Yesterday, we blogged about the retraction of a paper in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology from a research team in China. The paper — claiming that tai chi helped women with arthritis — was riddled with inconsistencies and plagiarism.
Today, plagiarism and fraud made the front page of the New York Times.
The piece is worth a read. It details the astonishing breadth of cheating that appears, as per the headline, rampant in Chinese science, technology, and medicine.
We — and our wives (and our life insurance carriers) — were particularly struck by one passage describing what happened to two crusading journalists who have been doggedly covering such incidents. From the Times:
This summer both men were brutally attacked on the street in Beijing — Fang Xuanchang by thugs with an iron bar and Fang Shimin by two men wielding pepper spray and a hammer.
We told our wives that the reaction to Retraction Watch has been much more mild but that we would be careful wandering the streets. But in all seriousness, we applaud the two Fangs and look forward to more of their exposes.
Maybe we can even work on something together.
Update, 3 p.m., 10/13/10: Please see comment below on the outcome of the case against the perpetrator of the attacks from Retraction Watch reader Krishna Pillai, who has also blogged about it.