by Greg Miller on April 16, 2010, Science Insider
UPDATE: Huffington Post / Daily Californian pick up the story:UC Berkeley Professor Under Investigation For Controversial AIDS Article;
Statement by Nathan Geffen on Complaint Against Peter Duesberg
University of California, Berkeley, professor of molecular and cell biology Peter Duesberg tells ScienceInsider that he is the subject of a misconduct investigation launched by the university. Duesberg has been a controversial figure for decades because of his vocal skepticism that HIV is the cause of AIDS. But he says this is the first time he has ever been investigated for misconduct, and ScienceInsider has learned that an AIDS activist may have helped initiate the investigation.
The charges apparently stem from a paper Duesberg and four colleagues published last summer in Medical Hypotheses that challenged the assertion that HIV has caused massive loss of life due to AIDS, and more specifically, disputed a 2008 study arguing that hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost in South Africa because of delays in distributing antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). Under pressure from AIDS researchers, Elsevier, the journal's publisher, withdrew the paper and told its editor to either implement a peer-review process or hand in his resignation.
The university would neither confirm nor deny that Duesberg is under investigation, but he forwarded a letter to ScienceInsider, signed by university Vice Provost Sheldon Zedeck and dated 18 November 2009, that says the university has appointed a faculty member to investigate allegations it received. According to this letter:
Duesberg says he heard nothing more until last week, when he received an e-mail from the university's investigator, epidemiologist Art Reingold, requesting a meeting to discuss the allegations. Duesberg says he declined to meet until he receives more information about the charges against him. According to the university's faculty code of conduct, disciplinary actions can range from a written reprimand to salary reduction to dismissal.The specific allegations are that an article you submitted to Medical Hypotheses was investigated and then withdrawn by the publisher based on issues of credibility and false claims. The allegations also state that you failed to declare a relevant conflict of interest with regard to the commercial interests of your co-authors.