If the case against second hand smoke has been so distorted, why haven't decent scientists challenged it?

What has happened to scientific integrity - surely the hallmark of the scientific process?

It seems they are put under career limiting pressure by the financial and political muscle of the anti-smoking industry.
(Those not familiar with how a scientific career is pursued should understand that scientists need to publish research papers to build up their reputation and progress their careers. For this they compete for money to fund their research.)

This anti-smoking crusade has such wide financial and scientific influence that any scientist criticising their approach is likely to be in career limiting difficulty, their credibility as a scientist publicly questioned, and in some cases removal from post attempted, no matter how senior the position they occupy. The lobby's financial muscle would likely be applied to limit future funding for the offending scientist.

Hence, most scientists, but not all, keep their heads down regardless of how they feel. This is short-sighted, since eventually the scientific community will pay dearly for not speaking out.

Read what one scientist has to say about the effects of pressure on research work.

When the public finally appreciates the scale of the exaggeration and the consequential impact on their lives and economy, they will demand a change to current systems of scientific publication - in fact there are already rumblings about problems with the current peer review process.

Yet, despite the disturbing level of deception and manipulation already exercised during this anti-smoking crusade, the supporters move themselves into deeper and deeper water. Some scientific journals are refusing publication of any scientific research undertaken using money from the tobacco industry, despite involving a peer review process designed to filter out bad science, and are actively using their positions to promote the anti-smoking crusade's objectives - yet another incidence of contempt for the true scientific process.

Where will it all end........?

Someone should keep a record of all such scientific improprieties with which to indict the offenders when the time comes for settlement!

Also, decent scientists should raise their heads collectively and say "enough is enough", before their profession's reputation is completely destroyed.

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** Page last updated August 2012 **