This essay is based on a movie that appeared in 1993 entitled: And the Band Played On. “The movie chronicles the discovery and spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) with a special emphasis on government indifference and political infighting—specifically in the United States—to what was then perceived as a specifically gay disease” (wiki).
This movie suggested why Dr. Gallo, a prominent AIDS researcher was denied the Nobel Prize. Mention at least 3 situations and cases in the movie/articles that offended your sensibility as a scientist.
Other issues that you may want to discuss and to guide you through the discussion (Note: you don’t have to answer all these but just to give you an idea what aspects of the movie to discuss):
1. Although Dr. Gallo was cleared by the ORI of scientific misconduct, assuming that he did copy the virus sample sent to him by his French collaborators, what would you have done differently with this collaboration as Gallo?
2. Why do you think the national media and the scientific community ignored the Gallo case even though there was an ongoing investigation by the NIH and the Congress?
3. What were the consequences of delaying to recognize the French findings by Gallo? Was his self-serving interest cost human lives? How?
4. Imagine if you were a member of Gallo’s lab, what do you think the environment would be like? How would you cope in this kind of environment?
5. Let’s say you are a member of the Gallo’s lab, would you ignore all the unethical practices and “go with the flow”? (Remember you are in a world-renowned laboratory and this can make or break your research career).
6. If you’re a PI, would you prefer to collaborate with Gallo even though there are other not-so-famous scientists out there who can do the same job? Explain why or why not?
7. Why do you think the French group trusted Gallo and gave him the virus test in spite of the competition and Gallo’s shortcomings?
8. What was the turning point that unequivocally showed that the Gallo virus was indeed the French virus?
9. As a PI, do you think you are entitled to have access to some of the data and materials that Gallo have? Would you trust his cells lines?
10. When the Nobel prize was announced, the French group was surprised that it was not shared with Dr. Gallo. Give your opinion on what cost Gallo his Nobel Prize.
11. Assuming you sit in the Nobel committee, would you vote to give Gallo the prize? Give a reason on what ground/s.
12. Imagine yourself as Dr. Gallo having pretty much everything what every scientist would want (except for the Nobel Prize of course), prestige, power, influence and with almost unlimited research resources, how would you like to be perceived by your colleagues and those below you.
13. How would you use these achievements in order to have a greater impact to the scientific community and public?
What to include/instructions
- One-page essay (minimum of 1 page not to exceed 1.5 page), Times New Roman, 12 pt and single-spaced.
- Please utilize either MLA or APA writing styles.
- The naming of 3 examples of scientific misconduct
- The consequences of those misconducts
- How could you have avoided such misconducts