Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

One Less Outlet for AIDS Deniers: Thank You Elsevier

New editor for Medical Hypotheses
 Posted by Jef Akst at

Biomedical scientist Mehar Manku will take over as editor-in-chief at Elsevier's embattled, previously non-peer-reviewed journalMedical Hypotheses, the publisher announced today (June 24).

In his new role, Manku, a member of the editorial board since 2004, vows to maintain the journal's unusual aim of distributing novel, radical ideas in medicine and related biomedical sciences while employing a more traditional peer review process than the journal saw under its previous editor,Bruce Charlton,whose contract was terminated after he refused to implement such a system.

"First, we will retain the ethos, heritage and unique characteristics of the journal as they were proposed at inception," Manku said in a statement. "Second, we will engage a medically qualified editorial board to get members more involved in the review system to help ensure radical new ideas and speculations in medicine are given open-minded consideration while ensuring scientific merit."

He may have a long road ahead of him -- last month, editorial board member William Bainsspoke withThe Scientistand said most of the board planned to resign in response to Elsevier's changes to the journal, which found itself in hot water after Charlton chose to publish an article by notorious AIDS denialist Peter Duesburg of the University of California, Berkeley. Duesburg was subsequently the subject of a university investigation launched last November to determine whether he had violated the university's code of conduct by submitting the article toMedical Hypotheses, but was cleared of the charges earlier this week.

Manku is executive editor and editor-in-chief of a leading journal in the lipid field,Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, and part-time chief scientist at Amarin Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company focused on cardiovascular disease.


Elsevier Announces New Medical Hypotheses Editor-in-Chief

OXFORD, EnglandJune 24, 2010  
- Dr. Mehar Manku Assumes Leadership of Unique Journal, Vowing to Embrace the Journal's Original Ethos While Implementing a Different Approach to the Peer Review Process
Elsevier ( announced today that Dr. Mehar Manku has accepted the position of Editor-in-Chief of the journal Medical Hypotheses. In this role Dr. Manku will lead a popular, unique journal that constitutes a bridge between cutting-edge theory and the mainstream of medical and scientific communication. Dr. Manku provided invaluable editorial help to Dr. David Horrobin, the journal's founder and first Editor-in-Chief, during a period of illness, before becoming a member of the Editorial Board in 2004.
Dr. Manku stated upon his appointment, "Elsevier and I make two commitments to ensure the long term success of this journal. First, we will retain the ethos, heritage and unique characteristics of the journal as they were proposed at inception. Second, we will engage a medically qualified editorial board to get members more involved in the review system to help ensure radical new ideas and speculations in medicine are given open-minded consideration while ensuring scientific merit."
Medical Hypotheses is a forum for ideas in medicine and related biomedical sciences. It will publish interesting and important theoretical papers that foster the diversity and debate upon which the scientific process thrives. In the words of Dr. David Horrobin in Volume 1, Issue 1, "Medical Hypotheses will publish papers which describe theories, ideas which have a great deal of observational support and some hypotheses where experimental support is yet fragmentary".[1]
Dr. Manku is responsible for implementing a new form of peer review that is unique to Medical Hypotheses submissions. Medical Hypotheses aims to give open-minded consideration to novel, radical new ideas and speculations in medicine which would probably be rejected by most conventional journals. Submitted manuscripts will be reviewed by the Editor and external reviewers to ensure their scientific merit. All reviewers will be fully aware of the Aims and Scope of the journal and will be judging the premise, originality and plausibility of the hypotheses submitted.
Dr. Manku has been in biomedical sciences for 35 years, developing medicines based on fatty acids and lipids. He also spent the last 26 years as Executive Editor and Editor-in-Chief (since 2003) of one of the leading peer-reviewed journals in the lipid field: "Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids." Dr. Manku is a part time Chief Scientist at Amarin Corporation, a member of the American Oil Chemists Society and The International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (
The journal also plans to implement an online comment section encouraging active participation and debate on the journal's contents.


  1. By the way, Dr. Manku, if you need a behavioral scientist to review, I am happy to help!

  2. screen the authors for mental disease before they publish? I don't see what else you could possibly do...

