Damned Heretics

Condemned by the established, but very often right

I am Nicolaus Copernicus, and I approve of this blog

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Qualified outsiders and maverick insiders are often right about the need to replace received wisdom in science and society, as the history of the Nobel prize shows. This blog exists to back the best of them in their uphill assault on the massively entrenched edifice of resistance to and prejudice against reviewing, let alone revising, ruling ideas. In support of such qualified dissenters and courageous heretics we search for scientific paradigms and other established beliefs which may be maintained only by the power and politics of the status quo, comparing them with academic research and the published experimental and investigative record.

We especially defend and support the funding of honest, accomplished, independent minded and often heroic scientists, inventors and other original thinkers and their right to free speech and publication against the censorship, mudslinging, false arguments, ad hominem propaganda, overwhelming crowd prejudice and internal science politics of the paradigm wars of cancer, AIDS, evolution, global warming, cosmology, particle physics, macroeconomics, health and medicine, diet and nutrition.

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Henry Bauer, Peter Breggin , Harvey Bialy, Giordano Bruno, Erwin Chargaff, Nicolaus Copernicus, Francis Crick, Paul Crutzen, Marie Curie, Rebecca Culshaw, Freeman Dyson, Peter Duesberg, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, John Fewster, Galileo Galilei, Alec Gordon, James Hansen, Edward Jenner, Benjamin Jesty, Michio Kaku, Adrian Kent, Ernst Krebs, Thomas Kuhn, Serge Lang, John Lauritsen, Mark Leggett, Richard Lindzen, Lynn Margulis, Barbara McClintock, George Miklos, Marco Mamone Capria, Peter Medawar, Kary Mullis, Linus Pauling, Eric Penrose, Max Planck, Rainer Plaga, David Rasnick, Sherwood Rowland, Carl Sagan, Otto Rossler, Fred Singer, Thomas Szasz, Alfred Wegener, Edward O. Wilson, James Watson.
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Many people would die rather than think – in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell.

Skepticism is dangerous. That’s exactly its function, in my view. It is the business of skepticism to be dangerous. And that’s why there is a great reluctance to teach it in schools. That’s why you don’t find a general fluency in skepticism in the media. On the other hand, how will we negotiate a very perilous future if we don’t have the elementary intellectual tools to ask searching questions of those nominally in charge, especially in a democracy? – Carl Sagan (The Burden of Skepticism, keynote address to CSICOP Annual Conference, Pasadena, April 3/4, 1982).

It is really important to underscore that everything we’re talking about tonight could be utter nonsense. – Brian Greene (NYU panel on Hidden Dimensions June 5 2010, World Science Festival)

I am Albert Einstein, and I heartily approve of this blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.   As I once remarked, the further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.   Certainly the application of the impulse toward blind faith in science whereby authority is treated as some kind of church is to be deplored.  As I have also said, the only thing ever interfered with my learning was my education. My name as you already perceive without a doubt is George Bernard Shaw, and I certainly approve of this blog, in that its guiding spirit appears to be blasphemous in regard to the High Church doctrines of science, and it flouts the censorship of the powers that be, and as I have famously remarked, all great truths begin as blasphemy, and the first duty of the truthteller is to fight censorship, and while I notice that its seriousness of purpose is often alleviated by a satirical irony which sometimes borders on the facetious, this is all to the good, for as I have also famously remarked, if you wish to be a dissenter, make certain that you frame your ideas in jest, otherwise they will seek to kill you.  My own method was always to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life magazine) One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways. – Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness (1930) ch. 9

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Christmas gift to Jonathan must concern NIAID’s Tony Fauci

But Tiny Tony has spent years building his AIDS castle

Just in time for Christmas (Dec 23 Thu) Jonathan Fishbein, the whistleblower at the NIH two years ago who after being called in to monitor for bad behavior was then expelled for finding it, was reported by the AP to have received a nice Christmas present – reinstatement – on Dec 12.

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Associated Press

Update 1: NIH Medical Safety Officer Reinstated

By JOHN SOLOMON, 12.23.2005, 02:37 PM

Reversing course, the government’s premier health research agency has reinstated a medical safety expert who was fired after raising allegations of scientific misconduct and sexual harassment in federal AIDS research, his lawyer said Friday.

