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Serge Lang


Memorial HIV/AIDS Archive

1993 — 2005


Prologue PDFsmallicon.gif

Anonymous statement of a Yale junior, January 1988. (1 page)

Defective Practices by the CDC PDFsmallicon.gif

On 11 February 1993, Duesberg wrote to Dr. Harold Jaffe, then Director of the Division of HIV/AIDS at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In his letter to Jaffe, Duesberg documents defective practices by the CDC and poses eight specific questions. Jaffe responds a month later. Also included are some “Offhand Comments About the CDC HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report” transmitted by Lang to Dr. David Satcher in 1997, at the time when the latter became the new Director of the CDC. (23 pages)

The Ascher Commentary PDFsmallicon.gif

On 11 March 1993, the journal Nature published a commentary by Michael Ascher et al entitled “Does drug use cause AIDS?”. Coverage of the commentary in the mainstream press (The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, etc.) coincided with the publication of the commentary itself. Richard Strohman writes an unpublished letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, claiming their coverage of the commentary is a “masterpiece of scientific ignorance.” Strohman further claims in an open letter to the Daily Californian that the “scientific community has shut out dissenting AIDS theories.” Duesberg and Bryan Ellison submit a response to Nature the following January, which is rejected. Neville Hodgkinson picks up on the story in May, claiming that “censorship is blocking the debate vital to discovering the truth about Aids.” (23 pages)

Two Complementary Pieces in Yale Scientific

Have We Been Misled? PDFsmallicon.gif

Yale Scientific published Serge Lang's article “HIV and AIDS: Have We Been Misled?” in its Fall 1994 issue. (19 pages)

To Fund Or Not to Fund? PDFsmallicon.gif

Yale Scientific published Serge Lang's article “To Fund or Not to Fund: That is the Question” in its Winter 1995 issue. (12 pages)

Science By Press Conference

Science By Press Conference — Part I PDFsmallicon.gif

On 12 January 1995, David Ho and George Shaw presented results in the journal Nature which suggested a radical new understanding of HIV infection, one in which the immune system is in a constant battle with HIV from the moment of initial infection. According to a “News and Views” editorial by Nature's editor John Maddox the following week, these “new developments are (or should be) an embarrassment for Duesberg.” Maddox even proclaimed that it may be time for “the Duesbergs of this world [sic] recant.”

It should be pointed out that the aforementioned papers presented in Nature largely provided the justification for the new phase of protease inhibitor and “cocktail” treatments, as well as for the expanded use of surrogate markers such as “viral load” and CD4 counts. Each of these represented a significant departure in terms of HIV/AIDS diagnosis, maintenance, treatment, and epidemiological reporting, so the validity of the results presented should have been crucial.

The models were developed by “teaming up with mathematicians” and involve some elementary differential equations. In point of fact, the models have now been discredited for many years, although the “significant departures” mentioned above remain prevalent in practice.

In Part I, the initial papers are presented along with criticisms which were made by many people almost immediately upon their publication, including mathematical criticisms by Mark Craddock, as well as biological criticisms by Duesberg and Harvey Bialy.

Part I should give sufficient documentation for the community to judge whether the acceptance of the papers of Ho and Shaw was warranted at the time. Readers may also wish to take note that a recent PBS documentary (Frontline) transmitted in May 2006 uncritically repeated this discredited model as fact. (45 pages)

Science By Press Conference — Part II PDFsmallicon.gif

Part II of the “Science By Press Conference” file consists largely of other scientists' various reactions to the papers of Ho and Shaw, most notably from the late Arthur Gottlieb, Professor of Medicine at Tulane University Medical Center. (27 pages)

The Unreliable Mess in Science PDFsmallicon.gif

On 24 March 1995, Minnesota Representative Gil Gutknecht sent a letter to Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health concerning twelve specific questions on HIV/AIDS. Donna Shalala replied to Representative Gutknecht nearly four months later. Lang writes in September of 1995 on various aspects of Shalala's answers, in particular relating to recent articles in Science concerning Kaposi's sarcoma. (22 pages)

