Dr David Tuller: Did the Dog Eat Professor Crawley’s Seven Missing Corrections?

Countrygirl

Senior Member
Messages
5,166
Likes
26,901
Location
UK
https://www.virology.ws/2022/10/16/...TAa_77l8tRV3Pka0ArwXDh_up1MXif3yKC5-5c4w1X2g4

Trial By Error: Did the Dog Eat Professor Crawley’s Seven Missing Corrections?
16 October 2022 by David Tuller 1 Comment

By David Tuller, DrPH
*October is crowdfunding month at UC Berkeley. If you like my work, consider making a tax-deductible donation to Berkeley’s School of Public Health to support the Trial By Error: project: https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/project/33528

On October 5th, I got an e-mail from the Health Research Authority in relation to the concerns I had raised with the agency, which is part of the National Health Service involved with research ethics. The concerns involved the problematic practices of Professor Esther Crawley, Bristol’s ethically and methodologically challenged pediatrician and grant magnet. Three years ago, a joint investigation from Bristol and the HRA requested that she correct the ethics statements in eleven papers. So far, only four of them have been corrected.
The rest remain uncorrected–for as-yet-unexplained reasons. I contacted both the HRA and Bristol about this matter. The HRA promised to look into it. Bristol’s legal department declined to respond to my questions. That’s not surprising. A few years ago, the legal department engaged in thuggish behavior by complaining to Berkeley’s chancellor because of my (wholly accurate) criticisms of Professor Crawley’s egregious flawed work–some of which, in my professional public health opinion, easily qualifies as serious research misconduct.
So where do things stand now?
 

Countrygirl

Senior Member
Messages
5,166
Likes
26,901
Location
UK
Update from David. (Hilarious!)

I heard yesterday from the Health Research Authority that it had finally received a response from the University of Bristol about why seven papers from its methodologically and ethically challenged grant magnet, Professor Esther Crawley, were not corrected, as requested by a joint Bristol-HRA report:
"We can confirm that we have now received a response from the University which we are currently considering. We will contact you to provide you with a more detailed update within the next week."
I sent this response, and cc'd my unfriendly contact at Bristol's legal department:

Dear XXXX--

It is excellent that Bristol has finally delivered some sort of explanation for why Professor Crawley did not correct seven of her papers, as was requested by the authoritative joint Bristol-HRA report. I am certainly curious to learn what there could possibly be in the university's response to warrant more than a second's consideration.

Let's be clear: The only appropriate response from Bristol in this case is to apologize profusely for this serious lapse and to ensure that the requested corrections are made as soon as possible. I would also advise the university as well as the HRA to track Professor Crawley's work far more closely, since it is so clearly fraught with a range of methodological and ethical issues. (Given her untrue statement to me--in front of a roomful of people, no less--that Bristol had sent me a "cease-and-desist" letter, it appears that Professor Crawley is at times factually challenged as well. In support of that claim, I also note the 3,000-word correction to her Lightning Process paper, which made it clear the description of the methodology of the purportedly prospective study was rife with falsehoods.)

It has been four years since I brought these matters to the HRA. It should not take this sort of effort and persistence and obnoxious letter-writing on my part to get Professor Crawley to do what she was asked to do--and to ensure that Bristol behaves like a Russell Group university and not like a protection racket for its faculty.

But as I've noted before, Bristol's behavior is not surprising, given the university's disturbing efforts to have my own institution silence me. The office of Berkeley's chancellor was rather mystified by the Bristol vice chancellor's repeated complaints about my "behaviour." As I informed Bristol at the time, we were in an academic dispute, not an episode of The Sopranos, and there was no justification for the university's thuggish efforts to impact my employment.

Bristol's shenanigans in this matter have certainly harmed its reputation among my academic colleagues at Berkeley and elsewhere. Further delays in making these corrections and any efforts to justify rather than apologize for Professor Crawley's actions--or, in this case, non-actions--will certainly compound this reputational damage.
In any event, I look forward to a speedy resolution of this matter so I can focus on other issues besides Professor Crawley's violations of research practices.
Best--David
David Tuller, DrPH
Senior Fellow in Public Health and Journalism
Center for Global Public Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley