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Re: E-M:/ Chapela gets tenure!

Enviro-Mich message from Claire O'Leary <claireoleary@comcast.net>

How did you figure that judgment, Alex?

Genetic engineering is most definitely an environmental issue as these self-replicating novel organisms are released into landscapes and effect ecosystems. No environmental impact studies are required. The consequences are not being tracked for the most part. Scientific protocol is sadly lacking. Scientists have warned about several possible and actual unintended consequences. Ignacio Chapela is one of them. He reported on the contamination of Mexican maize landraces due to underpriced US corn being imported (thanks to NAFTA) despite a Mexican ban on the planting of GMO corn. Unaware indigenous farmers planted the cheap GMO corn and inadvertently contaminated this precious food heritage. Chapela's career and reputation was nearly destroyed because he was honest enough to publish his research.

What do others think?

Claire O'Leary
Sierra Club Genetic Engineering Committee

On May 22, 2005, at 10:36 AM, Alexander J. Sagady wrote:

This message is off-topic on Enviro-Mich.

Alex Sagady
EM Listmanager

At 09:19 AM 05/22/2005, you wrote:
At long last, some great news!!! Please broadcast this info to everyone interested. We now need to update how we speak about Ignacio Chapela. It would no longer be accurate to say that this professor was totally denied tenure. It would be accurate to say that his case of delayed tenure and the battle surrounding it highlights the compromised relationships between scientists doing their research to produce factual information on which to build theory and public policy and the unholy influence of corporate research and facility money on decisions made at universities concerning which scientific research is funded and which scientists' work is supported.

Grassroots efforts and outrage has made this outcome possible. Let's hope that our uncompromising message to universities inspires greater scientific integrity as genetic engineering propels us all forward into vastly unknown consequences.


Begin forwarded message:

Dear friends and colleagues,

Embattled professor Ignacio Chapela has been granted tenure! After a three and a half year struggle, Prof. Chapela today sent an email that began with:

"Yesterday afternoon, the Dean of the College of Natural Resources at Berkeley communicated to me the intention of our new Chancellor to grant tenure to my position at Berkeley.

"This decision is a clear message of vindication not only of myself, but also of the innumerable individual and collective efforts put into this process by all of you. You have generously added your voices to the many questions raised around my tenure review and demanded a process free of conflict of interest or undue influence, and for this I am thankful. I foresee no official recognition of your presence, but you should know that it was precisely that which in the end achieved this result."

The full message is at <http://www.pulseofscience.org/tenurebreakingnews>http:// www.pulseofscience.org/tenurebreakingnews

Coincidentally, Prof. Chapela has been leading a series of public events each morning and evening this week at UC Berkeley's new bioengineering building to draw attention to the problematic nature of the biotechnology endeavor. The final event will be both a critique of the university and a celebration of the tenure decision. It will take place 9:00 to 10:30 PM outside the bioengineering building on the UC Berkeley campus, preceded by a bicycle ride around its perimeter. For details, see <http://www.pulseofscience.org/>http://www.pulseofscience.org/ .

If you cannot come to the gathering, it will be broadcast on the web. See <http://www.pulseofscience.org/webcastinfo>http:// www.pulseofscience.org/webcastinfo

I personally thank you all for your support of Prof. Chapela. If you had not demonstrated that the global community is watching the university administration, then Prof. Chapela would likely have unjustly lost his position, and academic freedom would have sustained a serious setback.

I will update and maintain <http://www.chapelatenure.org/>http://www.chapelatenure.org/ for the time being.

- Jesse Reynolds
Campaign for Chapela Tenure
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