Saturday, August 21, 2010

San Diego Union-Tribune speaks out on Enstrom/UCLA matter

The Environmental Health Sciences Department at UCLA voted to fire James Enstrom, who had been saying some things about Hier Tran, diesel soot, and CARB. The San Diego Union-Tribune in an editorial on August 21, 2010 noted:

Tran’s deception was uncovered by UCLA epidemiologist James Enstrom, who looked into Tran’s background because he felt Tran’s diesel study was shoddy and incomplete.

Twenty months later, Nichols has never been held to account. Tran was demoted but not fired by the air board. Enstrom, meanwhile, is on the brink of being fired by UCLA after a secret vote of the faculty in the Environmental Health Sciences Department. The official reason: Enstrom’s “research is not aligned with the academic mission of the department.”

So much for academic freedom. Enstrom’s colleagues appear to be punishing Enstrom for embarrassing Nichols, the former director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment, and for questioning conventional wisdom on some environmental issues. Yet Enstrom’s diesel emissions research, which undercuts air board claims that such emissions have a big death toll in California, has not been refuted. His dismissal letter doesn’t criticize his work. His admirers include Robert Phalen, who co-directs the Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory at UC Irvine. Meanwhile, the air board admitted in April that it had grossly exaggerated diesel emissions from off-road construction equipment.

Note previous IPBiz post
Chris Reed criticizes Sacramento Bee over Hier Tran story
, including the text:

Paragraph 6 explicitly mentions a document by Dr. James Enstrom, and others, that was placed in the regulation record on December 3, 2008, indicating a problem with Tran's degree. Paragraph 7 indicates Enstrom raised the issue with Board Member John Balmes on December 5, 2008.


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