UNIVERSITY OF GENEVA|
PRESS INFORMATION PUBLICATIONS
Rylander Affair: The University of Geneva draws its conclusions
In September of this year, the University of Geneva asked its Faculty of Medicine to study the new facts that appeared in the context of the trial relating to the "Rylander affair". The Faculty mandated Professor Timothy Harding, director of the University Institute of Forensic Medicine and president of the commission of research ethics of the Faculty of Medicine, and asked him to analyze these hitherto unknown elements.
On the basis of Prof. Harding's analysis, the University has drawn its conclusions and is taking complementary measures that are now deemed imperative. Indeed, and on the basis of the facts, it has now become clear that Prof. Rylander has concealed his sources of financing, notably to the ethics commission that was in charge of reviewing research protocols and to the editor-in-chief of a reputable journal in public health.
For these reasons, the University of Geneva publicly distances itself from Prof. Rylander's attitude. Furthermore, the University mandates the Commission of Integrity of the Faculty of Medicine and requests it to review the incriminated works of Prof. Rylander. This commission - which was set up in accordance with the directive of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences concerning integrity in science - will in particular have the task of delimiting the scope of the publications that are affected by the affair. The commission will then emit its opinion on possible doubts on the validity of the results published by Prof. Rylander.
If need be, the University will inform the scientific community of the conclusions of its investigation. It will disseminate a communication to scientific journals that have published articles by Prof. Rylander in the field of the effects of tobacco on health, and to academic societies working in the field of social and preventive medicine.
Finally, the University of Geneva wants to stress the merit of Mr. Diethelm and Dr. Rielle to have made their suspicions known, and to have revealed the stake the affair has for public health.
For complementary information, please contact
the dean Peter Suter, tel. +41-22 702 50 01,
or the vice-chancellor Eric Doelker, tel +41-22 705 75 +22.
Geneva, 20 December 2002
This is an uncertified translation by OxyGenève. The original version in French can be found at http://www.unige.ch/presse/communique/02-03/1220rylander.html
The University of Geneva has just issued a press release in which it "publicly distances itself from Prof. Rylander's attitude" who "has concealed his source of financing", notably to the ethics commission in charge of reviewing research protocols and to the editor-in-chief of a reputable journal in public health. Furthermore, the university is setting up an investigation commission to review the scientific validity of Rylander 's work in the field of tobacco and health, with a view of removing his studies from the medical and scientific record, should the result of the investigation confirm the lack of integrity of his research. Finally, the University stresses the merit of Pascal Diethelm and Jean-Charles Rielle for having made public their suspicions and for having emphasized the importance that the "Rylander affair" has for public health. (See below an English translation of the full press release.)
To OxyGenève and CIPRET, this decision of the University of Geneva is a turning point in what is now known as the "Rylander affair". We applaud the decision to set up a commission of integrity to examine the scientific and ethical validity of Rylander's research work in the field of tobacco and health. In a meeting with the dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Suter and with Prof. Harding, Messrs Diethelm and Rielle have expressed their entire confidence in the commission, which will work in accordance with the recent directives of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences. They have assured them of their readiness to fully cooperate with the commission during its investigation. They will make available to the commission their files (over 20 voluminous binders of documents) and they will be personally at the disposal of the commission to answer questions and share without restriction all the knowledge they have about the affair.
The decision of the University of Geneva is an important step towards the restoration of the truth in a field that has been for too long corrupted by the denial, disinformation, manipulations, and falsifications promoted by the tobacco industry, with the result that their products continue and will continue for a long time to kill millions of people, smokers and non-smokers alike, around the world.
Pascal Diethelm, president, OxyGenève
Jean-Charles Rielle, physician-in-charge, CIPRET-Genève
For more information on the Rylander affair, see http://www.prevention.ch/rylanderpm.htm