Instances of Scientific Misconduct


Woo Suk Hwang

Woo Suk Hwang was at one point seen as a scientific leader when his research team cloned a human embryo successfully. This clone aided in the production of stem cells (which are important in finding cures to diseases). However, his fame was questioned after people found out the Woo Suk Hwang used impermissible practices of collecting the original embryos from the human donors. In addition, at least two pieces of his work were fabricated. The first piece of work he fabricated was the claim that he created 11 stem lines. The second piece of work he fabricated was the claim that he cloned the world’s first human embryo. A man who was once known as a ‘top scientist’ destroyed his career with instances of scientific fraud. 

BBC Profile: Hwang Woo-suk (BBC News, October 26, 2009)

Biography: Hwang Woo-Suk (Encyclopaedia Britannica, January 28, 2009)

Cloning comeback (Nature, January 14, 2014)

Cyranoski, D. (2009). Woo Suk Hwang convicted, but not of fraud. Nature, 461(7268), 1181 (2009)

Disgraced Cloner Reports Success With Tibetan Dog Breed (New York Times, June 20, 2008)

Disgraced Cloning Expert Convicted in South Korea (New York Times, October 26, 2009)

Disgraced Korean Cloning Scientist Indicted (New York Times, May 12, 2006)

Disgraced Scientist Clones Dogs, And Critics Question His Intent (NPR, September 30, 2015)

Disgraced Scientist Granted U.S. Patent for Work Found to be Fraudulent (New York Times, February 14, 2014)

Fraud, retractions no barrier to US cloning patent for Woo-Suk Hwang (Retraction Watch, February 16, 2014)

Great Science Frauds (TIME, January 12, 2012)

Hwang faked all research on human stem cells (New Scientist, January 10, 2006)

Hwang Woo-suk’s Use of Human Eggs for Research 2002-2005 (The Embryo Project Encyclopedia, August 12, 2014)

Hwang Woo-Suk (Encyclopedia, December 11, 2019)

In a Country That Craved Respect, Stem Cell Scientist Rode a Wave of Korean Pride (New York Times, January 22, 2006)

Journal Faulted in Publishing Korean’s Claims (New York Times, November 29, 2006)

Korean scientist behind Britain’s first cloned dog is a convicted fraudster who was forced to quit university for making up results (Daily Mail, April 10, 2014)

Korean Scientist’s New Project: Rebuild After Cloning Disgrace (New York Times, February 28, 2014)

Mandavilli, A. (2005). Profile: Woo-Suk Hwang. Nature medicine, 11(5), 464-465.

Researcher Faked Evidence of Human Cloning, Koreans Report (New York Times, January 10, 2006)

Resnik, D. B., Shamoo, A. E., & Krimsky, S. (2006). Commentary: Fraudulent human embryonic stem cell research in South Korea: Lessons learned. Accountability in Research, 13(1), 101-109.

South Korea stem cell scientist guilty of fraud (Reuters, October 26, 2009)

Special Online Collection: Hwang et al. Controversy — Committee Report, Response, and Background

Stem cell pioneer accused of faking all his research. Apart from the cloned dog (The Guardian, January 11, 2006)

Stem Cell Scandal (Prospect Magazine, February 26, 2006)

Stem cell scientist apologizes to South Koreans (NBC News, January 12, 2006)

The amazing rise, fall, and rise again of Korea’s ‘king of cloning’ (Business Insider, September 9, 2015)

Within Discredited Stem Cell Research, a True Scientific First (New York Times, August 3, 2007)

Woo Suk Hwang (Nature, January 11, 2006)

Woo Suk Hwang convicted, but not of fraud (Nature, October 26, 2009)

Woo Suk Hwang Revisited (Nature, January 15, 2014)

Woo Suk Hwang, Seoul National University (Scientific American, December 2005)

Van der Heyden, M. A., van de Derks Ven, T., & Opthof, T. (2009). Fraud and misconduct in science: the stem cell seduction. Netherlands Heart Journal, 17(1), 25-29.