[LETTERS to the editor]Doctor’s fans must face realityThe recent article “College files complaint on Hwang’s Supporters” by Park Sung-woo (Feb. 24, 2006) illustrated how Seoul National University was thrown into disorder when supporters of the disgraced geneticist Hwang Woo-suk attacked Professor Roh Jung-hye, the spokeswoman for the school’s investigative committee on Feburary 22, 2006.
The committee announced that Dr. Hwang’s two articles on stem-cell cloning published in the U.S. journal Science used forged data. This announcement led to the cancellation of Dr. Hwang’s “distinguished professor” position and barred him from teaching or researching. Moreover, the university plans to mete out stronger disciplinary punishment. I think that is why Dr. Hwang’s supporters pulled out Professor Roh’s hair and swore at her, even though the investigative board followed fair procedures and produced results that were scientifically proven.
Since Dr. Hwang’s scandal, his supporters have staged protests. However, I think their sudden physical attack on Ms. Roh was definitely uncalled for. Seoul National University is a top-notch university. Its committee will not make an error in deciding whether an article is fabricated or not. How come Dr. Hwang’s supporters can’t believe the facts and reality?
Dr. Hwang is an expert in the stem-cell cloning field. However, Dr. Hwang made a serious mistake. His supporters have put themselves in a position where they must defend Dr. Hwang and petition for his pardon since he lied to whole nation and even to the whole world, degrading Korea’s reputation.
Nowadays, many Korean people are disappointed with Dr. Hwang, because they thought he could have been the first Korean scientist to win the Nobel Prize. Many people are also very upset with what Dr. Hwang did and people will feel more antipathy if Dr. Hwang’s supporters cause more problems in our society.
I would like to give a warning to Dr. Hwang’s supporters not to forget to look to their backs and always be careful. Their beloved Dr. Hwang will become renowned as a “traitor” if they keep creating a stir.
by Samuel Kim
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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