"Alternative" Views PDFsmallicon.gif

On 25 August 1995, Jon Cohen published a Science article “Researchers Air Alternative Views on How HIV Kills Cells.” Russell Schoch submitted a letter to the editor of Science, which was not published. (6 pages)

Chemical and Engineering News PDFsmallicon.gif

On 25 September 1995, Chemical and Engineering News published a “Science Insights” column by Rudy Baum, in which he claimed that an epidemiological study by Sarah C. Darby et al in Nature “should, but almost certainly won't, lay to rest the irresponsible [sic] argument that HIV does not cause AIDS, an idea that has been championed by Peter H. Duesberg”. Duesberg submitted a response for publication. This file documents how Chemical and Engineering News handled Duesberg's response. (29 pages)

Cohen Reviews Burkett PDFsmallicon.gif

On 21 October 1995, Jon Cohen reviewed Elinor Burkett's book The Gravest Show on Earth in the New York Times. Reproduced here are two unpublished letters to the editor of the New York Times by Suzanne Hadley and Arthur Gottlieb, critical of Cohen's review. (9 pages)

The Kirschner Article PDFsmallicon.gif

In the February 1996 issue of the Notices of the AMS (American Mathematical Society), Denise Kirschner published an article “Using Mathematics to Understand HIV Immune Dynamics”. The article presented an immunological model of HIV pathogenesis, including the effects of T-cell dynamics and chemotherapies such as AZT. Upon reading this article, Lang sent some initial documentation to Hugo Rossi and others at the AMS, but he also resigned from the AMS, stating “The matter is not one of principle, it is one of time and space in my life.” Enclosed are some brief criticisms of the article by Mark Craddock, as well as a response by Lang, “The Kirschner Article: Scientific and Journalistic (Ir)responsibilities”, which was rejected for publication in the “Forum” of the Notices in 1998. (39 pages)

The New York Review Affair PDFsmallicon.gif

On 23 May 1996, the New York Review of Books published a review by Richard Horton of three books: Inventing the AIDS Virus, by Duesberg; Infectious AIDS: Have We Been Misled?, a collection of previously published scientific articles by Duesberg; and AIDS: Virus- or Drug-Induced?, a collection of over two dozen scientific and journalistic articles by a variety of authors, edited by Duesberg. Three rounds of letters to the editor followed in August, September, and October. What readers of the New York Review, and the world at large, have not had access to, until now, is the following record of a series of communications between Lang, Horton, and Robert Silvers, editor of the New York Review, spanning the five months from July until December of 1996. (1 page)

Truth and Heresy About AIDS PDFsmallicon.gif

Truth and Heresy About AIDS is Richard Horton's original review from 23 May. (12 pages)

The Matter Must Rest PDFsmallicon.gif

“The Matter Must Rest” presents the first round of letters to the editor, which appeared on 8 August. Lang submits his “Review of a Review” to New York Review, which is rejected by Silvers, with the explanation “we have given far more space to this matter than we would normally do, and there, for a while, as I wrote you, the matter must rest.” (15 pages)

A Review of a Review PDFsmallicon.gif

A Review of a Review is Lang's detailed review of Horton's original review, written 15 July and updated 24 July after reading the 8 August letters to the editor (which had not yet been published). (14 pages)

Another Exchange PDFsmallicon.gif

“Another Exchange” presents further communication between Lang, Horton, and Silvers, as well as the second round of letters to the editor published 19 September. (19 pages)

A Check Returned PDFsmallicon.gif

In “A Check Returned”, a small portion of Lang's Review of a Review is published as a letter to the editor on 31 October. Here, Lang addresses Horton's challenge of “self-experimentation”. (14 pages)

