Buddhists Front $60 Million to Disgraced Stem-Cell Scientist

May 9, 2006

Source: Channel News Asia


On May 9, 2006 Channel News Asia reported, "South Korean Buddhists have offered more than 60 million US dollars to allow disgraced stem cell expert Hwang Woo-Suk to resume his research, a senior monk said.

The head monk of a Buddhist temple and two Buddhist business leaders have put together 60 billion won (64.5 million dollars), mostly in cash, to allow Hwang to set up a laboratory and continue his work, Seol Jeong, a senior Buddhist monk, said on Monday.

South Korean prosecutors are expected to announce later this month the findings of a four-month-old investigation into Hwang's fraudulent research and alleged misuse of millions of dollars in research funds.

Seol Jeong said when Hwang had met him in private, the embattled scientist had 'repented of his misconduct'.

'No matter what happened to him, however, we cannot deny his technology is something unique internationally,' Seol Jeong said... The offer sparked controversy within the Buddhist community in South Korea.

'(Hwang's research) runs against the Buddhism's view of the world and its philosophy,' said Do Beop, a former head of Silsang Buddhist Temple.

Hwang, 52, claimed last year that he had created 11 patient-specific stem cells through cloning. But a panel of experts at Seoul National University, where Hwang worked as a professor, concluded in January that the claims were bogus."