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

On December 1, 2006, Science published, on this Web site, the report of a committee commissioned by the journal to review its practices in the period leading up to the publication of the 2004 and 2005 stem cell papers by Hwang et al., which were subsequently retracted. On this page, we are making available direct links to the report, Science's response, and an accompanying editorial.

To provide additional context on the history of the controversy, we also provide on this page links to Science's editorial retraction of the papers and other official statements on the situation, the original Science papers, associated news coverage on the controversy, letters and a Policy Forum on the controversy, and another Policy Forum on stem cell ethics published earlier in 2005.

Committee Report and Science Response

In its 1 December issue, Science published an editorial, authored by Editor-in-Chief Don Kennedy, discussing the journal's internal review process in the wake of the Hwang scandal, as well as the review conducted by a committee including members of the journal's Senior Editorial Board, the U.S. executive editor of another major scientific journal, and two distinguished members of the stem cell research community. Links to the editorial and associated report appear below.

Editorial: Responding to Fraud
Donald Kennedy
Science 1 December 2006 314: 1353 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1137840]
Full Text »PDF »
Supporting Online Material: Committee Report and Science Response
Committee Report: John Brauman, John Gearhart, Douglas Melton, Linda Miller, Linda Partridge, George Whitesides
Response: Donald Kennedy

Science Editorial Statements

On 12 January 2006, Science editorially retracted the two papers by Hwang et al. Previous to that the journal had also published an official Editorial Expression of Concern on the papers, and it also has issued several formal statements on the current controversy, as well as a chronology.

Editorial Retraction of Hwang et al. Papers
Donald Kennedy
Science 20 January 2006 311: 335; Published online 12 January 2006 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1124926] (in Letters)
Full Text »PDF »
Editorial Statement, 10 January 2006
On 10 January, in the wake of the final report by the Seoul National University investigating committee, Science editor-in-chief Donald Kennedy presented a brief statement of the journal's position and plans with respect to retractions of the two papers by Hwang et al. A video of the statement and an accompanying written version are posted here.
Video of Statement »PDF Version »
Editorial Expression of Concern
Donald Kennedy
Science 6 January 2006 311: 36; published online 22 December 2005 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1124185] (in Letters)
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Formal Science Editorial statement
During the early months of the Hwang controversy, Science released periodic statements and chronologies on the evolving situation. The last update of the statement, posted on 12 January 2006 at 6:30 p.m. EST, can be found here.

The Papers

Patient-Specific Embryonic Stem Cells Derived from Human SCNT Blastocysts
Woo Suk Hwang, Sung Il Roh, Byeong Chun Lee, Sung Keun Kang, Dae Kee Kwon, Sue Kim, Sun Jong Kim, Sun Woo Park, Hee Sun Kwon, Chang Kyu Lee, Jung Bok Lee, Jin Mee Kim, Curie Ahn, Sun Ha Paek, Sang Sik Chang, Jung Jin Koo, Hyun Soo Yoon, Jung Hye Hwang, Youn Young Hwang, Ye Soo Park, Sun Kyung Oh, Hee Sun Kim, Jong Hyuk Park, Shin Yong Moon, and Gerald Schatten
Science 17 June 2005 308: 1777-1783; published online 19 May 2005 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1112286] (in Reports)
Abstract » Full Text » PDF » Supporting Online Material » Correction » Retraction »
Evidence of a Pluripotent Human Embryonic Stem Cell Line Derived from a Cloned Blastocyst
Woo Suk Hwang, Young June Ryu, Jong Hyuk Park, Eul Soon Park, Eu Gene Lee, Ja Min Koo, Hyun Yong Jeon, Byeong Chun Lee, Sung Keun Kang, Sun Jong Kim, Curie Ahn, Jung Hye Hwang, Ky Young Park, Jose B. Cibelli, and Shin Yong Moon
Science 12 March 2004 303: 1669-1674; published online 12 February 2004 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1094515] (in Reports)
Abstract » Full Text » PDF » Supporting Online Material » Correction » Retraction »

Note: Issues related to images published in the 2004 Science paper have raised questions with respect to work published in several other journals. Below we link to editorial statements or retractions from those other journals.

