Op-Ed

Park Ky-young

The presidential advisor for science and technology Park Ky-young received research grants of W150 million (US$150,000) and W100 million in 2001 and 2003 for studies on the ethics and social impact of bio-engineering from the disgraced cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk. The 2001 research focused on the social impact of creating BSE-resistant cows, and the 2003 work on ethical guidelines and commercial use of bio-organs.

For a start, was the presidential aide, a botanist by training, charged with ethics research because the country is short on specialists in the field? More than 50 are listed as members of the Korean Bioethics Association. To say that her participation in some bioengineering forums as a representative of civic groups qualifies her for the research grants is stretching it.

A botany professor at Sunchon National University, Park joined the camp of President Roh Moo-hyun during the 2002 presidential election. In February 2003, she was a member of Roh's transition team assigned to an economics subcommittee. In June 2003, Park chaired the Future Strategy Subcommittee under the Policy Planning Committee, a presidential advisory body. In... see more