The National Institutes of Health’s reinstatement of Dr. Jonathan Fishbein settles a two-year battle that prompted both congressional and federal investigations. It also drew attention to an entire class of researchers and safety experts the government initially claimed didn’t deserve whistleblower protections.

Fishbein alleged he was fired for raising safety concerns in government AIDS research. NIH said he was fired for poor performance even though he had been recommended for a cash performance bonus just weeks before he was notified of his termination.

He was one of a few NIH whistleblowers whose plight was highlighted in Associated Press stories over the last year examining allegations of safety problems with federal AIDS research in the United States and Africa, sexual harassment of female NIH workers and the use of foster children to test AIDS drugs.

Fishbein was formally reinstated to a position of special assistant to the deputy director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, but he is unlikely to ever return directly to that office.

Fishbein is to look for a new assignment in government, but has been returned to the federal payroll, according to government officials

Fishbein’s lawyer confirmed the rehiring.

“I can confirm that effective Dec. 12, 2005 that Jonathan Fishbein is reinstated and is now special assistant to the deputy director of NIAID,” attorney Stephen Kohn said.

“The medical community owes a debt to Dr. Fishbein for his integrity and courageous efforts to ensure that humans are protected when they participate in drug trials,” he said.

Numerous members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, urged NIH not to fire Fishbein, saying he had raised important issues about the way patients are protected in government experiments.

Fishbein, an accomplished private sector safety expert, was hired by NIH in 2003 to improve the safety of its AIDS research.

He alleged that he was fired because he raised concerns about several studies and filed a formal complaint against one of the division’s managers alleging sexual harassment of subordinates and a hostile workplace.

An administrative law judge originally ruled that Fishbein and hundreds of other doctors and medical safety experts like him had no whistleblower protections, like normal federal workers, because they were hired outside the civil service system as special employees at a higher salary.

The government subsequently reversed course and argued such workers should have some protections if they blow the whistle. NIH still proceeded to fire Fishbein.

An internal report to NIH chief Elias A. Zerhouni substantiated many of Fishbein’s allegations, calling the agency’s AIDS research division “a troubled organization” whose managers engaged in unnecessary feuding, sexually explicit language and other inappropriate conduct that hampered its global fight against the disease.

The review also concluded NIH’s efforts to fire Fishbein gave the “appearance of reprisal.” The report says no documentation was ever provided to Fishbein suggesting poor performance until after he complained about the safety in one sensitive AIDS study and filed a formal complaint alleging that the division’s deputy director was acting unprofessionally with subordinates.

In addition, NIH’s chief of AIDS research testified in a deposition this summer that the agency originally planned to transfer Fishbein to a different job in transplant and immunology research but decided instead to fire him when Fishbein filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint

Fishbein’s immediate supervisor “actually had a job for Dr. Fishbein lined up with DAIT (Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation) if he hadn’t gone the route he had,” Dr. Edmund Tramont testified.

“What do you mean, hadn’t gone the route he had?,” Fishbein’s lawyer asked.

“When this all began, EEO complaints and all this other stuff, right? But we — you know, that got known. And so the directing potential to move into these other positions didn’t happen,” he said.

In its stories over the last year, AP reported:

_One of NIH’s AIDS study in Africa violated federal safety regulations.

_Senior NIH managers engaged in sexually explicit pranks and sent expletive-laced e-mails to subordinates.

_NIH-funded researchers used foster children to test AIDS drugs since the late 1980s, many times not providing a basic protection afforded by federal law and required by some states. A subsequent federal investigation concluded at least one of the research institutions in those studies failed to comply with federal safety regulations.

Naturally he will not actually be required to return to the same offices where his presumably somewhat bitter official targets operate. But he is back on the payroll and thus effectively vindicated by the support from Congress and other branches of the government that achieved this turnaround.

Presumably the miscreants at NIH that he spotlighted for sexually flavored impolitesse with underlings and for messing with the results of a Ugandan study of nevirapine, effectively reversing its conclusion that this noxious and almost certainly misapplied and ineffective drug was more harmful than helpful to African mothers with HIV, are shaking in their boots for fear of where this might all lead.

