Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Let's hit them where it hurts: Operation Gopher the Wallet

First, thanks to all of you who have called Governor Dayton or the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents. We are very grateful for your help in demanding action to protect research subjects at the university. Today, we are rolling out the second phase of our campaign, and we need to ask for your help again.

If we are going to get action, we need to hit the university where it hurts: the wallet. Over the past week, some of us have begun writing to major donors. We are asking them to consider ending their donations to the university unless the administration takes action to protect psychiatric research subjects.  We hope you will consider doing the same.

At this link, you will find a list of major donors, along with addresses, phone numbers, and in some cases, email addresses.  We would like for you to write, call or email them. Of course, you are entirely free to compose your own letter or email. But if you need help, we have prepared a template for a letter or email that you can find at this link.  

You might also want to send copies of articles about the Dan Markingson scandal and other issues. Among the articles you might consider are:

For the sake of efficiency, we would like to keep track of which donors have been contacted. So when you call or write to a donor, please leave a comment at www.danmarkingson.com or send an email to me at my university email address. 

Again, thank you very much.  It has been a hard battle, and we could not have fought it for so long without your help.

Should the U honor politicians who authorize torture? Nearly 200 professors say no

Read the statement on the upcoming Condoleeza Rice visit  here.  And the MinnPost coverage here.

"This was not research misconduct lite – this was the real deal and what has been happening is, by any measure, a cover-up extraordinaire."

Psychiatrist Mickey Nardo writes:

"A research program that condones or allows that kind of recruitment and inclusion deserves thorough investigation, and perhaps shutting down. The University wants to limit the investigation they have been forced into to remain limited to the program now – not what happened then. That allows Dr. Olson to continue to aver that they did "nothing wrong" and Dr. Schultz to make tapes like the one above selling that academic programs [his academic program] as the right places to do clinical trials. That should be true, but in this case, it wasn’t. This was not research misconduct lite – this was the real deal and what has been happening is, by any measure, a cover-up extraordinaire."

If you have not been following Nardo's blog posts on the Markingson scandal, it is time to start.  Today's post gets right to the heart of the issue.

And don't forget to scroll down to the comments by Bernard Carroll, former chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University, who writes: "We might even go further and say that Dan Markingson was viewed as a commodity and a means to obtain funding. Meeting the protocol conditions took precedence over sensible clinical decisions… it’s not as though there were no warning signs leading up to his death."

Deeper and deeper they dig

"With the $16 billion college sports industry under siege from lawsuits and player-unionization efforts, one academic scandal—at the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina—has come to represent key aspects of the debate about Division 1 football and basketball players. In response, UNC’s top leadership continues to try to deflect attention from widespread classroom misconduct by attacking the low-ranking staff tutor who helped reveal the scandal."

Go Heels.