Lost Paradises and the Ethics of Research and Publication

By Francisco M. Salzano; A. Magdalena Hurtado | Go to book overview
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3
JAMES V. NEEL AND JAPAN
Francisco M. Salzano

Any study that considers the charges made by Tierney (2000) against James V. Neel would not be complete without at least a brief presentation of Neel's studies in Japan. This is the reason for this chapter, although one of the contributors to this book (Lindee 1994) has already provided a detailed evaluation of these investigations some years ago.

Tierney's (2000) charges are particularly infamous because they relate Neel, on page 310 of his book, to no fewer than seven unethical experiments. Actually he confounds the agency with which Neel was connected for his Japanese studies, the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC), with the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC); and although the AEC provided support to the ABCC, it did not have any authority over the ABCC or its research programs. Nor did the ABCC ever participate, as the book suggests, in human experiments related or not related to radiation. This and other accusations were clearly rebutted by Bruce Alberts, president of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences (http://www4.nationalacademies. org/nas/nashome.nsf/b57ef1bf2404952b852566dd00671bfd/57065f16ff 258371852569920052d283?OpenDocument, accessed November 17, 2000); the academy was involved in the operation of ABCC since its beginning. In what follows I will present and document in part the studies performed by Neel and colleagues in Japan, also giving hints about the impact of their studies on genetic studies in that country. These investigations were

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