After all, rewriting a study to produce upside down conclusions is not exactly the kind of behavior expected of officials who are supposed to be directing the course of government funded AIDS research. The charge, repeated in a account in Nature Medicine, was denied at length in a long letter from Anthony Fauci, Director of NIAID. (See March 2005 Reports on Nevirapine Threaten Public Health (Nature Medicine).

The reinstatement also threatens to draw attention to the one huge issue in HIV?AIDS that has been swept under the carpet for so many years – that the entire scientific foundation of HIV?AIDS is as full of holes as Swiss cheese, as the scientifically impeccable reviewer of the paradigm, Peter Duesberg of Berkeley, has never tired of pointing out in peer reviewed articles over two decades.

Any exposure of skullduggery in the form of rewriting AIDS research at NIAID only draws attention to this festering boil in the body of science which so far has been ignored and masked by the paradigm defenders who have prevented a full public hearing. If a Congressional enquiry opens this can of worms at NIAID, however, it seems that it will be difficult to stop attention from finally being paid to the biggest elephant in the room, which is the idea that two decades of HIV?AIDS contravention have been utterly wasted in chasing the wrong culprit.

A heroic dedication to AIDS

Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID, who was praised as a “hero” by Ronald Reagan for his efforts to defuse AIDS as a political liability, must be brooding about what all this means to his career.

Among those who value free discussion in science Fauci will always be notorious as the man who told reporters that they had better not raise the subject with him or anyone else at NIH of a certain Peter Duesberg and his critique of HIV?AIDS science as nonsense, or they would find their calls would somehow never be returned again.

This outrageous and significant attitude was struck not in a passing remark but in an otherwise silly note that Fauci wrote the for AAAS Observer of September 1 1989 (the newsletter of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, whose journal is Science), a note entitled “Writing for my sister Denise”.

After a series of embarrassing remarks of the order of “I remember the sinking feeling I got when a writer asked me to spell ‘retrovirus'”, and “One striking example is Peter Duesberg’s theory that HIV is not the cause of AIDS. I laughed at that for a while, but it led to a lot of public concern that maybe HIV was a hoax”, tiny Tony ended his ruminations on the state of AIDS (he being the chief of the war on AIDS, as he was to remain up till now and still going strong, despite nothing to show so far in proof of mechanism, preventive, or cure) as follows:

“Journalists who make too many mistakes, or who are too sloppy, are going to find that their access to scientists may diminish.”

This and other shenanigans are detailed on pages 161 and 162 of Harvey Bialy’s inimitable survey of HIV?AIDS scientific skulduggery, “Oncogenes, Aneuploidy and AIDS: The Life and Scientific Times of Peter Duesberg” (North Atlantic Books, 2004), still the only intellectually respectable record of this fantastic field apart from Duesberg’s own “Inventing the AIDS Virus”(Regnery. 1996).

Those curious as to with what authority the short political astronaut Dr. Fauci speaks when endorsing the HIV=AIDS paradigm against the peer reviewed critique of Duesberg, may refer to the CV that the Great Communicator’s hero of science posts at his Director’s Page at the NIAID site.

The staggering list of accomplishments the good Doctor claims to have racked up since graduating as an MD from Cornell in 1966 should give pause to his detractors. Apparently gifted by the gods with a 60 hours day, Fauci is now a member of more prestigous organizations than you can shake a stick at, starting with the National Academy of Sciences, the top club in science.

Dr. Fauci is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine (Council Member), the American Philosophical Society, and the Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters, as well as a number of other professional societies including the American College of Physicians, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Association of Immunologists, and the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. He serves on the editorial boards of many scientific journals; as an editor of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine; and as author, coauthor, or editor of more than 1,000 scientific publications, including several textbooks.

If showing up is 95% of the route to success, Fauci has achieved a performance standard few can match. That manic rate of productivity caps a busy career at the institutional heart of federal science funding.

Joining the NIH two years after he completed his residency at Cornell in 1968, he worked his way up various research and administrative jobs till he became Director of NIAID in 1984, and in that role he has won funding which this year reached $4.4 billion, and developed excellent relations with the White House and HHS on global AIDS issues.

Presumably the bird flu scare will help to cement these relationships and bump his budget up even further, but it is the HIV?AIDS paradigm which has clearly been the main rocket ship which Anthony Fauci has ridden up into the Washington stratosphere, his sine qua non. It is AIDS which has made Dr Fauci, and without it he would endure far smaller fame and fortune.