  3. It is not the person.
    It is the ideas and the quality of work.
    The best we can do is peer review.
    Peer review is not perfect. Look, the Wakefield autism crap was peer reviewed and published in Lancet. But until someone comes up with something better, peer review is the best we have. I can assure you that Editorial Dictatorship ala Charlton is not better and Duesberg's idea of having non-expert citizens review is not either.

  4. how do YOU judge the ideas and the quality of work in aids research?

  5. "Editorial Dictatorship", isn't that what you practice at Aids and Behaviour? After all it was you on this very blog that stated you did not have to be objective as an editor.

    And as far as offering yourself up as a peer reviewer, don't you think you could be classed as just a little biased?

    So the end result will be another journal run by Elsevier which derives a substantial portion of its income from pharmaceutical companies, now to be edited by someone who works part time for a biopharmaceutical company and a probable horde of biased reviewers of your own calibre clambering to jump on board.

    It's all above board folks, nothing to worry about here.

    Interestingly there's no come back for the previous editor who got the boot for publishing Duesberg (owing to your complaint amongst other orchestrated ones) and now Duesberg walks away from the misconduct investigation as an innocent man, about that same article.

    It's all above board folks, nothing to worry about here.

    You Sir, are beyond a disgrace to your profession, academia and humanity. Sadly though you are indicative of the whole HIV/AIDS machination.

  6. Anonymous
    I am sure that you have never written anything that has required peer review. You can write on my blog because it provides entertainment value. But lets see you try do contribute something serious to the world. Something implications. Under those conditions, it is not anything goes.
    The thing about being an editor of a peer-reviewed journal is that I am, in fact, accountable for what is in AIDS and Behavior. I decide which 75% of the 500 papers submitted this year are rejected. The 25% I will accept will also have been peer reviewed (except editorials). I try to get at least 2 reviewers. Why? Because I know, anyone would know, that reviewers bring biases to the process. It is my job to weigh the reviews, my own read, and make a decision. That is how it works. I know that I reject some good papers. I would not be surprised if something below standard slips in. All of this is irrelevant to the Old Medical Hypotheses.

    Maybe Henry Bauer can put in a good word for Charlton at The Journal of Scientific Exploration. Things might work out better for him when the papers are science fiction.

  7. Seth you are being logical and rational. Those are two qualities these people lack. They do not understand integrity. Forget the fact that they support Duesberg and Bauer; two people who have intentionally misrepresented the research of others. Look instead to obvious frauds such as Clark Baker, or hysterically libelous and slanderous Celia Farber. Both are held in highest esteem by the AIDS "Dissidents". When those are the people being looked up to, there is really no explaining how peer review works. They don't get it. They don't want to acknowledge it. It's just that simple...and pathologic!

  8. My last sentence stands, Putz.

  9. JTD
    You are of course correct.
    Crazy is as Crazy does.

  10. Gee, anonymous. It's great for you to stand by "your last sentence". However, since there are several other "anonymous" (would that be anonymi?) it is hard to know which sentence that is, you chicken sh*T, putz! Grow some cojones, and stand by your identity rather than some stupid sentiment contained in some undetectable sentence! That would show some integrity! You might be surprised to see how good it feels when people actually respect you instead of pitty you and laugh at you.

  11. Toad, when you allude to pity and ridicule you are simply projecting your own insecurities.

    I don't understand why you feel the need to defend child molestors.

  12. Child molester? Really?

    Libel and slander that easily? You must be Celia Farber.

  13. Libel and Slander Toad? Something is only slanderous if it is not true. The fact is I don't think for a second that Seth is a kiddy fiddler, Pharma Slut though definately.

    My point was on spurious allegations as posted at your trash site. And that Seth has been orchestrating a smear campaign against Duesberg and others.

    Stand by my identity, why so you can write to my employer with a spurious allegation as you people are so prone to.


    Dusesberg 1 ------- Kalichman 0

  14. JTD
    I received an email last night. Someone asked me why I bother to post comments by crazies like this Anonymous.

    There are a few reasons.
    One is entertainment.

    Another, I try not to censor any comments on my Blog - so that when the Deniers say my Blog is Highly Censored it confirms their paranoia.

