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A Corporate War Against a Scientist, and How He Fought Back

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the tools-at-his-disposal dept.

Medicine 253

AthanasiusKircher writes "Environmental and health concerns about atrazine — one of the most commonly used herbicides in the U.S. — have been voiced for years, leading to an EU ban and multiple investigations by the EPA. Tyrone Hayes, a Berkeley professor who has spearheaded research on the topic, began to display signs of apparent paranoia over a decade ago. He noticed strangers following him to conferences around the world, taking notes and asking questions aimed to make him look foolish. He worried that someone was reading his email, and attacks against his reputation seemed to be everywhere; search engines even displayed ad hits like 'Tyrone Hayes Not Credible' when his name was searched for. But he wasn't paranoid: documents released after a lawsuit from Midwestern towns against Syngenta, the manufacturer of atrazine, showed a coordinated smear campaign. Syngenta's public relations team had a list of ways to defend its product, topped by 'discredit Hayes.' Its internal list of methods: 'have his work audited by 3rd party,' 'ask journals to retract,' 'set trap to entice him to sue,' 'investigate funding,' 'investigate wife,' etc. A recent New Yorker article chronicles this war against Hayes, but also his decision to go on the offensive and strike back. He took on the role of activist against atrazine, giving over 50 public talks on the subject each year, and even taunting Syngenta with profanity-laced emails, often delivered in a rapping 'gangsta' style. The story brings up important questions for science and its public persona: How do scientists fight a PR war against corporations with unlimited pockets? How far should they go?"

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Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (1)

Threni (635302) | about 10 months ago | (#46205721)

Go for it! Or ignore it. Your call. If they're not breaking the law, what are you going to do? "Asking questions to make him look foolish" only gets you so far, especially if you just don't answer them, or refer to your previous answer, etc.

Re:Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205783)

Wow. You read all the articles and links quickly. Amazing how quickly you cam to know how he responded or what was asked.

Re:Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205803)

1 reply beneath your current threshold.

Re: Sounds like he was enj FUCK BETA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205939)

Fuck it right in the butt!

Re:Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205811)

He's from Berkeley. That's all I need to know that he's a crackpot full of shit.

Re:Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (5, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | about 10 months ago | (#46205991)

Go for it! Or ignore it. Your call. If they're not breaking the law, what are you going to do?

Using corporate resources specifically to attempt to attack or discredit the character, or interfere with the business of an individual should be made actionable.

Damage by a corporation to an individual's peace of mind should be assigned statutory damages based on the greater of $10 Milliion, and 5 to 10% of the perpetrating company's annual revenues.

Re:Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | about 10 months ago | (#46206163)

> Damage by a corporation to an individual's peace of mind should be assigned statutory damages based on the
> greater of $10 Milliion, and 5 to 10% of the perpetrating company's annual revenues.

I had to work late last week - I missed EastEnders. Where's my yacht?

Re:Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (5, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 10 months ago | (#46206437)

damages based on the greater of $10 Milliion, and 5 to 10% of the perpetrating company's annual revenues.

We'll have shell companies created with zero revenue acting as harassing entities. So if you find them out and sue and win, you'll get no damages, other than the $10,000,000 awarded, and they'll just close the doors if it looks like that would happen.

Re:Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206561)

That knife cuts both ways - doesn't it?

Re:Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (5, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 10 months ago | (#46206607)

Not when those with the money make all the rules. Then the knife only cuts one way. People like Donald Trump argue that students shouldn't be able to wipe out student loans with a bankruptcy, while he's declared bankruptcy 5 or more times.

Re:Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#46207017)

Any of those students can declare bankruptcy in the way Trump did, by fumbling around in business. There's no reason student loans/mortgages/business loans/etc. should all be treated the same.

Re: Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46207047)

US Tax payers weren't on the hook for any loans that Trump filed for bankruptcy protection. Then the IRS, government guns, and human cages are used to forceably extract the money loaned - a different level of collections mechanism is called for.

Re:Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (5, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | about 10 months ago | (#46207033)

We'll have shell companies created with zero revenue acting as harassing entities. So if you find them out and sue and win, you'll get no damages

It's called a company intentionally undercapitalized, and it's a cause of action for the judge to pierce the corporate veil, and hold the company's shareholder's liable in proportion to their percentage of beneficial ownership, AND base the 5 to 10% penalty on the owners' assets.

Re:Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206695)

Using corporate resources specifically to attempt to attack or discredit the character, or interfere with the business of an individual should be made actionable.

Why?

Seriously, post some kind of logic to back up your position. Should we also make it "actionable" to attempt to discredit a company by an individual? How about one individual against another? Sorry, I prefer my speech to be unregulated. As long as they aren't lying about anything, I see no reason to make them stop.

