The chief villians remain our academic institutions and medical leadership. They have colluded with and have acted as apologists for commercial scientific fraud. They have tolerated the telling of lies by senior academics. They have encouraged the prostitution of medicine. They have allowed abuse of the most fundamental safeguards of science. Most importantly, they have set terrible examples for our students.
Last week I posted a copy of my letter to the new Dean of Medicine at Brown University, Professor Ed Wing. The letter was about scientific integrity at Brown, the problem of Professor Martin Keller, and the silence over Brown's treatment of Professor David Kern.
I have not had a response.
A source now informs me that Brown has conducted a formal "investigation" into the activities of Professor Martin Keller. The prior probability that such an investigation would be anything other than a sham is pretty low (P<0.001), but the report is nevertheless "confidential". The trail of oddities involving Keller extends into the distant past. Now the US Senate Finance Committee is probing Keller's financial kickbacks.
It is hard to say this nicely. Based on the publicly available evidence, Professor Martin Keller is guilty of gross and obvious scientific deception and abuse of the scientific process. He has betrayed the trust of our patients. More about Keller here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here
Brown University have continued to provide Keller with a shield of University respectibility. Since he remains in post, we can only guess the level of scientific deception that Brown administration deem to be acceptable.
Should you remain silent Professor Wing?
This is the guidance Brown University provides to it's students:
Principles of the Brown University Community
We, as members of the Brown University community – faculty, undergraduates, graduate and medical students, and staff – are dedicated to supporting and maintaining a scholarly community in which all share together in the common enterprise of learning. As a central aim, Brown University promotes intellectual inquiry through vigorous discourse, both oral and written. The fundamental principles that must necessarily undergird this aim include respect for the integrity of the academic process; individual integrity and self-respect; respect for the freedoms and privileges of others; and respect for University resources. In becoming a part of Brown University, we accept the rights and responsibilities of membership in the University’s academic and social community, and assume the responsibility to uphold the University’s principles.
Respect for the Integrity of the Academic ProcessThe rights and responsibilities that accompany academic freedom are at the heart of the intellectual purposes of the University. Our conduct as community members should protect and promote the University’s pursuit of its academic mission. We are all, therefore, expected to conduct ourselves with integrity in our learning, teaching, and research, and in the ways in which we support those endeavors.
Individual IntegrityIn order to ensure that the University can dedicate itself fully to its academic and educational vision, it is expected that an individual’s personal integrity will be reflected not only in honest and responsible actions but also in a willingness to offer direction to others whose actions may be harmful to themselves or the community. The University expects that members of the Brown community will be truthful and forthright. The University also expects that community members will not engage in behavior that endangers their own sustained effectiveness or that has serious ramifications for their own or others’ safety, welfare, academic well-being, or professional obligations.