A Solemn Farce PDFsmallicon.gif

In “A Solemn Farce”, a letter from Gordon Stewart to Lang ultimately provokes a final accusation of Horton of “scientific and journalistic irresponsibility” from Lang. (10 pages)

Duesberg's Aneuploidy Non-Funding PDFsmallicon.gif

In 1997, Duesberg applied to the Tobacco Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) for a grant to study the aneuploidy hypothesis of cancer. His grant was rejected, following two previous rejections. In an email to Lang, Duesberg details his frustration with the peer-review process in funding grant applications which go against the dominant research paradigm. Lang responds by writing President Richard Atkinson and expressing his "dismay and objection at this continued obstruction of an independent scientist." Cornelius Hopper, MD, Vice President of Health Affairs, responds on behalf of President Atkinson, and Lang concludes that "the reviews of Duesberg's application were not appropriate, that the reviewers' evaluation was not sound, and that Hopper's endorsement of these reviews and evaluation was unwarranted." (12 pages)

Mothering Magazine PDFsmallicon.gif

In September/October 1998, Mothering magazine published an article “AZT Roulette” by Celia Farber, on universal HIV testing of pregnant women and concerns over AZT toxicities in newborns. Lang alerted the Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to the existence of this article, endorsing the view of “journalistic responsibility” related by its publisher Peggy O'Mara. Several months later, he also alerted the Council to the case of Felix Tyson in Eugene, Oregon, whose parents were alerted to concerns over AZT toxicities by the aforementioned Mothering article. (10 pages)

The Einstein Disinvitation PDFsmallicon.gif

This file documents a particularly shameful episode in the history of science. In 1999, the Graduate Student Council at the Einstein College of Medicine voted to invite Duesberg as a speaker. The faculty overrode the vote of the graduate students and disinvited Duesberg, under the public pretense of financial hardship, but privately admitting that “the general consensus is that many people would be frankly offended by Dr. Duesburgs [sic] visit.” (20 pages)

We Have Been Misled PDFsmallicon.gif

Yale Scientific published Serge Lang's article “The Case of HIV: We Have Been Misled” in its Spring 1999 issue. (13 pages)

The Yale Scientific File

The Future of Science PDFsmallicon.gif

In its Fall 2001 issue, Yale Scientific published an article, “Imagining the Future of Science”, by undergraduate David Weinreb. This article profiled three Yale science professors and their efforts to “envision how their fields will be transformed in the twenty-first century.” One of these professors was William Prusoff, who is described as having “discovered that d4T, a failed cancer drug first synthesized in 1966, is effective in the treatment of AIDS.” The article describes the alliance between Yale and Bristol-Myers Squibb to manufacture d4T “after the compound was proven to be effective in a study of thousands of human test subjects.” The article also describes efforts to make the drug “widely available to African communities who otherwise would never have seen [sic] these drugs.” The section profiling Prusoff closes by quoting him saying, “Their [pharmaceutical companies'] profits are fantasic. Only the oil companies are doing better.”

Lang sumbitted a response to the Weinreb article for publication in Yale Scientific, which was rejected, citing a “current policy to publish only student-written material [sic].” Gordon Moran, Yale '60, writes Margaret Ebert, Editor-in-Chief of Yale Scientific, concluding that “such a reason represents a form of double standard, and is therefore suppression”, citing the fact that the original Weinreb article transmits faculty voices largely in interview form. Moran then writes Lang, citing extensive documentation on the toxicities of d4T. (23 pages)

"We do not want any connection to this article" PDFsmallicon.gif

Dr. Helen Lauer, a philosophy professor at the University of Ghana, wished to reproduce Lang's 1999 Yale Scientific article “The Case of HIV: We Have Been Misled” as part of a not-for-profit textbook History and Philosophy of Science for science students committed to Africa. She was not granted permission by Ebert to “reprint either of those two [incl. Weinreb] articles as excerpts from our publication. However, if there is an option for you to reprint Serge Lang's article without mentioning that it was published in the Yale Scientific Magazine, then please advise us of it.” She also stated “the current management...must act! [sic] in the best interest of YSM as we deal with the issues stemming from Lang's article.”