Re:Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206983)

Please read the original story and comment. If you are going to attack some based on observed reproducible facts no one will cry foul. The problem is Syngenta was they deliberately with malice of forethought LIED about a person and their work.

Re:Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#46207027)

That is already actionable without need for any new laws.

Re:Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (1)

davecb (6526) | about 10 months ago | (#46206559)

If you once get past the shock of being attacked without a good reason, it feels good to fight back. You know that your opponents have consciously taken up the role of the bad buy, and you're fighting the good fight.

I've only had that feeling twice in my whole life, but it's seriously cool.

Re:Sounds like he was enjoying himself! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206859)

Depends on what you risk losing by fighting or risk losing by not fighting, so you need to pick your fights. I've seen a couple times colleagues got into some fight for more personal reasons or feelings. It is sad to see things go downhill when they make a mistake when too concerned with feeling good instead of the big picture, or because they mistakenly made the assumption " your opponents have consciously taken up the role of the bad buy." Even if their original science still stands solid, the opponents try to make the fight about other things, and now have some actual ammo to fight with once the scientist is caught saying the wrong thing or making things personal. Even if the opponents have made dozens of mistakes and the majority of their attacks are not scientific in nature, it is an asymmetric fight that expects the scientist to not make a single mistake.

Doesn't have to be a big corporation either, it can be a single person with a pet theory and too much free time, or some small company that is trying to defend a borderline scam. I guess it might depend on your field, but I've never had research that runs afoul of big corporate interests, but have had to deal with the obsession of a couple crackpots, and legal issues from a one person business selling a single (non-functioning...) product.

And this is why that rule for the EPA was bogus (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205733)

There's a certain apparent nobility to it on the surface, it's the right thing to do...but wait, who benefits from pushing it?

Who wants the EPA to do nothing at all? Who wants there to be no EPA at all?

Why?

Oh, come on. (-1, Flamebait)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 10 months ago | (#46205741)

This is just the free market fighting back against heavy-handed socialist regulation. We should all cheer a scrappy little company like Syngenta for their struggle for liberty against Hayes, who like all government "scientists" is just a shill for the multibillion-dollar environmental lobby.

Re:Oh, come on. (1)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 10 months ago | (#46205897)

I was expecting this to be moderated +5, Funny instead of Insightful.... The jesters please come out now!

Re:Oh, come on. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 10 months ago | (#46206143)

Fortunately, the humorists have temporarily achieved the upper hand. It is an unfortunate side effect of the moderation system where 'Funny' points don't give you extra karma leading to well meaning moderators to attach a different mod type to to the post.

That's fine. We know that. I just wonder what happens when a Slashdot naive person looks at these posts and gets a well, different, view of us.

Re:Oh, come on. (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about 10 months ago | (#46205945)

How much did the regulations enforced by the Mines and Minerals Service do to prevent the British Petroleum disaster in the gulf?

Re:Oh, come on. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206167)

How much did the regulations not enforced by the Mines and Minerals Service do to not prevent the British Petroleum disaster in the Gulf of Mexico?

Re:Oh, come on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206243)

?SYNTAX ERROR

READY
_

Re:Oh, come on. (0)

afxgrin (208686) | about 10 months ago | (#46205975)

Wow interesting how you slanted this as him being some government scientist shill. He was originally asked by Syngenta to do the study as an employee of the University of Berkeley. There's a lot of other things that raises eyebrows with this guy but attacking him as a government scientist is just flat out wrong in this case.

Re:Oh, come on. (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 10 months ago | (#46206109)

I thought I was being obviously over-the-top, but Poe's Law strikes again; it's impossible to satirize people who actually think that way.

Re:Oh, come on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206177)

it's impossible to satirize people who actually think that way.

Oh, you're wrong. In fact the possibilities for the sport of trolling are nearly unlimited. I bet that, despite your and my posts, you could still get 10-20 responses out of them.

Re:Oh, come on. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 10 months ago | (#46206481)

You can troll them, but not satirize them. There is no concept far enough over the top to be a satire. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org] was satire because there was a strong anti-poor movement, but they weren't proposing soylent green or selling your children into slavery, so a satire was possible.

But there do exist people with so radical of thoughts that it would be impossible to satirize them in the same way.

How can you tell, anymore?.... (2)

rts008 (812749) | about 10 months ago | (#46206317)

I thought I was being obviously over-the-top,...

Unfortunately, you did not get TO the top, much less 'over the top'.

No insult meant for you, that is just the sorry state of reality. It's appalling, but true.

