To Ferland (on Fabrinakt analogy)

BBMD/F95 nlu at acs.ryerson.ca
Sun Dec 31 13:07:03 EST 1995


Ferland Louis H. (ferlandl at ERE.UMontreal.CA) wrote:
: On Fri, 29 Dec 1995, Alexander Berezin wrote:

: > Date: Fri, 29 Dec 1995 12:43:54 -0500 (EST)
: > From: Alexander Berezin <berezin at mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA>
: > To: "Ferland Louis H." <ferlandl at ere.umontreal.ca>
: > Cc: bioforum at net.bio.net
: > Subject: To Ferland (on Fabrinakt analogy) 
: > 
: > 
: > (old staff deleted - A.Berezin) 
: > 
: > On 29 Dec 1995, Ferland Louis H. wrote:
: >  
: > > FERLAND
: > > 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
: > > 
: > > 
: > BEREZIN:
: > 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.

: FERLAND
: I did not identify your criticism of a system you disapprove of 
: with criminal action. Only V. Fabrikant's paranioa with your description 
: of the said system as "largely immoral, corrupted, exploitive (sic) and 
: self-propelled (?)" (both instances of which you conveniently 
: deleted from this reply). Sorry for my lack of clarity. By the way, given 
: that the overwhelming proportion of people fighting for grants (even 
: if mostly without success, judging from the known low success rates at 
: NIH/MRC, NSF/NSERC and elsewhere) DO NOT shoot at their colleagues in 
: their labs and offices, do you not think that Dr. Fabrikant's paranioa 
: had something to do with the rampage (as was rendered unambiguously clear 
: in the court case and was even stated, I believe, in the Arthur report you 
: mention below, but which link you fail to acknowledge)?

: (BTW, my name is FERLAND, not FARLAND. Thank you.)

: > (BEREZIN)
: > 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.
: > 
: FERLAND
: I call on Dr. Arthur to set the record straight and put the emphasis of 
: the report's findings where it belongs. The committee was set up to examine 
: abuse OF the funding system, as you state correctly, not abuse BY the funding 
: system. Some people at Concordia failed to show they had adequately used 
: their funding resources (among other things) and were forced to resign. 
: This hardly condemns the whole research funding system as you say.

: (BEREZIN)
: > 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.
: >    
: FERLAND
: Wait a minute. Murder is a criminal issue, dealt with by the judicial 
: apparatus, not the research funding agencies. Personally, I 
: stand by our new gun-control law (among others) rather than a complete 
: restructuring of the funding system (ecpecially the kind you propose). 
: Had it been in place and enforced in 1992, Dr. Fabrikant would have had a 
: much harder time getting the gun in the first place. (Apologies to 
: non-Canadians who may not know the EPIC details of the purchase of this 
: particular gun; it was all over our newspapers and TV specials here and 
: was instrumental in the elaboration of our gun control law.)


: 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





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