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Chemistry credit disputes under the spotlight

A survey of six hundred chemists has found that half of them feel they have not been given sufficient credit for a contribution made to another’s published research. Many of those who felt wronged said they were afraid of speaking up if it meant confronting the senior author.

The finding is part of a lengthy investigation into the responsible conduct of science, by anthropologist Marc House, of Giant Steps Research in Gainesville, Florida, and chemistry historian and sociologist Jeffrey Seeman, at the University of Richmond, Virginia.

Seeman presented some of the results of the study, some of which were published this year, at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, Massachusetts, on 23 August. In the same talk, he revealed new letters which dug deeply into a credit dispute between two of the most famous organic chemists of the 20th century, the Nobel laureates EJ Corey and RB Woodward.


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