Stop Dr. Bob

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Sat Jan 13 16:21:00 EST 1996

On Sat, 13 Jan 1996, George M. Carter wrote:

> <U27111 at> wrote:
> >It is probably inappropriate for him to have 100 people working for
> >him ever again, CERTAINLY ON FEDERAL FUNDS, however, is it a sin
> >for him to have a lab with 5-10 members?
> I think it is a sin that Bob Gallo is getting millions for a lab to
> share with that other fraud, Bob Redfield.  What about Gallo's work
> with SP-PG for KS in mice?  It hasn't been reproduced and I know
> people who wanted this angiogenesis inhibitor to heal their KS.
> Because of his sloppy, if not outright fraudulent, work, people
> suffered horribly.  This IS a sin.
> And how can we possibly believe his latest research on the macrophage
> inflammatory proteins (MIP) and RANTES role in HIV suppression?  (I
> mean, the article on its own is hardly convincing anyway).
> And Redfield?  Lying about a 5th-rate envelope's vaccine's effect on
> viral load?  And these 2 are together and REWARDED?  They should both
> be facing criminal courts.  These bastards are playing with people's
> live!
> I apologize if this is repetitive--I'm jumping in the middle and, as
> is apparent, I am rather shy and retiring about my opinions!!
> 		George M. Carter
> (PS: I believe HIV causes AIDS!)

We (Alex Berezin, Greg Harriman, Kathy and others) talk
a lot about the moral health of the 'establishement' - for
some of you it is exclusively biomedical community, for me 
a more wider world of university reasearch at large.
Some people apparently believe that cases like court
case on peer review of Nature paper reported in
Science magazine ( $ 100 million-plus lawsuit) are just 
isolated incidents, and 'things are generally OK'. 

The above poster by George Carter on Bob Gallo suggest
that, on the contrary, these cases are TYPICAL for what
goes on in (over)competitive, grant-driven, exploitive
'academic research' operated by greed and mutual bashing,
and 'sanctioned' by secretive, gestappian system of
APR (anonymous peer review).
The only reason we don't see too much other Gallos
in other areas of basic and applied science  is that 
there are singnificanlty less money in these areas
and cases won't make front pages. But overwise the
moral climate is about the same and criminal aspects
of 'academic research' are becoming more and more
obvious to anyone wishing to look. 

This is perhaps the only real 'positive side' of all 
this: young people who are still considereng should they 
enter research careers or not, have now an ample quantity 
of food for their thoughts on the career issues ... let's
hope many more of them will make well informed decisions ...

"Stop Bob !" - all right:  but this is much like fightling 
the ancient Hydra. Cut one head - three new grow instantly.
Unless the SYSTEM will be reformed, new Bobs are bound
to appear in increasing scores.

Stop what:

grantsmanship, secrecy, competition, exploitation of
young talents [ grad.students, postdocs ] and (sorry to 
bore you again) STOP secretive system of funding/publising
decisions based on uncontrolled and unaccountably 
anonymous peer review.

Alex Berezin

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