Perhaps that is why Fauci scotched an early effort by Nature Biotechnology’s science editor Harvey Bialy to arrange a meeting at the White House to sort out the vexed question of who was right about whether HIV was the cause of AIDS (see page 83 in the Bialy history, where Fauci is recorded as having thrown a “small fit” at the idea).

And why he made such a determined effort, in the early days of HIV?AIDS, to hurry to intercept interviews with Duesberg on CNN and the Today show and substitute himself instead, telling producers that Duesberg’s peer reviewed opinions were a danger to the community, and that “there is virtually nothing in his argument that makes scientific sense”, as he put it in his ‘Denise’ piece for AAAS.

If this is true, it implies that the editors of Cancer Research and the Proceedings of the National Academy, the tippy top of the publications that scientists aspire to, and where Duesberg published his first two broadsides into the hull of the HIV?AIDS paradigm, don’t know what they are doing. Hard to believe, but Fauci speaks with authority, according to his bio, having carried out much of the so far unproductive research himself:

Dr. Fauci has made seminal contributions to the understanding of how the AIDS virus destroys the body’s defenses leading to its susceptibility to deadly infections. He also has delineated the mechanisms of induction of HIV expression by endogenous cytokines. Furthermore, he has been instrumental in developing strategies for the therapy and immune reconstitution of patients with this serious disease, as well as for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection. He continues to devote much of his research time to identifying the nature of the immunopathogenic mechanisms of HIV infection and the scope of the body’s immune responses to the AIDS retrovirus.

Again, it is difficult for critics to credit the “seminal contributions to the understanding of how the AIDS virus destroys the body’s defenses leading to its susceptibility to deadly infections” , given that they claim that this is precisely what is lacking even after 21 years of HIV=AIDS – that is, any understanding of how the supposed AIDS virus destroys the body’s defenses or harms anything at all, biologically speaking. However, we have no doubt that if we as mere onlookers write a letter to Dr Fauci, as we intend, his minions will enlighten us.

Meanwhile, the popularity of the HIV=AIDS paradigm has carried Fauci skywards like a man with a moon rocket between his legs. Fauci became the 13th most cited scientist in the world over the years 1983 to 2002, and the ninth most cited scientist in immunology from 1993 to 2003,

In 2003, an Institute for Scientific Information study indicated that in the twenty year period from 1983 to 2002, Dr. Fauci was the 13th most-cited scientist among the 2.5 to 3 million authors in all disciplines throughout the world who published articles in scientific journals during that time frame. Dr. Fauci was the ninth most-cited scientist in the field of immunology in the period from January 1993 to June 30, 2003.

As a result, he has been honored by universities around the world, and has busily lectured in response on the topic, though not, we imagine, mentioning that the entire science of AIDS is still in doubt according to high level reviews tested by extremely tough peer reviewers, often more than the usual number for each paper.

Through the years, Dr. Fauci has served as Visiting Professor at major medical centers throughout the country. He has delivered many major lectureships all over the world and is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his scientific accomplishments, including 30 honorary doctorate degrees from universities in the United States and abroad.

Assuming that the HIV?AIDS paradigm is as fundamentally, fully and fatally flawed as the so far unrefuted (in the same journals) peer-reviewed reviews over twenty years have consistently indicated, it appears then that Fauci’s life is a strategy lesson to all ambitious young MDs who become NIH officials.

When riding to the Capital moon on a possibly empty paradigm rocket fueled by the high octane gasoline of political and public fear, all you have to do to stay aloft is cow the press into docile submission with brazen threats to limit their access to their key NIH sources if they so much as mention the skepticism of a real scientist, let alone investigate the matter.

There is little else you have to do. You will always have the Congress and the White House on your side, if you play your political cards right, None of them or their staff is going to challenge the word of scientists or even MDs, if the opinion appears to be unanimous.

Maintain a smooth front across the field and turn a blind eye to paradigm review, allowing supporters to monopolize funding in the field, and you’re home free. To seal the insulation against review, collect awards from universities around the world and use the platform to cement their understanding of the “scientific consensus” backing your pet pathogen. Make sure that governments everywhere fall into line by pushing billions in health aid for Africa, Asia and South America under the flag of your idea.

Your opponents, meanwhile, will be almost entirely ignored.

