Saturday, October 05, 2002
Via Radio Free Blogistan
Xian is the start of the Silk Road, (one of) the old Capital(s) of China. Looking around the city, it is clearly less developed than Beijing or the South. (Speaking to a friend after the trip, who’s got a relative over there working in the industrial district there at the moment, the air quality gets pretty appalling in some areas as well). But it still has 15 branches of KFC, a McDonalds (probably several), and the cash to reconstruct the “drum tower”, a large building destroyed by the Red Guards.
The latter is a canny move – with the Terracotta Warriors nearby, Xian is a premier tourist destination. The local Buddhists have spotted the opportunity: 5 Yuan (60 cents, 40p) to ring a (rebuilt) “sacred bell” three times. Photo to follow: take it as read that I ring a bell just like playing guitar…
[Of all the links I'm adding to this stuff as I post it up, that Silk Road link will probably turn out to be the best - it's a site dedicated to collecting together information on cultural exchange across Eurasia, run by the University of Washington. I plan on looking around it in days to come.]
Much as through fruit-growing regions globally, farmers, relatives, friends, workers, etc, sat at the roadsides, trying to sell produce for cash as fast as they could. A stark sign was the horde of children outside the Terracotta Warriors site, all trying to sell you cheap copies and postcards for “one dollar”. Going in, you rushed past them as best you could.
Coming out to actually buy them, you were mobbed. I had an unpleasant experience of one boy trying to change the price after I’d paid and was holding the models. The worrying thing at that moment, apart from the press of human contact, is that there is a persistent concern that there’s been a misunderstanding, that the deal is wrong, that the kid’s got a real concern and that by taking what you’ve paid for at the going (and agreed) rate you’re somehow cheating them.
From two boxes for 20 Yuan (over the lowest price you can get), I ended up paying 60 for 3, with the sellers arguing amongst themselves over the third set and with me over pretty much everything. Since 20 could buy three sets ten yards away, obviously I paid more than I had to, with the kid still arguing. But the money involved is trivial to a Westerner, and you couldn’t be sure that something wasn’t wrong.
All very different to earlier in the day, when I ended up with a shawl for a gift where the price dropped 50% as I tried to get away. I hadn’t been particularly interested, until the price hit the point where the garment became a very keenly priced gift.
The difference seemed to be that in the former case, I immediately agreed to pay the asking price, as I knew it was reasonable: in the latter, I was only half-interested, wouldn’t have bought at the original price, and tried to walk away. This adds an awkward variable to “ethical haggling”: trying to get a good price makes little difference to you, but could take food off someone’s table, yet with huge mark-ups (that rise if you try to pay them), you’re stuck.
[More fool me - the graph on the fifth page of this study puts the penetration of colour TVs into urban chinese homes at almost 120 TVs per 100 homes, and suggests there were 60 (black and white) TVs per 100 homes in 1980. You live and learn. The urban population of China may be big enough that this would lead to a 90% national average even with there being some VERY poor rural areas.]
But there have also been other stops, e.g. at a freshwater pearl seller, which offered nothing but cheapish goods. You start with a 20-30% discount off list for “group size”, so you can see a) that there’s likely to be a substantial mark-up left, sometimes equal to the costs to offer it for sale on the high-street in the UK at a profit, and b) occasional sales at list, if they ever occur, can make a lot of money for someone….
*["The pilots of the American Volunteer Group, the first Americans to see action against the Japanese, demonstrated their daring and skill less than two weeks after the United States entered World War II. You took a strong stand against tyranny in behalf of the Chinese people, and your brave defense of the cause of liberty added a legendary chapter to our Nation's Military history. Americans dubbed your tiny force the "Flying Tigers," out of pride for your courage in battle and admiration for your success against a powerful enemy-- and what an astounding success it was.
The enemy soon learned to fear the roar of America's Flying Tigers. The record that you amassed in the 10 weeks that you battled over Rangoon, destroying more than 200 enemy planes while losing only 16 of your own, still stands as a marvel in military aviation history. Your brave exploits led the way to even greater victories in the Pacific Theater, and you can be rightly proud of the contributions of the Flying Tigers to the ultimate triumph of the Allied Forces in World War II. You have earned the lasting gratitude of the American people, and your sacrifices will never be forgotten."]
Licence plate bonus – some coaches have an additional number, and hence there could be 260,000 of them, though this is still far too few. What’s the solution? Do the patterns of numbering break, and if so, why haven’t I spotted vehicles that do so?
