Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Lawyers. Guns. Money. Endowed Chair.

Remember the U engineering professor who went on a gun-buying binge last year after being charged with aggravated forgery? You know, the Director of the Technological Leadership Institute? 14 pistols in three weeks? The guy who said the reason for all the gun-buying was "birthday gifts"?

He's been convicted of forgery and theft by swindle. From the Star Tribune:

Jurors deliberated for a few hours before convicting a University of Minnesota professor of falsifying the value of his retirement nest egg in an attempt to cheat his former wife out of her share.

Massoud Amin, 57, was convicted Friday of one count of attempted theft by swindle over $35,000 and two counts of aggravated forgery.

The jurors found several of what the law calls "aggravating factors" in the case that opens the way for prosecutors to seek a sentence harsher than what state guidelines recommend, including multiple incidents of theft by swindle over a long period of time and potential losses of more than $100,000. 

But he's still listed on the U's web page as Director of the Technological Leadership Institute, as well as the holder of the Honeywell/Harold W. Sweatt Chair in Technological Leadership. 

The U says it will be "reviewing the matter."

"A Minneapolis City Council committee on Tuesday approved paying $195,000 to former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates to investigate a pattern of Minneapolis police officers urging paramedics to sedate people with ketamine during emergency calls."

The latest ketamine news in the Strib.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Peter Gøtzsche expelled from membership in the Cochrane Collaboration

From Stat: 

One of the medical world’s most respected expert bodies is in turmoil as its annual meeting gets underway in Edinburgh, Scotland, after its governing board voted to expel a member.

The Cochrane Collaboration, which reviews the scientific literature in areas of clinical research and produces widely cited analyses that help guide clinical practice, kicked out a member who has been an outspoken critic of certain vaccines and has blasted the profession of psychiatry for pushing unsafe drugs on unsuspecting patients.

The expulsion of Peter Gøtzsche sparked accusations that the Collaboration is too friendly toward the drug industry. Four other members of the organization’s governing board resigned in response, citing concerns that the action “goes against Cochrane ethos.”

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Barney Carroll: the conscience of psychiatry

From the BMJ, an obituary of Barney Carroll, a valued supporter in the Dan Markingson case:

A pioneer in biological psychiatry, more recently Bernard Carroll (‘‘Barney’’) became a withering critic of its compromised ethics and corruption by industry. Shortly before his death, he helped prepare this obituary—his last chance to help correct the perverse incentives that too often influence the conduct and reporting of scientific research.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

"I think it is a moral requirement to make money when you can -- to sell the product at the highest price."

Especially when the product is medicine. And you're selling it to, you know, sick people.

Remembering the Excitable Boy

On the fifteenth anniversary of Warren Zevon's death, Stephen Hyden has written a remembrance for The Ringer:

Warren Zevon wasn’t Dr. Jekyll trying to ward off his nefarious Mr. Hyde. That’s a fairy tale we tell ourselves to believe that that “bad” can be quarantined and kept at the polar opposite extreme from “good.” What listening to Warren Zevon songs tells you is that good and bad coexist and remain present in us at all times, amid idealistic gestures that crash into daily disappointments. Then you wake up the next day hoping for another chance.