I myself was tempted to reply to your earlier comment, thinking you were serious. I'm glad I decided not to bother.

Re:How can you tell, anymore?.... (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 10 months ago | (#46206551)

No insult meant for you, that is just the sorry state of reality. It's appalling, but true.

Yeah, I know. [sigh]

Re:Oh, come on. (3, Informative)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 10 months ago | (#46206155)

That is funny because it is so inaccurate;
1. Hayes is not a government scientist. In fact the EPA disagrees with him completely.
2. The fight is not against regulation but against statements being put out by Hayes
3. The environmental lobby has nothing to do with it. Hayes's quest for fame by bringing down a big corp might be.

Funny, but compared to what? (1)

dumky2 (2610695) | about 10 months ago | (#46206917)

That'd be good anti-free-market humor if those types of problems weren't worse, way worse, with people who get in the way of governments, such as whisteblowers.

What can this company do to this guy who has some results the company doesn't like? Some things may not be pleasant, but overall, not that much.
What can the government do to whisteblowers who has evidence that the government (or that cronies of those in power) wants to hide? It turns out, quite a bit.
So, comparatively speaking, I will take the free-market smear, thank you very much.

Dice war against Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205747)

Dice trying to decimate with Beta.

How do we fight back against Beta? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205791)

We boycott Slashdot.

Slashcott: February 10-February 17.

Let's do this! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205823)

Fuck Beta. Boycott Slashdot!

No sex with Beta for the next week (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205933)

Fuck Beta. Sorry, I'm boycotting sex with Beta this week. Maybe next week.

Re:How do we fight back against Beta? (0, Offtopic)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 10 months ago | (#46205861)

The Slashdot boycott starts in an hour in the UK. Seems like posts about it are being modded off-topic now, which is a shame because the beta site is very much still alive and very much still awful. The classic site is still slated to go away at some point, and the basic design of the beta site isn't going to change.

It's not like we haven't been saying that the beta site is a disaster for months. The goal is to keep the classic site around forever. We are not saying it shouldn't change or be improved, just that the beta isn't an acceptable alternative and that our concerns have not been addressed.

Re:How do we fight back against Beta? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205935)

Meh. Fuck Slashdot. It quit being news for nerds years ago. Now it's all just jews and socialists. But I repeat myself. Let Slashdot crash and burn.

Re:How do we fight back against Beta? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205961)

the beta site is very much still alive and very much still awful.

For all the technical knowledge here, I don't know why there hasn't been a Chrome plugin to make Beta look like Classic, or some such. Anyway, for myself, some random AC, I find Beta looks pretty good if you set the text size to 75% of normal.

Re:How do we fight back against Beta? (0)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 10 months ago | (#46206023)

It's clear that they have no intention of backing down or addressing user concerns. The only question now is, what site will we all move to after Beta stops being optional?

I'm doing the Slashcott, too, but I don't have any delusions that it'll get them to adopt the only course of action that would be acceptable: abandon the Beta site, keep "classic" Slashdot, issue an apology, and never try this shit again.

Dice doesn't care. They bought Slashdot for the name and the traffic. They'll end up ruining the former and driving away the latter.

Re:How do we fight back against Beta? (4, Insightful)

lexman098 (1983842) | about 10 months ago | (#46206507)

Look man, I hate the beta in its current form as much as the next guy. I was going to participate in the boycott, but they did respond in a positive way to user feedback. Classic will still be available for the foreseeable future, and that's good enough for me. When they fix the comments system in beta I'll be fine moving there as well. Nothing lasts forever. Be happy they're not forcing shitty beta on you now, and enjoy slashdot as you always have.

Re:How do we fight back against Beta? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206725)

Keep it up. The dumbfucks will burn all their mod points on the "beta" posts, so we'll actually get some decent moderation around here again.

Seriously. If you don't like seeing the Beta posts, or want to express your opinion, then make a post saying "Hey, I actually LIKE the beta". The moderation is not supposed to be used as a "like/hate" button.

Re:How do we fight back against Beta? (0)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 10 months ago | (#46206995)

The moderation is not supposed to be used as a "like/hate" button.

Right now, posting "I actually LIKE beta" would very quickly demonstrate that the above, good intentioned as it may be, is rather divorced from reality.

Nerd war goes on (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205793)

After visiting this site regularly, nearly daily, since 1998, here is the last thing I will see before joining the Slashcott in less than ten minutes. I want this post to serve as testimony of what this site has become, and a warning of what it will become in the next weeks and months.

Fuck you, DICE.

