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A champion of scientific integrity

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Drummond Rennie, MD, fighting to defend unbiased scientific information
Image: James C. Harris, MD

As a doctor I depend on medical journals to update me on the best new treatments and drugs. I need the facts - and so do you if you are a patient. Among my regular readings is JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association so I was happy to learn that JAMA's blunt-spoken Deputy Editor had been honoured as a champion of intregity.

Veteran JAMA editor Drummond Rennie, MD, has received the Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of his advocacy for the free exchange of unbiased scientific information.

Advocacy seems too mild a word. Here is a quote attributed to Rennie -

There seems to be no study too fragmented, no hypothesis too trivial, no literature too biased or too egotistical, no design too warped, no methodology too bungled, no presentation of results too inaccurate, too obscure, and too contradictory, no analysis too self-serving, no argument too circular, no conclusions too trifling or too unjustified, and no grammar and syntax too offensive for a paper to end up in print.

Just so.

The AAAS called the Cambridge-educated Rennie a "visionary in safeguarding the integrity of how scientific information is gathered and communicated." The award cites his "career-long efforts to promote integrity in scientific research and publishing" as well as his "outspoken advocacy for the freedom of scientists to publish in the face of efforts to suppress their research."

Congratulations and thanks to Drummond Rennie.

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