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p32 incident / clarification

Phoebe Rice phoebe at VGER.NIDDK.NIH.GOV
Wed Oct 23 13:48:03 EST 1996

Serious problems such as the P32 incident certainly shouldn't be
tolerated - the problem, at least in this case, is figuring out who the
guiltly party is.  As a future advisor I cringe at this
jump-on-the-advisor tendency. The story as told to the press make no
sense at all to me - what sort of advisor in his/her right mind would
contaminate his/her own lab to try to make a project go faster?  If the
contamination isn't discovered, it has no effect, and if it is the first
thing that happens is the NRC shuts you down.

Also while pressuring someone who works for you about their personal
life is clearly wrong, if someone were to ask you, point blank, if
having kids was a good career move, wouldn't the honest answer be no?
Of course in an ideal world this wouldn't be true but I think its only
fair for an advisor to give an honest opinion of his/her view of what
the reality is.  The important thing is that they stay on the "advice"
side of the line, and support their people no matter what personal
decisions they make.


P.S.  Of course, the NIH reacted promptly to the P32 incident - they
made us remove even trace amounts of radioactivity from hallway storage,
and insisted we lock the cold room.  The campus is still crawling with
radiation safetly spies.  It was rather disconcerting to see these
lawyers on TV announcing that they were on a crusade to find enough
radiation safetly violations to shut down all of NIH - as if somehow
everyone how works here is evil.

	Phoebe Rice
	(301) 402 4497 (phone) / (301) 496 0201 (fax)
	Phoebe at vger.niddk.nih.gov

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