Irresistible force needed for immovable paradigm

It is this political and financial imbalance which is the problem, of course, for outsiders such as politicians and anxious members of the public when it comes to trusting Dr. Fauci in his frequent appearances on Charlie Rose and other television platforms. Kept unaware of the challenge, which is rarely covered by the New York Times or any other mainstream media, they will naturally assume that they are hearing the facts from the horse’s mouth.

It is this huge imbalance in resources which make critics of the HIV=AIDS paradigm wonder if it is even possible for anyone at this stage to set the picture straight. On the one hand, you have $4.4 billion at NIAID under the direction of Tony Fauci, who has the ear of the White House and a running dog pack of Washington science journalists tamed by their NIH passes.

On the heretical side you have one or two independent minded academics cut off from public funds by their alienated colleagues worried about their own funding, a couple of authors who have a hard time finding any sizeable publisher, a handful of budget paralysed independent journalists typically a month or two away from the street, and a couple of private investor angels who can only help Duesberg and a few others out and finance a Web site, all to the tune of 0.000001% of the other side’s budget.

For twenty years, the Tony and Bob club of Anthony Fauci and Robert Gallo, the scientific promoter of HIV as the cause of AIDS, has thus successfully headed off, dismissed and ignored a continuous, serious and apparently overwhelming critique of the scientific basis for the government’s attempts to alleviate the illnesses that are now called AIDS.

That scientific basis is the almost universal assumption that the immune deficiency that is involved in AIDS is the cause of and not the result of the diseases and assaults involved (such as designer drugs, or the vast scourge of TB amid a slew of African diseases allied to severe malnutrition and filthy, malaria ridden residential quarters ), and that the immune deficiency is caused by HIV,

The question raised by the behavior of Dr Fauci has always been why, if this HIV=AIDS assumption is valid despite the undefeated critique, is it necessary for him and his allies to undertake unscientific, political, and evasive strategies to avoid examination within science and without?

The answer commonly given to head off opening up this can of worms is that it is “dangerous” for the public to be told that some scientists think it is unnecessary to wear condoms during sex. This despite the fact that the mainstream literature shows that it is virtually impossible for heterosexuals to transfer HIV positivity, as noted here in earlier posts. But of course whether it is dangerous or not is the precise fact being questioned, to see if the virus is dangerous, or if the public is being misinformed.

The truth appears to be that whether or not HIV is or was the cause of AIDS, very soon after the claim was made in 1984 it simply had to be maintained, as more and more people and their institutions, research, articles, tenure, degrees, jobs, funding, reputations, prizes, wives and children and dogs became invested in it through its ballooning federal funding.

And with each passing year, even more people and governments and institutions and journals and organizations and activists and charities and speeches and grants and publications and teachers and families and lives and loves and hopes and dreams and fears become rooted in this now virtually universal belief.

The mestastizing of this scientific superstition is especially aided and abetted by Larry Altman and other medical correspondents at the New York Times, whose reports uniformly include the phrase “HIV, the virus that causes AIDS” and never see fit to mention its logical obliteration in the literature.

So now the HIV=AIDS paradigm is a theoretical, ideological, administrative, bureaucratic and commercial new growth forest that stretches for 24,000 miles around the globe and cannot be set afire without ruining the millions that live by selling its intellectual lumber.

At this stage it seems unlikely that anything short of a political or scientific mega-Katrina will flatten this monster, After all, just take the case of Science and Nature. The editors and publishers of these respected journals would have to swallow a bitter pill indeed if they are forced to acknowledge that pages and pages of their great journals are nothing but scientific toilet paper.

Small wonder that HIV?AIDS has become the most ruthlessly defended paradigm in science. The catastrophic consequences of abandoning its central notion, that an otherwise universally harmless type of virus is responsible, are too great to be undertaken. It would be the scientific and logistical equivalent of swapping the entire population of Russia and the United States.

The one hope the tiny band of theoretical renegades in this field – and their couple of thousand scientifically informed supporters outside it – can have is that there is a ‘tipping point’ to this house of cards – some point where a final push tips the balance of opinion their way just enough for an avalanche to gather momentum in the opposite direction.

In our view this can only be achieved by converting some leader of immense reputation to speak up for a reexamination. This unusual scientist would have to be an elder statesman beyond the reach of career damaging counterattack.

