Monday, May 20, 2013

Defense fails test on research controversy

A letter from Paul Scott in today's Strib:

Defense fails test on research controversy

In an attempt to shift focus away from a growing international scandal and toward its most outspoken critic, University of Minnesota Medical School dean Dr. Aaron Friedman falls beneath the dignity of an academic center dedicated to open and free inquiry (“U research case has been given a close look,” May 17). Was it really necessary to mention Dr. Carl Elliot by name eight times in nine paragraphs? Was it not possible for Dr. Friedman to address any of the many troubling facts of the case of a research subject who died while enrolled in a University of Minnesota study? Is the university’s standard defense that the case has been investigated — a defense that falls apart once one looks into the superficial nature of those reviews — the best his office can provide?

Given its sinking reputation in the eyes of the scores of prominent academics who have signed a petition urging Gov. Mark Dayton to order an independent investigation of the matter, the U deserves a better defense than the same dark recitation of the claim that “there’s nothing to see here, people. Move along.”

PAUL SCOTT, Rochester

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