Lauer writes to Ebert, expressing that she is “ a complete loss as to what other course of action you recommend.” Betty Trachtenberg, Associate Dean of Yale, informs Lauer that “those article [published in YSM] belong to the individual contributors.” (19 pages)

A "Sneaky Practice" PDFsmallicon.gif

Ebert informs Lang that “Yale Scientific is now accepting brief letters to the editor, ~200 words. A summary of previously submitted [response to Weinreb] material would be suitable.” Lang characterises this policy as a “sneaky practice”. Werner Wolf, Former Chair of the YSM Advisory Board, makes the extraordinary admission that “the willingness of an earlier Editorial Board to publish the article you had submitted in 1999 [“The Case of HIV: We Have Been Misled”] was widely perceived by later Editorial Boards as a mistake, because it changed the basic goal of YSM to serve as a magazine written and produced by undergraduates for the Yale community.” (15 pages)

"Creations of Reality" PDFsmallicon.gif

Issues escalate in a fashion which is difficult to summarise. Lang attempts to obtain information regarding the nature of an “Advisory Board” to Yale Scientific and any possible relationship it has to recent decision-making. Lang concludes that Ebert, Wolf, and others have “mutually contradictory creations of reality” and that the entire Yale Scientific file “provides ongoing documentation about the three laws of sociodynamics.” (40 pages)

Merson Appears at Yale PDFsmallicon.gif

On 21 January 2004, Yale Dean of Public Health Michael Merson, formerly of the World Health Organisation, gave a lecture "The HIV/AIDS Pandemic: A Failed Global Response" as part of Dean Salovey's series "In the Company of Scholars". Lang distributed "course packets" of information at the door to the audience members of the talk. The Yale Daily News also published a story on Merson's talk the following day, and Lang writes a letter to Dan Adler, the author of the story. (14 pages)

The Daily Cal File PDFsmallicon.gif

On 2 December 2004, The Daily Californian, the independent UC Berkeley student newspaper, published an article “World AIDS Day Event Educates, Resonates”. A week later, it published another article on Duesberg, “Working Under a Cloud: Professor's Controversial AIDS Theory Leaves Him Isolated Professionally and Personally”.

In January 2005, Lang submitted an op-ed “Challenging the 'HIV/AIDS' Orthodoxy” together with a 4-page paid advertisement “Dissent from the 'HIV/AIDS' Orthodoxy” to the Daily Cal. This file documents Lang's unsuccessful attempts to get these two items published. In a phone conversation with Lang, Magnus Yang, Advertising Manager of the Daily Cal, explains why he feels the disclaimer “This ad represents only [Lang's] views.” is necessary by stating, “There are things we have to do to protect our readership.” Lang characterises this explanation as “Nannyism”, suitable for six year olds. (1 page)

Two Articles in The Daily Cal PDFsmallicon.gif

The two articles published 2 and 9 December. (4 pages)

Dissent from the 'HIV/AIDS' Orthodoxy PDFsmallicon.gif

Lang's unpublished op-ed and 4-page paid advertisement. (16 pages)

"Protecting the Readership" PDFsmallicon.gif

Lang's unsuccessful attempts to get his items published. (31 pages)

The NAS File PDFsmallicon.gif

In May of 2005, Lang submitted two papers on HIV/AIDS to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, under the category of Social Science. He included a referee's recommendation by Richard Strohman. They were rejected with a 34-word explanation. Lang closed the NAS file on 6 September 2005 and closed his life six days later. (27 pages)

Remembrances PDFsmallicon.gif

From the Notices of the AMS (American Mathematical Society), May 2006. (18 pages)

Epilogue PDFsmallicon.gif

By G. Spencer-Brown. (1 page)

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