The shaping of jade using diamond tools is a painstaking process: one piece I saw had taken three men 8 months to carve. And each piece, to be truly of merit, must take advantage of the variation in colour within the stone to produce the optimal piece for the stone used. I saw a dinner plate in white, with a red lobster on it (carved, I think, of agate rather than jade), with only a very slight over-spill between the two “objects”. To have impact, the art must be depictive (else no skill is displayed in shaping the veins), but this is large-scale production of individual pieces of art (with some common items). Certainly, it’s nothing Tracey Emin or Damien Hirst could create.
[Compare and contrast Emin's bed to the artistry of a fairly average piece of large jade sculpture (it's in soft jade, which is easier to work, it's not Chinese, and it doesn't take advantage of variation in the hue of the stone for effect)
End China blog - location - a boat on the Yangtze
"Is Bush going along with the campaign to restart U.N. inspections of Iraqi weapons sites just long enough to get a list of excluded sites?
Saddam Hussein insists that we cannot inspect any of his numerous palaces, and he seems to want to define 'palace' to include any place he doesn't want us to inspect. Any place Hussein is absolutely determined not to allow us to see sounds like an excellent candidate for bombing on the first day of the all-out campaign. I trust our negotiators are asking for the precise locations of all the 'palaces' on the exclusion list so they can make a check-off list"
"Profiteers resell Africa's cheap Aids drugs
Shipments of low-cost Aids drugs which were intended to save the lives of thousands of impoverished Africans have been intercepted, flown back to Europe and sold at vast profits, it emerged yesterday.
At least $18m (£12m) worth of Combivir and other highly effective antiretroviral drugs made by the British company GlaxoSmithKline is believed to have been hijacked. The drugs were to be sold at significantly discounted prices to clinics in Senegal, Ivory Coast, the Republic of Congo, Togo and Guinea-Bissau under a scheme to offer some drugs at lower prices to poor countries agreed by Glaxo and four other drug companies with the World Health Organisation.
But about 3m doses of Combivir - a third of the supply - was diverted back to Europe by profiteering wholesalers as it arrived at the African airports or even earlier. "There are indications that perhaps some of these batches never even left Europe," said Alan Chandler, a Glaxo spokesman.
The allegations of cynical profiteering by European traders have shocked activists who have been clamouring for more and cheaper Aids drugs for developing countries. At least 6 million HIV-positive people could benefit from the drugs and most of those will die without them.
The latest WHO figures show that only 27,000 have got access to the vital medicines through the two-year-old UN deal called Accelerated Access.
Campaigners accept that this racket was destined to happen. "With such a huge price differential there will be a temptation for profiteering but the tragedy is that it will deny people in need of these drugs," said Jo Nickolls, a South Africa-based policy adviser at Oxfam.
Nathan Ford of Médecins sans Frontières in London called for measures to prevent reimportation such as altering labelling and packaging.
Jonathan Quick, head of the essential medicines division of the WHO, pointed out that one company, Novartis, has given its anti-malarial drug Coartem distinctive packaging in developing countries to differentiate it from the more expensive version, Riamet, which is given to westerners.
Mr Chandler said Glaxo was seeking approval from the regulatory authorities for new packaging. "One didn't think that people would be so evil as to feed this product back into the western world," he said."
Glaxo may be denying it, but lots of people have put forward the argument that drugs would be diverted to the First World via this sort of programme. Differential labelling would help, of course, but it would only prevent the current scam. At present, the margin on the diverted drugs is the difference between the price to Africa and the price in Europe. If they're differently packaged, then you can't pass them off as being the Western Europe drugs. So hospitals, clinics, etc, probably won't buy them. But you can sell them as being exactly the same thing to individuals, which happens in North America with drugs originating in Canada but "smuggled" south of the border where prices are higher and individuals pay for a lot of their drugs.
The story also equivocates between "no-one saw this coming" and "this is inevitable". If a campaigner's admitting that it's inevitable, then it seems to me that the development of new Aids drugs now rests on the size of the HIV positive population in the US altruistic enough (or self-interested enough) to buy genuine drugs.
Why? Because if you send the newest, or nearly new, drugs to Africa, there will be a permanent incentive to divert them to America. To treat every HIV positive African, you'll need to supply enough drugs to meet local demand, plus the demand for drugs at prices lower than the US retail price. Since a lot of people would probably try to get the cheaper drugs, you can either supply just enough to treat Africans (and see a great many of them lose out to drugs diverted to the US (and to Europe and to richer third world/developing countries)), or you can supply enough for Africa taking into account diversion, and see drug company profits destroyed. To do research, the price of drugs for those actually paying full price will have to rise steeply (driving more people to the diverted drugs).
Neither alternative is that appealling. But, as I say, this difficulty was forseen, and it's a pretty poor show to imagine that no-one would be evil enough to do such a thing.
PS - nothing in the story suggests the drugs were "hijacked". The word has a specific meaning, one that could be what is meant here (hijacking originally referred to seizing trucks with goods in). A poor choice of phrase.
"1. CELL-PHONE LAWSUIT: THE LAWS OF PHYSICS ARE UPHELD. A federal
judge dismissed an $800M lawsuit filed by a Maryland neurologist
who claimed his brain cancer was caused by cell phone use. There
is, of course, no claim so preposterous that an expert cannot be
found to vouch for it. This case rested on research by Swedish
oncologist Lennart Hardell, who published a study in this month's
European Journal of Cancer Prevention that found long-term users
of analog cell phones were at least 30 percent more likely than
nonusers to develop brain tumors. His claim was widely reported
by the media. However, a review of epidemiological research on
cell phone use, commissioned by the Swedish Radiation Protection
Authority, described Hardell's study as "non-informative" and
concluded that "there is no scientific evidence for a causal
association between the use of cellular phones and cancer."
2. EMF AND CANCER: GETTING THE WRONG ANSWER THE HARD WAY. From
the beginning, it was clear that the Hardell study got the wrong
answer. All known cancer-inducing agents, including radiation,
certain chemicals and a few viruses, act by breaking chemical
bonds to produce mutant strands of DNA. Photons with wavelengths
longer than the near ultraviolet do not have enough energy to
break a chemical bond in DNA. Case closed. If epidemiology
comes up with a different answer, the study is simply wrong. "
Friday, October 04, 2002
A note from entry – the immigration halls displayed, in English and Chinese, a rolling explanation of entry requirements and a “Citizen’s Charter”-style list of what will, and will not, be provided by staff. For example, it emphasised that no bribes were to be taken, and your rights if one was demanded. Very pleasing (indeed, “auspicious”, in a far more obvious way than the odd historical legends people keep mentioning).
My query about China has been this – are things literally auspicious? I.e. did they have the equivalent of people to read the signs in the “auspices”? I’ve no idea – please mail if you do.
The justification for the self-pity is this: it took 2 hours (or near enough) to make the round trip to the local peak. Average journey time therefore was an hour up and down during construction, not allowing for weight. Therefore perhaps 10 slabs, per man, per day, maximum, with some practical limit on how many men could work on a particular point on the wall. This suggests a murderously hard, and long, construction schedule for the Wall in the mountainous regions. No pack animal would be practical on the slope I climbed: this was done by manpower alone.
Indeed, the emperor Qin, who ordered construction and also built a vast tomb complex containing the Terracotta Warriors, allegedly used a quarter of the manpower of China on his two great projects. The death toll was correspondingly brutal. Given the abject failure of the Wall to prevent Mongol invasion, the waste involved was horrific. China, in spite of its great size and potential strength, has repeatedly broken itself, or been broken by others. This has to serve to shape the goals of the Party: the desire to hold on to, and add to, territory, however inappropriate, surely draws upon a history of division, conquest and insurrection.
End China blog day 2 - date-line Xian, personal time ??????
Thursday, October 03, 2002
I've just come back from China, and while there I "blogged" as I went, but as notes. I'm planning on posting daily in blog format, but at what will be
a fortnight's delay to the actual events (i.e. I arrived in Beijing on the 19th of September, and left China on the 25th). This produces two or three
oddities, but I think mostly works.
Hopefully, I've picked up some interesting geopolitical, cultural, sociological and historical tit-bits, theories to share or questions to
In any case, I'm going to be posing as the only member of the blogosphere to have been expelled from Tianamen Square by the People's Liberation Army
(point to another blogger who has...), and I think I've got some things to say. (Yes, that story's true)
Our tour will follow the following rough itinerary: I hope you'll join me and find a few things of interest.
