of fact. It's an extraordinary tale, but, unfortunately, Sarasohn, a writer for Legal Times , is not a top journalistic stylist and seems uninterested in making judgements of her own. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
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