A letter to a young grand old man

In this cause we plan to write an open letter to Jim Watson of eternal DNA fame. Dr Watson is a grand old man of science who nonetheless retains a remarkably youthful enthusiasm in his approach to topics, as he demonstrated the other night when he told Charlie Rose and Edward Wilson of Harvard that he rated Darwin “the greatest human being that ever lived.”

(Both Wilson and Rose looked a little stunned by this assertion, but Watson pointed out that while religious prophets all have interpreted the world in different mystical ways, Darwin was the first man in history to look at the natural living world and see what was really going on.)

It is true that the great scientist’s conversational style is as endearingly characteristic as ever – pithy and forthright responses filtered through mumble and a splutter and a giggle in rapid succession – but as he showed recently in his classic conversation with Rose and Wilson on Darwin, Watson is still entirely a lively mind, alert, forthright and opinionated.

According to “Inventing the AIDS Virus” (p 239) he once listened carefully to Peter Duesberg’s points privately in his office during a 1992 Cold Spring Harbor conference, and promised to do something about the censorship then blocking Duesberg’s article about drugs as the cause of AIDS at the Proceedings of the National Academy, saying “Send me everything.”

Duesberg did so but never heard further, and eventually had to publish elsewhere. Judging from the interest Watson has long had in exploring cancer viruses, it seems possible that Duesberg’s scotching of cancer retroviruses might have weighed in the balance against him.

A year ago during the celebrations in New York for the fifty year anniversary of his discovery with Francis Crick of the structure of DNA, we grabbed a fleeting opportunity to tell Watson we worried that his shining historical legacy would be tainted by his being taken in by the proponents of HIV=AIDS, whose own claims are the ones that “make no scientific sense”, according to Duesberg’s dismissals.

He did his usual pause for real thought, then gave a fast answer: “But the drugs work, don’t they?” There wasn’t time to say much more than “I believe they don’t” at that moment, so we went away and double checked, although we already knew the answer: No, they don’t.

So maybe it is time to write an open letter:

“Dear Dr. Watson,

According to Peter Duesberg’s book, Inventing the AIDS Virus (Regnery, 1996) in a 1992 meeting in your office at Cold Springs you listened to his points against the theory that HIV causes AIDS, took his material to read, and promised to do something about it.

More recently, I mentioned to you at the celebrations of your DNA discovery in New York City last year that I feared your reputation would be harmed with posterity by being taken in by this paradigm, which has been repeatedly and thoroughly rejected in Peter Duesberg’s impeccable and thoroughly vetted reviews.

At the time I expressed this concern you said “But the drugs work, don’t they?” This is the general belief, true, and the main reason why the critique is being ignored by outsiders. But the literature shows that any positive effect of the current AIDS drugs is temporary, side effects are soon terrible and the end result the same as before.

Won’t you take a second look at Duesberg’s summary of the situation in Biosciences in 2003? The gaping holes in this paradigm are so obvious, and there are few people other than yourself who can influence the situation, which is a blot upon science, as well as a waste of lives and money.

But we doubt we will get a reply. And we imagine that Dr Fauci is also not going to lose any sleep over Jonathan Fishbein’s reinstatement.

As a senior scientific dissident said to me a month ago, nothing is going to make any difference unless the editors of one of the handful of influential general interest liberal magazines in the US of the order of the New York Times Magazine, New Yorker, Harpers, Atlantic or Vanity Fair – decide to print a really powerfully written piece on the topic.

The dissident should know whereof he speaks, for it was Harvey Bialy, who wrote a definitive book a little more than a year ago (the “Oncogenes, Aneuploidy, and AIDS” book mentioned above), a completely clear account both of the science and the behavior that has marked this field, which itself if read carefully is quite enough to persuade any openminded investigator that the time for a Congressional Committee to question Dr. Fauci and his scientific friends has come.

But the book while making its way through the scientific community as a sleeper has made no discernible impression so far on the organs of public opinion, and has received very few – though uniformly admiring – reviews, none from the major media.

What is needed is for a respected national mainstream magazine to put a readable 10,000 words by an expert journalist headlined on its cover in front of the public and the politicians who serve the public.

