Like most folks who have not only hung around in academics but venerated scholarship, I am a little circumspect about applied scientists. I wonder if they do not get bored, repeating the same procedures. I will admit the closest I have gotten to forensic science is television shows about crime scene investigations. And I mean the rare times that I watch.

There’s an evolving story out there about an analyst in a state drug lab in Massachusetts who knowingly mishandled evidence in tens of thousands of cases. And this thing is only going to get deeper. I remember in the fall, when the story hit. It made no sense to me and I cannot imagine it would to anyone else. A young woman falsifies evidence that would put people in jail and let people out of jail and nobody knows why or how. All she says on the record is that she “messed up.”

This case intrigues me mainly because I know that falsifications of results, at least in research science, are at an all time high. This has been correlated with the horrible pressures in research careers with obtaining funding, maybe even with some sense of competition for success. In reviewing that data, I did not find a single female perpetrator.

Here, a woman in applied science. It took a while for me to follow the story and figure out what might be going on. There was much said about the expense of reviewing her cases, even some suggestion of danger, with perhaps some perpetrators on the street again. There were queries about her qualifications for the post – it seems to have been a fake degree. There were queries about the lack of oversight — probably the first place most agencies cut money is something to do with oversight.

But somehow, in all this, the presence of an interpersonal relationship, seemingly as warm and strong as it was preferential. A relationship with a Norfolk County prosecutor, supposedly given favor in a world where there is some kind of forensic ethics posit that there should not be any direct communication. A suspicious husband, and a seeming jealousy when it is said there was no real sexual conduct.

Like other recent stories, it seems as if we are dealing with an email trail that was more personal than expected. I see an emerging story that sounds like the ancient dichotomy of “high tech-high touch.” It sounds as if the woman in question was locked into some kind of science, and had discussed in her communications a less-than-satisfactory marriage. Is this the age old story, where a woman with some kind of scientific knowledge feels attracted on some level to a man who is of equal or superior scientific rank? Mainly because he understood her work and had the emotional investment in it? We may have isolated a psychological difference between the sexes.

We may have strangely ratified ancient and easily criticized stereotypical differences between the sexes by asking — what makes each sex cheat?

Author's Bio: 

Estelle Toby Goldstein, MD is a board-certified psychiatrist in private practice in San Diego, CA.

Practicing Medicine Since 1981

In her medical career, she has studied in Europe and Canada as well as the USA. She has attended specialty training beyond medical school in the fields of general surgery, neurology and neurosurgery and psychiatry (specializing in psychopharmacology).

Experienced In Many Situations

She has worked in a variety of positions, including:
■Fireman/EMT
■Medical school professor
■General and Orthopedic surgeon
■Brain surgeon
■Army Medical Corps psychiatrist
■Prison psychiatrist
■Community Mental Health Center staff
■Consultant to a major transplant hospital
■Drug researcher

“Whatever It Takes!”

She currently has her own indepenent clinic in San Diego where she is concentrating on what she calls Mind/Body medicine — or Integrative Medicine. Her practice is cash-only, doesn’t accept insurance or government payments, and she operates on the concierge, or “private doctor” practice model to give her patients the absolute best quality of care and the highest level of confidentiality.

Dr. Goldstein’s philosophy is “Whatever It Takes!” Her goal is to do everything possible to solve whatever problem she is presented. This includes seeing patients as quickly as possible — not making them wait weeks for an appointment. This includes making appointments days, nights, weekends or holidays. This includes making house-calls. And it includes using the best, most innovative treatments available — most of which are unknown to standard, mainstream doctors.

Her focus is on transitioning patients away from prescription drugs and onto natural substances. She is also a master practitioner of Emotional Freedom Technique, a powerful and dynamic form of energy psychology that usually brings quicker results than traditional psychotherapy.