    Another is to provide a place to interact with their psychopathology.

    Take the latest Anonymous comeback, for example.

    A smear campaign against Peter Duesberg?
    Paranoia has obviously reached new heights.

    And if I am such a Pharma Slut, maybe Anonymous can show where you can find my millions of dollars from Big Pharma? Truth is I never have received money from Big Pharma. So it must be that I am part of the bigger Government Conspiracy.

    Did someone say Paranoid?

    I am not sure who Anonymous is...but I am yet to meet an AIDS Denier who is employed (Tenured Professors excluded - a different problem)

    Crowe - Free Lance Journalist

    Farber - Freelance Journalist (I suppose you can call it that)

    Rasnick - Not sure what he is doing in the Bahamas

    Bialy - I think he died

    Liam Scift - Freelance Journalist

    Culshaw - Could not make tenure - stay at home Mom - probably becoming a Freelance Journalist

    Baker - 'Private' Dick

    Several others are on AIDS Disability - - even though there is not such thing as HIV infection

    I think you get the point.
    And why so many Freelance Journalists?
    Maybe because anyone can be a Freelance Journalist?
    I mean, Joe Newton was a Freelance Journalist.

    Oh and by the way,

    Duesberg 0 ------ Joe Newton 10

  15. Don't forget:

    Karri Stokely: Defrauds S.S. Disability System

    Jonathan Barnett: Defrauds S.S.Disability System


  16. I know Rasnick is not doing in the Bahamas... paying US taxes.

  17. How do they defraud disability? my understanding is that stokely and barnett might deny that HIV causes Aids but that does not bar them from claiming disability. They are HIV positive, denialism here or there, no?

    "A smear campaign against Peter Duesberg?"

    calling him an asshole over and over is, technically speaking, a smear campaign.

  18. I will let JTD respond for himself...but if someone claims that HIV is harmless and that HIV tests are invalid and then goes on to pick up a government check for being HIV positive...well that sounds like hypocrisy to me. I do not think it is fraud in a legal sense. In fact, I think it may be justification for a psychiatric disability as well. And I kid you not... Maladaptive Denial is making its way into the psychiatric nomenclature.

    Also, I am not sure I would say calling someone an asshole over and over is a smear campaign.

    I am certainly willing to accept responsibility for my actions in trying to expose Duesberg as uncontrolled narcissistic maniac who exploits his academic position for self-stimulation at the peril of public health.

    That, I am definitely doing.

    But pointing out he is an asshole? I think he does a good enough job with that one himself.

  19. Here's a suggestion, rename your blog, an appropriate title would be "Blah Blah Blah".


  20. Hypocrisy certainly but fraud? no. JTD hysterical? yes.

  21. Hipocrite, nice one centurion. On looking deeper in to the root of the word hipocrite you can also see that it was used in the Greek vernacular in Hypokrisis or one who was skilled in the use of Rhetoric (perjorative sense) as practised by the Sophists.

    I'd never accuse Seth of being a narcissist though, as Narcissus was a young good looking Greek. Seth with his silly hat on looks more like a parody of my Greek Fruiterer at the corner store.

    JTD? Camp Follower (pun intended).

  22. I am constantly amazed at how these despicable, self~loathing, horrible excuses for non~human beings can support each other no matter how dispicalbe or disguisting their actions. In the two links below, these AIDS Denislaists, you know them, they claim HIV does not exist, OR if it does exist, it is completely HARMLESS! However, it does not stop them from using a fake diagnosis to get money from the government WHEN THEY ADMIT THEY ARE HEALTHY AS HORSES!!

    Even if they were sick, and could not work, I still do not think they should take money from a gov't entity designed specifically to help people with AIDS when they vehemently deny that HIV exists AND deny vehemently that HIV is harmful.

    Karri Stokely happilly admits that she is healthy as a horse but refuses to work and will go on accepting disability monies based on a diagnosis that she not only does not believe in, but she also aggressively teaches others does not exist and is not harmfull. The same goes for Jonathan Barnett and the others at the two links below.

    I have to disagree with Seth on this. It is shameful and it is criminial. It is FRAUD and they deserve to go to work, the lazy liars!