Defined Feeder-Free Culture System of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Seon Hye Cheon , Sun Jong Kim , Jung Youn Jo , Won Jeong Ryu , Kunsoo Rhee , and Sung Il Roh
Biology of Reproduction, published online 19 October 2005 [DOI: 10.1095/biolreprod.105.046870]
Retraction of Article »
Effects of Type IV Collagen and Laminin on the Cryopreservation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Sun Jong Kim, Jong Hyuk Park, Jeoung Eun Lee, Jin Mee Kim, Jung Bok Lee, Shin Yong Moon, Sung Il Roh, Chul Geun Kim, Hyun Soo Yoon
Stem Cells 2004, 22: 950-961
Editorial Retraction of Article »

News Coverage in Science

South Korea Picks Up the Pieces
Dennis Normile
Science 2 June 2006 312: 1298 [DOI: 10.1126/science.312.5778.1298]
Summary »Full Text »PDF »
Prosecutors Allege Elaborate Deception and Missing Funds
D. Yvette Wohn and Dennis Normile
Science 19 May 2006 312: 980 [DOI: 10.1126/science.312.5776.980]
Summary »Full Text »PDF »
Picking Up the Pieces After Hwang
Gretchen Vogel
Science 28 April 2006 312: 516 [DOI: 10.1126/science.312.5773.516]
Summary »Full Text »PDF »
Seoul National University Dismisses Hwang
Yvette Wohn
Science 24 March 2006 311: 1695 [DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5768.1695b]
Summary »Full Text »PDF »
Schatten: Pitt Panel Finds 'Misbehavior' but Not Misconduct
Constance Holden
Science 17 February 2006 311: 928 [DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5763.928] (in News of the Week)
Summary »Full Text »PDF »
Investigations Document Still More Problems for Stem Cell Researchers
Sei Chong
Science 10 February 2006 311: 754 [DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5762.754] (in News of the Week)
Summary »Full Text »PDF »
Hwang Aftereffects Reverberate at Journals
Jennifer Couzin, Constance Holden, and Sei Chong
Science 20 January 2006 311: 321 [DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5759.321b] (in News of the Week)
Summary »Full Text »PDF »
South Korean Team's Remaining Human Stem Cell Claim Demolished
Dennis Normile, Gretchen Vogel and Jennifer Couzin, with reporting by Sei Chong in Seoul
Science 13 January 2006 311:156 [DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5758.156] (in News of the Week)
Summary »Full Text »PDF »
How Young Korean Researchers Helped Unearth a Scandal ...
Sei Chong and Dennis Normile, with reporting by Gretchen Vogel
Science 6 January 2006 311: 22 [DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5757.22] (in News of the Week)
Summary »Full Text »PDF »
... And How the Problems Eluded Peer Reviewers and Editors
Jennifer Couzin, with reporting by Gretchen Vogel
Science 6 January 2006 311: 22 [DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5757.23] (in News of the Week)
Summary »Full Text »PDF »
Cloning Researcher Says Work Is Flawed but Claims Results Stand
Gretchen Vogel, Dennis Normile, and Constance Holden with reporting by Ji-soo Kim, Mark Russell, and Yvette Wohn in Seoul
Science 23 December 2005 310: 1886 [DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5756.1886] (in News of the Week)
Summary »Full Text »PDF »
Korean University Will Investigate Cloning Paper
Dennis Normile and Gretchen Vogel, with reporting by Sei Chong, Ji-soo Kim, and Richard Stone
Science 15 December 2005 310: 1748 [DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5755.1748] (in News of the Week)
Summary »Full Text »PDF »
Landmark Paper Has an Image Problem
Gretchen Vogel
Science 9 December 2005 310: 1595 [DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5754.1595] (in News of the Week)
Summary »Full Text »PDF »
Korean Cloner Admits Lying About Oocyte Donations
Constance Holden
Science 2 December 2005 310: 1402-1403 [DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5753.1402] (in News of the Week)
Summary »Full Text »PDF »
Collaborators Split Over Ethics Allegations
Gretchen Vogel
Science 18 November 2005 310: 1100 [DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5751.1100] (in News of the Week)
Summary »Full Text »PDF »

Letters and Policy Forum Articles

Lessons of the Stem Cell Scandal
Mildred K. Cho, Glenn McGee, David Magnus
Science 3 February 2006 311: 614-615 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1124948] (in Policy Forum)
Summary »Full Text »PDF »
Letters: Reactions to the Hwang Scandal
Sang Chul Park; Stuart H. Orkin; T. John Martin; L. Stephen Kwok
Science 3 February 2006 311: 606 [DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5761.606b] (in Letters)
Full Text »PDF »
Letter: Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Ian Wilmut, Michael D. West, Robert Lanza, John D. Gearhart, Austin Smith, Alan Colman, Alan Trounson, and Keith H. Campbell
Science 23 December 2005 310:1903; published online 13 December 2005 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1123832] (in Letters)
Full text »PDF »
Issues in Oocyte Donation for Stem Cell Research
David Magnus and Mildred K. Cho
Science 17 June 2005 308: 1747-1748; published online 19 May 2005 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1114454] (in Policy Forum)
Summary »Full Text »PDF »