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The Baltimore Case: A Trial of Politics, Science, and Character

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 02 October 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:926
  1. Stephen Lock, former editor
  1. BMJ

    Daniel J Kevles

    W W Norton, £21, pp 448

    ISBN 0393041034

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    The story would make a marvellous soap opera. The research, into immunological genetics and published in Cell, is complex, made worse by the inadequate English of Teresa Imanishi-Kari, the Brazilian-Japanese research worker. Accused of fraud, she is defended by her charismatic but hubristic boss, the Nobel laureate David Baltimore, who takes on a congressional committee. The whistleblower, Margot O'Toole, a young Irish radical, loses her job, house, and career—but receives international honours and publicity for her courage. After 10 years and seven inquiries, reviews, and the final, successful, appeal, the US immunological establishment has disagreed about guilt or innocence, and even the secret service has examined the research …

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