> Thursday - Beijing
> Friday - Beijing - the Great Wall
> Saturday - Xian - the Terracotta Warriors; Chongqing - war-time capital
> Sunday - the Yangtze - Chinese Hell
> Monday - the Yangtze - White Emperor Town, messing about on the river, and
> the Three Gorges
> Tuesday - Yichang and the Three Gorges dam; Beijing and the Police State
> Wednesday - Beijing - Tienamen Square and the Forbidden City
Beijing is, at least in parts, wealthy. The neon has arrived, the youth party late and go bowling or dancing rather than getting up at five for Tai Chi in the parks. The trade-off between political and economic freedom offered by the government, odious as it is, appears to have brought genuine progress to the cities.
Even in the countryside, in many ways little changed from hundreds or thousands of years ago, it is (and I stand to be corrected) unlikely that mass starvation would be possible again. The stability of the country is fragile enough that Sen’s theory, that democracy acts as the guarantor of food safety, is, in practical terms, irrelevant. People may toil in paddy fields yet, but Shrek is on sale in side-street stores.
Next up: membership of the Party by competitive examination.
- The registration system seems curious. It’s made up of letter, letter, number, number, number, number, hence about 1,036,000 possibilities. Surely China should already have run out of possible numbers – there are a million vehicles produced domestically a year. I have seen one car with three letters, then three numbers, but that doesn’t hugely increase the possibilities. Updates to follow.
If this is what things are like generally, then someone’s trying to extended the forced patriotism, love for the institutions of the state, etc, through (sloppy to our eyes) use of modern media. One thing I saw I could understand (because of subtitling) appeared to be an operatic aria/”power ballad” (who can tell) about loving to be Chinese, playing across all the “accomplishments of the state” propaganda tropes.
Based around a woman in ball-gown like dress being dragged between locations, singing about pride in (modern) “Buildings and their blueprints” and how this makes her proud?/happy?/glad? (pick what’s the real meaning) “to be Chinese”. Slightly more sophisticatedly, it also did a US political ad bit with a kid running in sunlight holding one of those coloured plastic whirly-gig things. It also seemed to have something to do with the 2008 Olympics.
I’ve no idea whether this was state-orchestrated, or just what passes for good television over there. Still, at least none of the songs at the last night of the Proms goes on about Canary Wharf…
End Day 1 China blog - location: The Rainbow hotel, Beijing
Wednesday, October 02, 2002
"We will leave it to the shrinks to determine why American liberals consider it a mark of morality in foreign policy when that policy coincides with Russian and French strategies that are themselves arrived at for the crassest of reasons. In general, making 'international opinion' the benchmark for right and wrong is a mistake, since so much of it is driven by fear, self-interest, and greed."
Some of the rest's worth reading too: though an editorial obviously can't cover everything, it manages to cover a great deal.
"Illness and Ecstasy
From Professor Leslie Iversen, FRS
Sir, The claim that a link has been discovered between the use of Ecstasy and Parkinson’s disease (report, September 27) is important. But the evidence is not convincing. It is based on a flawed American laboratory study and anecdotal evidence of patients with early-onset Parkinsonism allegedly related to their use of Ecstasy “or a similar type drug”.
The laboratory study in monkeys and baboons purported to use doses of Ecstasy similar to those consumed by human users, but in fact a very aggressive dose regime was employed in which the drug was injected rather than given by mouth. Of the ten animals treated in this way, two died and another two suffered such severe sideeffects that the experiment could not be completed. The remaining animals showed signs of brain damage similar to those seen in Parkinson’s disease. This result is not surprising as it is known that amphetamines, to which Ecstasy is closely related, cause similar damage when administered at very high doses.
The cases of early-onset Parkinson’s disease in London that you report may well be related to amphetamine abuse or to contaminated street drugs rather than to Ecstasy.
University of Oxford,
Department of Pharmacology,
Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3QT.
September 28. "
Tuesday, October 01, 2002
Use as directed. Not to be taken internally. Consult your demographer if pregnant.
” The actual content of the business plan hews to a logical structure straight out of the Principia Mathematica. Lesser entrepreneurs purchase business-plan-writing software: packages of boilerplate text and spreadsheets, craftily linked together so that you need only go through and fill in a few blanks. Avi and Beryl have written enough business plans between the two of them that they can smash them out from brute memory. Avi’s business plans tend to go something like this:
MISSION: At [name of company] it is out conviction that [to do the stuff we want to do] and to increase shareholder value are not merely complementary activities – they are inextricably linked.
