Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
Weblog about cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore.
Otterman - Blog Home

Archives - Blog's RSS - Comments RSS - LJ - Email me - All my blogs - About me: 2004 - 2002

Make a permalink or URL tiny:
Blog email subscription

Enter your email address to receive the previous day's posts:


Mac and the Internet - NUS
Cycling - Life in Singapore - Meow
Singapore Naturalist - Mangroves
Science - World - Museum
Movies - Literature - Travel

Biology module blogs:
Biodiversity (Year 1)
Ecology (Year 3)
Structure & Function (Year 3)
Marine Biology (Year 4)
Natural History Blogs:
The Biology Refugia
Raffles Museum Toddycats
Intl Coastal Cleanup Singapore
Labrador Park
Pulau Ubin Stories
Pulau Hantu
Cycling in Singapore
Mac Meetup Singapore
Aboard the Götheborg
Otterman Projects
Zendogs/Wheels are Turning
Hopea sangal

Raffles Museum Toddycats!

Pedal Ubin!
Pasir Panjang Heritage
Raffles Museum Internship
MR-BT Briskwalkers

Mac Meetups

Some of my kakis

Kakis at home
Ad & Jen
Inertia is a Sin
Halfway between the gutter and the stars
Lost in the Jungle
Dawn, Cat Welfare
Compulsive Maniac
Deadpoet's Cave
Rambling Librarian
Cooler Insights
Pencil Shavings
Ling the Merciless
Philosophize Me Jelly
Dewi A

Kakis overseas
Alvin - Beijing, China:
* Alvin's spiel
Kevin - Buffalo, NY:
Theory is the Reason
Bonny - HCMC, Vietnam:
Jac - London, UK:
Dogged Wanderings
Jasmin - NY, NY:
The Worsted Witch
Marcus - Shanghai, China:
You only live once
Tse-Lynn - Wilmington, NC:
Musings of a barefoot traveller
Jani - Newcastle, UK:
Salted & Fried

Seow Hwa's
The Ice Cream Gallery

Local reads
Commentary Singapore
Singapore Surf

Museum Roundtable
Science Daily
Environmental News Network
National Geographic News
New Scientist news
Nature News
Google News
Resource Shelf
The Unofficial Apple Weblog
Boing Boing
The Daily Show
This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called My Handphone Photos. Make your own badge here.

Made on a Mac with
Claris Home Page 3.0.
Blog engine: Samizdat,
based on PHPosxom,
based on Blosxom.
Updated with TextWrangler.

Creative Commons License
© N. Sivasothi, 2003
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.

Subscribe with Bloglines

Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Thu 09 Feb 2006

"...the experience of being a whistleblower is a lonely one"

Category : science

My Head of Department forwarded us this troubling story:

"The Secret Life of Dr. Chandra." Reporter: Chris O'Neill-Yates; Producer: Lynn Burgess. From The National, Jan. 30, 2006.

Dr. Ranjit Kumar Chandra spent almost three decades working at Memorial University before one of his secrets was finally revealed. A study he'd conducted on multivitamins was clearly a fake. No doubt his employer breathed a sign of relief when Dr. Chandra chose to retire quietly and move away.

Memorial had a secret of its own. It had never told the scientific world that this was not the first time nor even the second time that Chandra had committed scientific fraud.


"How can you question this guy: He's world famous, he's published dozens of studies and there were claims that he had been nominated for a Nobel Prize and he had been selected by the United Nations to set up a nutrition immunology centre in Newfoundland," Masor says. "He was the pride and joy of Canada. I mean this guy had a real reputation. So for anyone to challenge him and go against that reputation, I think, was pretty daunting."

Nurse Marilyn Harvey paid the price when she blew the whistle on Chandra. It was back in the early '90s when she told her employers that he was making up results on a baby formula study. The university investigated, but then let him go. And once they did, Chandra turned around and sued Harvey.

"In July of 2000, a knock came on my door and a sheriff delivered me papers [that said I was being] sued by him for stealing data from another study that was done in his department," Harvey says. "We know why he would have sued me. He would have wanted basically, I guess, just to get me back and he wanted to make my life miserable."

Chandra eventually dropped the lawsuit a few months after Harvey proved his claims were bogus. But she says the experience of being a whistleblower is a lonely one.


Right now in Canada, there's no legislation in place to protect whistleblowers like Harvey and, because of that, fraud artists seldom have to worry about someone turning them in.

Berkeley University Prof. Seth Roberts says even if whistleblowers want to come forward, they often decide it's just too risky.

"It's extremely dangerous," he says. "You could easily lose your whole career. Many people have and so, if you're a wise person, you basically don't do it. It's just too dangerous. I know several people who've [done it], their career was destroyed after they blew the whistle."

Posted at 7:01AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .