10 February 2014

Scientist's findings trigger a clandestine campaign by chemical maker to discredit him and alienate him from his peers.

Scientist's findings trigger a clandestine campaign by chemical maker to discredit him and alienate him from his peers.

As Kathleen Geier put it for the Washington Monthly, “This story reads like your most paranoid, far-out conspiratorial left-wing nightmare come true.”

Rachel Aviv has a reported piece in The New Yorker that reads like pulp fiction. She tells the tale of a scientist who discovered that a popular herbicide may have harmful effects on the endocrine system. As he continued to investigate the matter, he came to believe that the chemical’s manufacturer was out to get him. He thought they were following him to conferences, tapping his phones and systematically trying to drive a wedge between him and the scientific community. Many of his colleagues believed that he was paranoid until a lawsuit yielded a slew of internal corporate documents showing that everything he imagined the company had been doing to discredit his work had in fact been true.

Read the full story at The New Yorker.

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