Of the four, James Enstrom got the worst treatment. He produced research that challenged not one, but two, political agendas. Not only was he the co-author of a study that found no association between secondhand smoke and lung cancer and heart disease in 2003, but he also found that the threshold of risk from diesel particulate matter was considerably higher than the Californian Environmental Protection Agency assumed when it introduced punitive restrictions on vehicle pollution.
A number of studies have supported Enstrom's findings, but Cal-EPA ignored them in favour of a study conducted by Dr Hien T. Tran which happened to find a serious risk from the very thing Cal-EPA wanted to ban. However, as Enstrom discovered, "Dr." Tran had bought his PhD from an online University for $1,000. Although Cal-EPA eventually accepted this, Enstrom was sacked by UCLA because—in the university's own words—his research was "not aligned with the academic mission of the Department".
Enstrom has been appealing his dismissal for the last few years.
Dr. Enstrom not only blew the whistle on junk science driving recent proposed California diesel emissions restrictions, he discovered the state’s lead “scientist” had purchased his degree from a fictitious “Thornhill University” and that many members of the state’s Scientific Review Panel had overstayed term limits by decades. While the fake scientist received only a short suspension after Dr. Enstrom discovered his fraud, UCLA not only fired Dr. Enstrom, it also looted his research account of tens of thousands of dollars and failed to pay him any salary for more than a year.
I'm delighted to see that Enstrom has finally prevailed...
Not only did the Regents agree to pay Dr. Enstrom $140,000, but they also have effectively rescinded the termination, agreeing to Dr. Enstrom’s use of the title “Retired Researcher” (as opposed to acknowledgment as a non-titled terminated employee) and his continued access to UCLA resources he previously enjoyed during his appointment.
This is a significant victory for academic freedom and the fight against policy-based evidence, as David French from the American Center for Law and Justice explains:
Dr. Enstrom’s victory comes at a critical time, reminding the public that the scientific establishment is hardly infallible. Indeed, it’s subject to all the same failings as any human institution, including greed, corruption, and bias. It’s worth remembering as the House once again takes up the Secret Science Reform Act, a bill that would render the EPA more transparent by requiring it to make available for public review the “scientific and technical information used in it's assessments.”
It shouldn’t take an act of job-risking courage to bring transparency and honesty to science, but in the Leftist-dominated academy, dissent from progressive orthodoxy is seen as toxic, instead of patriotic. Here’s hoping that with more victories like Dr. Enstrom’s (and Dr. Mike Adams’s jury verdict last year), universities will learn that censorship is expensive. Protecting academic freedom may lead to less scientific “consensus,” but it will certainly lead to greater integrity.
It's nice to report a bit of good news for a change. More details here and here.