Friday, October 22, 2010

Ethics and Indian Science

I have started contributing to the blog Critical Twenties which has been launched by an excellent cross-section of intellectually curious Indians scattered across the globe. You can read the description here. The blog is the initiative of Arghya Sengupta, a law student at Oxford University. The following is my first post at the blog and I will be linking here whenever I post.

The story is well-known by now. A graduate student named Heather Ames was doing cancer research at the University of Michigan. At one point she started noticing her experiments going horribly wrong. This started happening so often that the frustrated researcher almost began to question her own sanity. When she complained to her advisor her advisor would not believe it initially. At one point even her advisor suspected, based mostly on second-hand reports, that the young woman was sabotaging her own experiments to gain sympathy. One can only imagine her plight. Finally, by judicious recording of her experiments, she was able to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that someone was tampering with them. When she and her advisor reported the matter to the campus police, the police first gave the poor woman herself a lie-detector test. Only after they were convinced of her innocence did they launch a serious investigation. The winning strategy for catching the culprit turned out to be simple. A camera surreptitiously installed in the lab proved that the young researcher’s colleague, an Indian postdoc named Vipul Bhrigu, was cruelly sabotaging her experiments...

Read the rest of the post on Critical Twenties

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home