Kathleen Ruff, RightOnCanada.ca
A brief article in Le Monde of January 31 announces that Dr. Paolo Boffetta has withdrawn his candidacy to become Director of France’s top epidemiology centre, the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Public Health (CESP).
The National Institute for Health & Medical Research (INSERM) and the University of Paris-Sud, who are responsible for appointing the CESP Director, required Boffetta to withdraw his candidature.
The appointment process was very far advanced. Boffetta was the only candidate being considered and the appointment was expected to be shortly confirmed.
Boffetta’s pending appointment was challenged by a number of scientists and health defenders and by the National Association of Asbestos Victims (ANDEVA), who raised concerns regarding his close relationship with polluting industries, as well as examples of improper scientific and ethical conduct.
An article in RightOnCanada, documented questionable work that Boffetta had done and stated:
“This conduct by Boffetta demonstrates a lack of scientific and ethical integrity. The question is whether France’s top institute of epidemiology and health considers scientific and ethical integrity to be essential qualifications for any scientist who works for the institute and, in particular, for the scientist who will take the top leadership role of the institute.”
Happily, it appears that the answer to this question is “Yes”.
Contamination of the scientific literature by industry-funded scientists, who manufacture doubt and deny harm of products that have been demonstrated to be harmful by independent, reputable scientists, is a weapon used by powerful toxic industries to prevent action to protect workers and populations from harm caused by their products. Many die as a consequence.
Scientists, health defenders and asbestos victims around the world, for whom defending the integrity of science is critical, will applaud this decision by the French scientific authorities.