Sunday, January 15, 2006

Hwang's Legacy (again)

I find humor in the way that every week one Korean blog or another points to another Korean blog and proclaims the essay the "ultimate" say on Hwang. Let be frank, the magnitude of Hwang's perfidy and the uniquely Korean circus around it will insure that Hwang be an infamous touchstone and whipping boy for some time. As the chattering classes continue to top each other with profundity, the outside world makes its own comments. Bloomberg has in interesting story on the impact of it all in Korea. Some highlights:

Korea ``is no longer a leader in stem cell research,'' Arthur Caplan, a University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine ethicist, said by e-mail on Jan. 10. ``It will take years to regain that status.''...

The world ``is shocked by the magnitude of Hwang's transgressions and will look very skeptically for some time on any `breakthrough' research achievements coming from Korea,'' Ronald Green, an ethics specialist, said.

``Sadly, Korean science as a whole has been damaged by this episode,'' said Green, director of Dartmouth's Ethics Institute in New Hampshire, in an e-mail on Jan. 11. ``Certainly, American and European researchers will be very wary of collaborating now with any Korean researchers.''

Speaking of "ultimate" words on Hwang, the Bloomberg article has this quote that reminded of Oranckay's comments:

Lee Soo Hyun, a 56-year-old in Seoul with a spinal injury, said in a telephone interview last month that he desperately wants to believe in Hwang's work.

``If it turns out that Hwang had hoodwinked everyone, I would despair, feel utterly betrayed. I don't want to think of that possibility. That would be too horrible.''

3 Comments:

At January 16, 2006 10:04 AM, Anonymous Mizar 5 said...

Why is it be so horrible to learn that there are confidence tricktsters like Hwang hoodwinking people? I figure this patient is no worse off than he was before. Better off, in fact since blind hope in a hoaxter has been supplanted by a more realistic skeptisicm of Korean scientific claims.

Now that the cancer of the Korean insecurity complex that Hwang exploited for personal gain has been exposed, maybe its malignant spread throughout society can also be diagnosed. After all, it was the Roh government that supplied the millions and the media that cheered it on.

Unfortunately, these bagmen will be the same ones conducting the investigation. Can people be trusted to investigate themselves?

Note that Seoul National has already unilaterally proclaimed Snuppy "real", which is a difficult conclusion to justify to the international science without the involvement of international scientists. And half the country still believes Hwang was the victom of a big nose conspiracy.

The real story was not that some guy conned everybody in Korea, but that everybody in Korea believed him on the virtue of a single piece of evidence - his race. "He is Korean".

 
At January 16, 2006 10:04 AM, Anonymous Mizar 5 said...

Why is it be so horrible to learn that there are confidence tricktsters like Hwang hoodwinking people? I figure this patient is no worse off than he was before. Better off, in fact since blind hope in a hoaxter has been supplanted by a more realistic skeptisicm of Korean scientific claims.

Now that the cancer of the Korean insecurity complex that Hwang exploited for personal gain has been exposed, maybe its malignant spread throughout society can also be diagnosed. After all, it was the Roh government that supplied the millions and the media that cheered it on.

Unfortunately, these bagmen will be the same ones conducting the investigation. Can people be trusted to investigate themselves?

Note that Seoul National has already unilaterally proclaimed Snuppy "real", which is a difficult conclusion to justify to the international science without the involvement of international scientists. And half the country still believes Hwang was the victom of a big nose conspiracy.

The real story was not that some guy conned everybody in Korea, but that everybody in Korea believed him on the virtue of a single piece of evidence - his race. "He is Korean".

 
At January 16, 2006 3:47 PM, Anonymous Mizar5 said...

How depressing. Three comments, and all of them are mine. Oh well, what the hell, even the Marmot is thinking of changing his blog name to "Mostly Mizar."

 

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