Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

The Sin of Omission Was Boston's, Not Ours

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

The Sin of Omission Was Boston's, Not Ours

Article excerpt

Your readers will emerge much better informed about the Boston College-Belfast Project case having read Peter Geoghegan's informed piece rather than John Brewer's speculative letter on the subject (respectively, "If trust is lost, future promises naught but troubles for research", 19 January, and "Inescapable burden of 'guilty knowledge'", 26 January). Geoghegan at least spent considerable time researching before he wrote.

In his letter, Brewer claims that "this is not a tale of researchers betrayed by Boston College", before going on to allege that the research team (of which I was a member) was largely responsible for its own misfortune. Clearly, sense gives way to servility. Don't offend the institution, old chap - what say you?

While admitting that the Belfast Project was laudable to begin with, Brewer switches lanes to charge that it was compromised by project leader Ed Moloney's publication of the book Voices from the Grave (2010). If it were so obvious, as Brewer claims, that the police would come looking for the tapes upon publication of the book, why didn't Boston College with its phalanx of lawyers state this at the time rather than press for publication while securing royalty contracts for two of its senior staff? …

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