Chilean researchers unhappy following investigation of star neuroscientist

Source: Nature

A high-profile neuroscientist at the University of Chile in Santiago has been found not guilty of scientific fraud — although an investigation revealed that there were altered images in a number of his research publications. Some members of Chile’s research community say, in their opinion, that the scientist's actions set a poor example for researchers in the country, and question why his punishment wasn't harsher.

Publishers unite to tackle doctored images in research papers
A committee investigating the case detected “patterns of behaviour that were objectionable and contrary to scientific ethics”, but concluded that there was no evidence that the scientist, Claudio Hetz, had deliberately falsified data to change the conclusions of experiments — a distinction that cleared him of fraud. He’s been allowed to keep his job and will continue to run a research group, although it will be downsized and his publications monitored.

The case comes as Chile attempts to correct ethics lapses within its government and society, and reconcile inequality among its people, including academics, through social and political change. The country is in the process of rewriting its constitution, which dates from the military dictatorship that ended in 1990.



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