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Re: <nettime> Netizens expose scientific fraud in South Korea [2x]
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Re: <nettime> Netizens expose scientific fraud in South Korea [2x]

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   Re: <nettime> Netizens expose scientific fraud in South Korea                   
     Ronda Hauben <ronda {AT} umcc.ais.org>                                               

   Re: <nettime> Netizens expose scientific fraud in South Korea [3x]              
     "Joanne Mule" <mulperf {AT} hotmail.com>                                             


Date: Sun, 1 Jan 2006 15:09:58 -0500 (EST)
From: Ronda Hauben <ronda {AT} umcc.ais.org>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Netizens expose scientific fraud in South Korea

Hi Tobias

On Fri, 30 Dec 2005, tobias c. van Veen wrote:

> hi R,
> I can see all these points, of course, that the Net has facilitated a
> conversation on a particular published paper. But this facilitation does not
> mean that this conversation could not have taken place in absentia of the
> Net.

To the contrary. Without netizens at the scientific web sites being
able to post their critique of the fraudulent papers they would not
have been able to expose the fraud.

A TV program tried to expose some of it but was accused of not being
able to challenge a paper that had been accepted by the journal Science.

But scientists at scientific online web sites could explain the problems
in the papers, and also have this information spread to others online.

This was a key ingredient in the exposure coming to light.

The South Korean government, a tv program and others in the power
structure were backing the scientists and to get this fraud unearthed
meant going against the power structure.

Not an easy undertaking in any society. And with the prestige of a
scientific journal behind the scientist whose work was fraudulent,
this made it even more difficult.

> > But the scientists of Korea couldn't have done this without online
> > sites that made it possible for them to post and communicate anonymously,
> > and the rest of the online community that read what they were writing,
> > discussed it on blogs and other online forms, and in the online
> > press, and spread it broadly and quickly.
> This is perhaps where we disagree. This has happened somewhat quickly, yes
> -- but beyond speed, I don't see any significant difference between blogs
> and the various pamphlet, correspondence and publishing networks that have
> existed in tandem with the founding of modenr science in the 18th century
> and that has always challenged the edification of peer-review.

There is a significant difference though.

Just as the printing press made a significant difference over what the
scribes could do before the printing press, so the Internet makes it
possible for netizens to do something different from what was possible
before we had the Internet.

I gave some examples above.

> What this case demonstates is that the Net has simply incorporated the prior
> achievements of these, well, discourse networks into its bulletin board and
> blog infrastructures. And that these remain localized to linguistic,
> regional and national boundaries. It demonstrates nothing of the essence of
> the Net itself, save for its speed... perhaps.

I am not saying this example illustrates something about the Net.

I am saying that it illustrates something very significant about
the netizen - about the online net.citizen who wants to have a different
world, one without the corruption and the abuse of power of our current

The netizen emerged and has a means to take on the fight for a more
democratic society.

> To quickly summarize my point concerning distance and language barriers, of
> course I agree with you when you write that "It is a tribute to Korean
> scientists and the online community there that they could challenge the
> pressure to let the fraud go by," but undoubtedly this could have taken
> place and probably would have, in time, without the Net, through the
> informal networks which scientists have been maintaining for ages, through
> challenges to published theories, etc, conversations, and other means of
> communication.

This is where we disagree.

I do not think it would have been possible to have been able to
demonstrate the nature of the fraud of the articles published in
'Science" and then to have spread this knowledge sufficiently so that
the powers that be would have to acknoweldge the problem.

> That this critique was advanced from a traditional linguistic, national and
> regional locus demonstrates that the Net has not become essential nor novel
> but rather incorporated and supplemented existing discourse networks in
> science.
No the netizen is an advance, is something new and something important in
our world.

> If the critique had come from elsewhere on the planet, it would have perhaps
> given more credence to a theory of the speed of the Net in disseminating
> information across such geospatial and geotemporal barriers such as to
> signify a break with older localized networks and to a positive theory of a
> broader conversation taking place beyond such traditional localized
> discourse networks and science communities.

But I am not talking about the 'speed of the net'. I am talking about
the power and capability that the communication among netizens makes

> best,
>     t

best wishes


P.S. I have a draft paper titled "The New Dynamics of Democratization in
South Korea: The Internet and the Emergence of the Netizen" that I am
working on about the struggle for democracy via the online media in South
Korea.  I would welcome comments on it if anyone is interested in reading


Date: Sun, 01 Jan 2006 20:04:49 -0500
From: "Joanne Mule" <mulperf {AT} hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Netizens expose scientific fraud in South Korea [3x]

To All:

Just thought I'de chime in on this one.  It just goes to show what people 
with great critical thinking skills can do.  No doubt, the internet played a 
powerful role.  However, would it be as powerful if, say, a citizen decided 
instead to write to the journal rather than post on a blog?  Your thoughts.

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