PURPOSE: To increase shareholder wealth by [doing stuff]
EXTREMELY SERIOUS WARNING (printed on a separate page, in red letters on a yellow background): Unless you are as smart as Johann Karl Friedrich Gauss, savvy as a half-blind Calcutta bootblack, tough as General William Tecumseh Sherman, rich as the Queen of England, emotionally resilient as a Red Sox fan, and as generally able to take care of yourself as the average nuclear missile submarine commander, you should never have been allowed near this document. Please dispose of it as you would any piece of high-level radioactive waste and then arrange with a qualified surgeon to amputate your arms at the elbows and gouge your eyes from their sockets. This warning is necessary because once, a hundred years ago, a little old lady in Kentucky put a hundred dollars into a dry goods company which went belly-up and only returned her ninety-nine dollars. Ever since then the government has been on our asses. If you ignore this warning, read on at your peril – you are dead certain to lose everything you’ve got and live out your final decades beating back waves of termites in a Mississippi Delta leper colony.
Still reading? Great. Now that we’ve scared off the lightweights, let’s get down to business.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: We will raise [some money], then [do some stuff] and increase shareholder value. Want details? Read on.
INTRODUCTION: [This trend], which everyone knows about, and [that trend], which is so incredibly arcane that you probably didn’t know about it until just now, and [this other trend over here] which might seem, at first blush, to be completely unrelated, when all taken together, lead us to the (proprietary, secret, heavily patented, trademarked and Non-Disclosure-Agreement-ed) insight that we could increase shareholder value by [doing stuff]. We will need $ [a large number] and after [not too long] we will be able to realize an increase in value to $ [an even larger number], unless [hell freezes over in midsummer].
Phase 1: After taking vows of celibacy and abstinence and foregoing all of our material possessions for homespun robes, we (viz. appended resumes) will move into a modest complex of scavenged refrigerator boxes in the central Gobi Desert, where real estate is so cheap that we are actually being paid to occupy it, thereby enhancing shareholder vale even before we have actually done anything. On a daily ration consisting of a handful of uncooked rice and a ladleful of water, we will [begin to do stuff].
Phase 2, 3, 4, …, n-1: We will [do more stuff, steadily enhancing shareholder value in the process] unless [the earth is struck by an asteroid a thousand miles in diameter, in which case certain assumptions will have to be readjusted; refer to Spreadsheets 397-413].
Phase n: before the ink on our Nobel Prize certificates if dry, we will confiscate the property of our competitors, including anyone foolish enough to have invest4ed in their pathetic companies. We will sell all of these people into slavery. All proceeds will be redistributed among our shareholders, who will hardly notice, since Spreadsheet 265 demonstrates that, by this time, the company will be larger than the British Empire at its zenith.
SPREADSHEETS: [Pages and pages of numbers in tiny print, conveniently summarised by graphs that all seem to be exponential curves screaming heavenward, albeit with enough pseudo-random noise in them to lend plausibility]
RESUMES: Just recall the opening reel of The Magnificent Seven and you won’t have to bother with this part; you should crawl to us on hands and knees and beg us for the privilege of paying our salaries.”
Oh, to have a sellable idea…
[PS: I’m so into being able to quote Neal Stephenson, I bought his new novel, Interface, today. I’ll be quoting from it shortly….
PPS: Computer idiocy – I copy-typed this, then found the original text is on-line here in full (or so it seems - it's too long to even try checking, so just buy the book).]
I've just seen a reference to an article, with the suggestion it's subscribers only. I'm not going to bother checking, and I imagine hundreds of interesting articles go unread, but are referenced in blogs each week. People fear registration, subscription, etc. And they're certainly not willing to subscribe to foreign or obscure publications for one article if they'll probably never go back.
What's needed is either a "foreign subscription" or a "bulk purchase scheme".
Option A sees newspapers banding together to offer on-line subscription packages at low cost ($10-30 a year, say). These would only be available via credit cards from outside the country. Hard copy sales wouldn't be harmed, but casual access would be available to other countries' news, opinion, etc. And it's pretty much all gravy to the papers, as these would be new revenues.
Option B is more general, and more likely to be successful. Many publications charge pretty steep prices to access their archives, often on a per item basis. The price falls the more "accesses" you buy, but you often only want one thing from one paper or journal now. So you're put off by the price.
