Scholarly Integrity (Required Post #3)

Case: Hao Wang

This case describes the ORI’s action against a Hao Wang, the former Associate Professor of Surgery and Pathology, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, Canada.  Dr. Wang has engaged in research misconduct by falsifying data in an abstract and poster presentation for the “2011 American Transplant Congress”.

The ORI found that Dr. Wang falsely claimed that two monkeys successfully received kidney transplants.  He went on say that they animals went on to live long lives and experienced no adverse effects from the transplants.  In actuality, the transplant was a total failure and each monkey survived only because their kidney’s were left intact. These falsifications went so far as to be included in Dr. Wang’s lab notes, progress reports and data analyses.  He lied to his principle investigators, as well as his colleagues before presenting this false data publicly. To me, this proves further offense, since he compromised the names of his co-authors as well.

Dr. Wang’s punishment involved a Voluntary Settlement Agreement for a three year probation period.  The stipulations of the agreement include the supervision of all Dr. Wang’s research, removing himself from any advisory position and submitting documentation for ORI certification through any work related publications.

Honestly, I’m surprised at the degree of leniency the ORI shows in this case. Three years seems negligible, and hardly enough time to make a lasting impression on the questionable character of the offender.  To me, permitting an individual to publish without some sort of mark on their reputation or record is a dangerous allowance. Dr. Wang’s falsifications occurred on a large scale, across many platforms, and demonstrates his unwavering commitment to his lies. Is this someone we should trust to conduct sound, potentially medical-related research in the near future?

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