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UBC Journal Retraction Raises Controversial Question: Can an Activist Be a Scientist?

By November 6, 2017No Comments

In an interview with the University of British Columbia student newspaper nearly 20 years ago, research scientist Chris Shaw said the last thing an academic wanted was to be “associated with something iffy.”

Reminded of that quote recently, Shaw said: “I guess I should’ve taken my advice.”

Shaw is a professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences whose research revolves around the causes of neurological diseases. He recently came under scrutiny after members of the scientific community raised concerns about a journal article he co-authored suggesting a link between aluminum components in vaccines and autism in mice.

Shaw later acknowledged the article contained “compromised data” and altered images, prompting the article’s retraction. He said he is still trying to get to the bottom of how it happened. “No one wants answers to how this came about more than I do,” he said.