News of the WeekScientific Misconduct

Cleared of Misconduct, Geoscientist Sues Critics

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Science  29 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5441, pp. 883-885
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5441.883b

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Ronald Dorn, a prominent geoscientist at Arizona State University in Tempe, has filed suit against the authors of an article, published last year in Science, who raised doubts about some of his work. Dorn is charging that statements made in the article, along with other comments by some of the authors, implied that he had doctored rock samples used to date ancient stone carvings. Earlier this month, two investigations concluded that Dorn did not commit scientific misconduct. Both sides are staying mum about the suit, but some observers worry that the litigation could deter potential whistleblowers and chill public discussion of scientific controversies.