It seems unnecessary, (and too easy) to blame the researcher involved; the story is damning enough. What struck me though, reading though the description of how events transpired, was how banal, how mundane the fraud was, and how utterly common the driving forces were; the usual toxic mix of a desire for fame, the pressure to get money, how universities encourage people to bring in grants.
Steven Heymsfield, an obesity researcher at
MerckPharmaceuticals in New Jersey, [...] added that Poehlman’s success owed more to his business sense and charisma than to his aptitude as a scientist.
“In effect, he was a successful entrepreneur and not a brilliant thinker with revolutionary ideas,” Heymsfield wrote me via e-mail. “But deans love people who bring in money and recognition to universities, so there is Eric.”