Skip to main content
Log in

The Hwang Scandal that “Shook the World of Science”

  • Introduction
  • Published:
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: an International Journal

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.


  1. For an excellent account of Hwang Woo Suk’s life and works, see Kim (2007).

  2. Han Hak Soo, who was the principal producer of the PD Su-cheop’s episodes on Dr. Hwang, published a detailed story of the Hwang scandal in Han (2007). This book also contains valuable records of interviews with various people involved in the Hwang scandal.

  3. For a more detailed discussion of this debate over the validity of the DNA testing and its implications for the replication of Hwang’s stem cell research, see Hong (2006) and Han (2007).

  4. The strategy of Hwang’s team consisted in maintaining that since their experiment would be replicated by other research teams in the near future, the replication of DNA testing would be unnecessary. This strategy was publicly criticized by Hong (2005) on the basis of some insights gained from science and technology studies on replication.


  • Han, H.-S. (2007). How can i deliver this news to you? Seoul: Sa-heo-pyung-ron. (in Korean).

    Google Scholar 

  • Hong, S. (2005). I want to trust Dr. Hwang, but… Ohmynews (9 December 2005). Available at (in Korean).

  • Hong, S. (2006). Replication, scientific fraud, and STS. A paper presented at the EASTS Conference on Dr. Hwang’s Controversy in Korea, Taipei, Taiwan, 4 August 2006.

  • Hwang, W.-S., et al. (2004). Evidence of a pluripotent human embryonic stem cell line derived from a cloned blastocyst. Science, 303, 1669–1674.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hwang, W.-S., et al. (2005). Patient-specific embryonic stem cells derived from human SCNT blastocysts. Science, 308, 1777–1783.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kim, K.-B. (2007). The myth of Hwang Woo Suk and science in South Korea. Seoul: Yuk-sa-bi-pyung-sa. (in Korean).

    Google Scholar 

  • Kim, T.-H. (2008). “How could a scientist become a national celebrity?—Nationalism and Hwang Woo-Suk Scandal.” (this issue).

  • Lee, B.-C., et al. (2005). Dogs cloned from adult somatic cells. Nature, 436, 641.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee, S.-J. (2006). Hwang Woo Suk’s nation. Seoul: Ba-da Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Leem, S.-Y., & Park, J.-H. (2008). Rethinking women and their bodies in the age of biotechnology: Feminist commentaries on the Hwang affair (this issue).

  • SNU Investigation Committee, Investigation Committee Report, Seoul National University, 10 Jan. 2006. (in Korean).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sungook Hong.

Additional information

Lawrence K. Altman and William J. Broad, “More Science, More Fraud,” New York Times (20 December 2005). The article starts with the passage that “The South Korean scandal that shook the world of science last week is just one sign of a global explosion in research that is outstripping the mechanisms meant to guard against error and fraud.”

About this article

Cite this article

Hong, S. The Hwang Scandal that “Shook the World of Science”. East Asian Science 2, 1–7 (2008).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: