X-Message-Number: 7652
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: Re: CryoNet #7637 - #7646
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 1997 11:25:57 -0800 (PST)

Hi again!

To Bob Ettinger:

I don't know about just how the leak happened, but however it happened it's not
clear to me that those who RECEIVED that information have been unethical. Sure,
if they had a role in causing the leak, but not if they simply received the
information. Furthermore, as I understand it, Saul Kent has been funding Mike
Darwin to look for new cryoprotectants, and one major reason so many people
became very skeptical is that BEFORE Visser appeared, Mike had tested the 
same chemical and excluded it because it was too toxic.

As for using information which you receive but in no way caused to leak, it
seems to me that (considering the subject) it would be impossible to avoid
that. Information cannot be made to disappear or turned in to the police
in the same way that a stolen diamond might be: you learn it, you're stuck
with it.

Furthermore, just knowing the composition of Visser's solutions, even 
assuming that they work perfectly and always, doesn't injure them in any 
way. If they work and are patented, anyone could read the patent --- but
the Vissers would still have control over whether and how their solution was
USED, including financial control. Without further information it's not
even obvious that there was a leak: the referees of her paper sent to 
CRYOBIOLOGY would ALL know the composition. Referees are not supposed to
(and it would be unethical for them) quickly write up a paper and claim 
the discovery as their own. But they cannot reasonably be prevented from
using the information in other ways: say, setting out some NEW experiments
based on the new discovery. (Yes, that can be on the edge if there is a
long delay in publication! --- those not referees would not be able to 
use information the referees found out earlier -- yet it isn't forbidden). 

Finally I don't really claim to have the truth here. If you know something
more incriminating, or know anything at all about the details of what happened,
then I'd certainly like to hear of them too. If my construction of events is
wrong, I will say so in another message on Cryonet. And of course I don't
insist that you reply on Cryonet -- you know my private email address,
after all.

			Long long life to all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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