Claims Against Scientist False

I WAS SADDENED to see the article, "Museum Boss Faces Ethics Charge," about Spencer Lucas on the front page. The writer, John Fleck, did a careful, even-handed job of reporting on the accusations made against Lucas. The problem is that being careful and even-handed may actually be unfair when the accusations are totally false.

I have known Lucas for many years while I have served on the Board of Trustees of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. He is a scrupulously honest and dedicated scientist whose work is uniformly highly regarded and whose ethics are unquestioned.

As Stuart Ashman, state secretary of Cultural Affairs, noted, and as the executive committee of the trustees also concluded, there is absolutely no merit to the accusations against Lucas.

Of course the readers of the Journal recognize that unfounded accusations should carry no weight, and I merely wished to emphasize that the Journal's correct behavior in reporting the accusations should in no way cast any doubt on Lucas' stature and character.


Editor's note: Lattman is a member of the Museum Board's executive committee, which investigated the accusations against Lucas and found them to be "without merit."