Short of that, to conclude this rather metaphor happy rumination, the gigantic elephant in the room will be quietly eating hay and dropping manure for a long time to come – behind the curtain drawn by Dr. Fauci.

Here is Dr. Fauci’s NIAID autobiography in all its glory:

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Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

NIAID Director

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, a native of Brooklyn, New York, received his M.D. degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1966. He then completed an internship and residency at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. In 1968, Dr. Fauci came to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a clinical associate in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation (LCI) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). In 1974, he became Head of the Clinical Physiology Section, LCI, and in 1980 was appointed Chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation, a position he still holds. In 1984, Dr. Fauci became Director of NIAID, where he oversees an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious and immune-mediated illnesses, including HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, illness from potential agents of bioterrorism, tuberculosis, malaria, autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies. The proposed budget for NIAID for fiscal year 2005 is approximately $4.4 billion. Dr. Fauci serves as one of the key advisors to the White House and Department of Health and Human Services on global AIDS issues, and on initiatives to bolster medical and public health preparedness against possible future bioterrorist attacks.

Dr. Fauci has made many contributions to basic and clinical research on the pathogenesis and treatment of immune-mediated diseases. He has pioneered the field of human immunoregulation by making a number of basic scientific observations that serve as the basis for current understanding of the regulation of the human immune response. In addition, Dr. Fauci is widely recognized for delineating the precise mechanisms whereby immunosuppressive agents modulate the human immune response. He has developed effective therapies for formerly fatal diseases such as polyarteritis nodosa, Wegener’s granulomatosis, and lymphomatoid granulomatosis. A 1985 Stanford University Arthritis Center Survey of the American Rheumatism Association membership ranked the work of Dr. Fauci on the treatment of polyarteritis nodosa and Wegener’s granulomatosis as one of the most important advances in patient management in rheumatology over the previous 20 years.

Dr. Fauci has made seminal contributions to the understanding of how the AIDS virus destroys the body’s defenses leading to its susceptibility to deadly infections. He also has delineated the mechanisms of induction of HIV expression by endogenous cytokines. Furthermore, he has been instrumental in developing strategies for the therapy and immune reconstitution of patients with this serious disease, as well as for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection. He continues to devote much of his research time to identifying the nature of the immunopathogenic mechanisms of HIV infection and the scope of the body’s immune responses to the AIDS retrovirus.

In 2003, an Institute for Scientific Information study indicated that in the twenty year period from 1983 to 2002, Dr. Fauci was the 13th most-cited scientist among the 2.5 to 3 million authors in all disciplines throughout the world who published articles in scientific journals during that time frame. Dr. Fauci was the ninth most-cited scientist in the field of immunology in the period from January 1993 to June 30, 2003.

Through the years, Dr. Fauci has served as Visiting Professor at major medical centers throughout the country. He has delivered many major lectureships all over the world and is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his scientific accomplishments, including 30 honorary doctorate degrees from universities in the United States and abroad.

Dr. Fauci is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine (Council Member), the American Philosophical Society, and the Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters, as well as a number of other professional societies including the American College of Physicians, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Association of Immunologists, and the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. He serves on the editorial boards of many scientific journals; as an editor of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine; and as author, coauthor, or editor of more than 1,000 scientific publications, including several textbooks.

2 Responses to “Christmas gift to Jonathan must concern NIAID’s Tony Fauci”

  1. newaidsreview Says:

    From Anonymous (not new aids review)

    Erwin Chargaff on Crick and Watson, just before their great “discovery”:

    “It was clear to me that I was faced with a novelty: enormous ambition and aggressiveness, coupled with an almost complete ignorance of, and a contempt for, chemistry, that most real of exact sciences — a contempt that was later to have a nefarious influence on the development of “molecular biology”. Thinking of the many sweaty years of making preparations of nucleic acids and of the innumerable hours spent on analyzing them, I could not help being baffled. I am sure that, had I had more contact with, for instance, theoretical physicists, my astonishment would have been less great. In any event, there they were, speculating, pondering, angling for information. So it appeared at least to me, a man of notoriously restricted vision.”

    Heraclitean Fire: Sketches from a Life before Nature, page 102.

  2. Frank Lusardi Says:

    The quote above (or below), from Erwin Chargaff, was posted by me, Frank Lusardi. Not sure why the blog software stamped it as anonymous!

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