If you were "logged in" to a "reading passport" that just flashed up the price each time you clicked on a link and offered you the choice to opt out, then you might end up reading periodic stories in the Times, the Economist, the FT, the LA Times (or whatever). Revenues could be split straight down the page views, and the pie would be bigger for everyone.
"Those who refuse to support the overthrow of the Butcher of Baghdad are, in effect, colluding with his tyranny. The issue is not whether there should be regime change, but how.
There is a credible alternative to a western-engineered invasion. It is an uprising by the Iraqi people: a Vietnamese-style guerrilla war in tandem with a 'people power' campaign of civilian resistance, like they had in Czechoslovakia and the Philippines in the 1980s. This is what the anti-war movement should be supporting loud and clear."
His argument is for an active role in supporting the people of Iraq against Hussein, providing them with the munitions to fight a war by themselves. This has a couple of merits, which I'll mention, before the good stuff begins:
1) It saves British and American lives. A self-interested, but perfectly valid, reason for doing something, and one that a lot of soldiers' families would appreciate.
2) If you think that the "Arab Street"'s opinion matters, then this would be far less likely to inflame them at first glance.
3) It would probably be cheaper than the American way of war.
On the other hand, it has some pretty major downsides:
1) It may take too long - Saddam's nuclear scientists won't be the ones doing the go-slow
2) It's very likely to lead to much greater blood-shed than a war by the West. Guerilla movements haven't spared the casualties in the recent past, nor have countries trying to suppress them. With the Shia in the south and the Kurds in the north from different tribes to the Saddam-controlled centre, a love of their fellow citizens seems unlikely to deter brutality. Indeed, the Afghan experience has lessons here: when no watched closely by American troops (and allegedly even then), murder of prisoners, brutal treatment, etc took place in the traditional manner.
3) The repression of the civilian population might increase further to try to control them
4) Our control over who takes over, what happens to dangerous materials, etc is reduced. Sure, this avoids accusations of "puppets", but could mean that someone not too much better grabs control in a vacuum of power while we lack local presence to influence things.
5) It gives other countries more time to pluck up the courage and identify ways to help Saddam.
6) As Jane Galt has pointed out, there are no forests in Iraq, and no mountains, AFAIK, near to anything that matters - where do Vietnam-style tactics come in?
7) In the areas controlled by Saddam, it means things get worse, for an extended period, for the people of Iraq. The continuation of sanctions while war waits is a prime argument for swift action
8) Let's get real - it's not going to work.
So, as bold as this route to avoiding one sort of war is, ultimately, it merely substitutes another, probably more bloody, form of warfare. It's not a real alternative. But it is an option, and Tatchell deserves credit for trying to identify one, and for moral clear-headedness.
* A broad brush, but not universally fair, characterisation of a lot of marchers' positions.
Sunday, September 29, 2002
"We seem much more comfortable with propagating [our] values to future generations nonverbally, through a process of being steeped in media [than via intellectualist approaches]. Apparently this actually works to some degree, for police in many lands are now complaining that local arrestees are insisting on having their Miranda rights read to them, just like perps in American TV cop shows. When it's explained to them that they are in a different country, where those rights do not exist, they become outraged. Starsky and Hutch reruns, dubbed into diverse languages, may turn out, in the long run, to be a greater force for human rights than the Declaration of Independence."
"1. MISCONDUCT: SHOEN INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE FINDS FABRICATION.
A committee appointed by Bell Labs to investigate allegations of
falsified data in papers on which Jan Hendrik Shoen was the lead
author, confirmed the worst fears of the physics community. The
Committee, chaired by Malcolm Beasley, concluded it was "a clear,
unambiguous case of scientific misconduct." The panel cleared
Shoen's coauthors of scientific misconduct, but concluded, that
"by virtue of their coauthorship, they implicitly endorsed the
validity of the work. There is no implication here of scientific
misconduct; the issue is one of professional responsibility."
The panel noted that this difficult issue has not been carefully
considered by the scientific community. It will certainly be
considered now. Victor Ninov had as many as 15 coauthors in his
fabricated work on super-heavy elements (WN 19 Jul 02).
2. THE QUESTION: WHY WOULD A BRIGHT, RESPECTED SCIENTIST DO THIS?
In a prepared statement, Schoen said he believes his discoveries
are real. He is not the first scientist to attempt to anticipate
what Nature will do. Nor is he the first to go into denial if
the experiment shows that Nature has something else in mind."