On Being a Whistleblower: The Needleman Case
Ernhart, Claire B.
Geneson, David F.
Ethics and Behavior. 1993; 3(1): 73-93.
We believe that members of the scientific community have a primary obligation to promote integrity in research and that this obligation includes a duty to report observations that suggest misconduct to agencies that are empowered to examine and evaluate such evidence. Consonant with this responsibility, we became whistleblowers in the case of Herbert Needleman. His 1979 study (Needleman et al., 1979), on the effects of low-level lead exposure on children, is widely cited and highly influential in the formulation of public policy on lead. The opportunity we had to examine subject selection and data analyses from this study was prematurely halted by efforts to prevent disclosure of our observations. Nevertheless, what we saw left us with serious concerns. We hope that the events here summarized will contribute to revisions of process by which allegations of scientific misconduct are handled and that such revisions will result in less damage to scientists who speak out.
Accountability; Biomedical Research; Children; Disclosure; Due Process; Epidemiology; Federal Government; Fraud; Government; Government Regulation; Guidelines; Health; Health Hazards; Intelligence; Investigators; Legal Aspects; Misconduct; Peer Review; Public Policy; Regulation; Research; Research Design; Review; Science; Scientific Misconduct; Self Regulation; Terminology; Universities; Whistleblowing;
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Scarr, Sandra; Ernhart, Claire B. (1993)Conclusion: Deliberate misrepresentation continues. Needleman attacks the whistleblowers, the NIH, and his own University to deflect attention from the indications of misconduct in his research. Federal agencies base ...