To Ferland (on Fabrinakt analogy)

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Fri Dec 29 12:48:23 EST 1995

(old staff deleted - A.Berezin) 

On 29 Dec 1995, Ferland Louis H. wrote:
> Gee, Alex, now you sound like Valery Fabrikant. You scare me all the more!
> (With apologies to non-Canadians who don't know Dr. Fabrikant's gory 
> story. Basically, he was a Engineering professor in a Montreal University 
> who thought the world was a rotten place and everybody else out there was 
> trying to get him. He ended up murdering four people in his department, 
> and is now serving a life sentence. Thanks heavens we recently and 
> finally got a reasonable gun control law passed in this country...) 

> Dr. Louis H. Ferland
> Centre de Recherche, Hotel-Dieu de Montreal
> Dept de Nutrition, Universite de Montreal
> Phone: (514) 843-2757     FAX: (514) 843-2719
I am leaving with others to judge how appropriate is your
identification of CRITICISM of grantsmanship and peer review
funding system with criminal actions of Valery Fabrikant.

First, no-where I advocated violence, second I am far from
being alone in my criticism, and there were many recent articles 
and letters by many other people (including even some 
Nobel Prize laureates) voicing criticism similar to mine. 

However, the point which I have to make here, largely for 
the American readers who are unfamiliar with the Fabrikant's
case (and which Dr. Farland failed to mention) is this:

After the Fabrikant shooting a special Committee was 
appointed to invesigate Fabrikant's allegations on the
abuse of funding system. This Committee was chaired by
former President by a major Canadian University Prof.
Harry Arthur and included several other reputable 
scientisits. The report this Committee has produced is 
knowen as Arthur's Report and its essence was widely 
reflected in the Canadian Press.

The findings if the Report largely confirm Fabrikant's
allegations and condemn the over-competitive and secretive
aspects of granstmanship culture. This resulted in a 
number of resignations of senior members (profs and
administartion) of the Concordia Univiersity where the 
Fabrikant tragedy happened in August 1992.

Therefore, the campaign for opening-up of peer review 
process, greater public accountability of research funding 
and more equitable distribution of research funds is
aimed to PREVENT re-occurence of such events as Fabrikant's
murders. This point, I believe, Dr. Farland, has failed
to appreciate.

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