Your user account has been banned from Slashdot

Due to questionable activity from this user account, it has been temporarily disabled. Actions that would cause this ban are posting comments designed to intentionally break comment rendering for other users, or running some sort of script or program that loaded an unacceptable number of pages in a short time frame.

If you feel that this is unwarranted, feel free to include your UID (XXXXX) in the subject of an email, and we will examine why there is a ban. If you fail to include the UID (again, in the subject!), then your message will be deleted and ignored. I mean come on, we're good, we're not psychic. Send your email to banned@slashdot.org
.

FUCK BETA

Stop disrupting Slashdot... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205815)

with all these posts talking about the articles.

Same for investigative reporters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205877)

Look up Paulette Cooper and the abuse she suffered at th ecult of Scientology. *They* were faking bomb threats from Paulette!!!

Correction: Practically unlimited pockets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205879)

This is /. and we at least pretend to insist on mathematical accuracy around here.

Re:Correction: Practically unlimited pockets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205909)

This is /. and we at least pretend to insist on mathematical accuracy around here.

Given that corporations don't actually have "pockets" (unless they manufacture clothing), I'd say you missed the point that this is just a metaphor.

Unless you're one of those wackos who believes that corporations are actually people -- with, you know, pockets and clothing and rights and stuff....

Fight with numbers (3, Insightful)

halcyon1234 (834388) | about 10 months ago | (#46205893)

Every single scientist should fight it. Make them execute every single scummy plan they have on the books. If hundreds of thousands of scientists fight back, you'll see just how "unlimited" corp's pockets actually are. When the majority revolts, the corporate overlords quickly discover pushing their agenda gets costly and isn't worth it anymore...

sdfasdf (5, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 10 months ago | (#46206019)

The correct place is to battle it out in scientific journals. Corporations should not be doing this, but legion are the talking heads and book promoters tearing down things from GM food to Olestra to any number of other things with little or no science backing them.

Re:Fight with numbers (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#46206105)

Part of the problem is that publicly-funded science hasn't necessarily been public-access anymore.

What good is it to be an activist when your research shows something bad, when the journal you published it in copyrighted and paywalled it, and the public has no ready access?

Obviously, some research should be classified. But that's such a minuscule percentage that it is hardly worth considering. Other than that tiny amount, publicly funded research should be public. Period.

Re:Fight with numbers does not work fast enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206873)

Every single scientist should fight it. Make them execute every single scummy plan they have on the books. If hundreds of thousands of scientists fight back, you'll see just how "unlimited" corp's pockets actually are.

1. Global Warming "debate"
2. Evolution "is just a theory"

Talking about realities does not make you come out on top. Even more so with these companies that do not give a shit about the environment as long as they get to sell their crap for the duration of the patent. They only need to distort reality for as long as they are making money on stuff they make and not on new stuff they do not make (yet).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]

In 1978 the United States banned the use of CFCs such as Freon in aerosol cans, the beginning of a long series of regulatory actions against their use. The critical DuPont manufacturing patent for Freon ("Process for Fluorinating Halohydrocarbons", U.S. Patent #3258500) was set to expire in 1979. In conjunction with other industrial peers DuPont sponsored efforts such as the "Alliance for Responsible CFC Policy" to question anti-CFC science, but in a turnabout in 1986 DuPont, with new patents in hand, publicly condemned CFCs.[9] DuPont representatives appeared before the Montreal Protocol urging that CFCs be banned worldwide and stated that their new HCFCs would meet the worldwide demand for refrigerants.[9]

Companies do not give a shit about regulation, or future damage caused by their products. They only care about next quarter numbers. This is why it is extremely important for regulatory agencies to be impartial and outside of any industry. The role of the government is to have LONG TIME HORIZON.

Yes, I'm looking at you, Prime Minister of Canada Steven Harper.

http://news.ca.msn.com/canada/... [msn.com]

Case and point is CFCs. If they weren't banned because of "questionable science', today we would have no ozone left, UV index of 60+, and no ozone for at least another century. Because of regulation, we "only" have UV index of 10+ (instead of 5 or so) and ozone layer will recover for our grandchildren, maybe.

Phoronix also going beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205911)

The sky's the limit..... (2)

rts008 (812749) | about 10 months ago | (#46205913)

The story brings up important questions for science and its public persona: How do scientists fight a PR war against corporations with unlimited pockets? How far should they go?"

How far? The full distance.
Anything less, and it shows you don't really care in the long run.(all within the limits of sane and just laws, that is-in the presence of insane, or unjust laws, then no restrictions...you have nothing else to lose)

Re:The sky's the limit..... (3, Insightful)

jader3rd (2222716) | about 10 months ago | (#46206755)

How far? The full distance. Anything less, and it shows you don't really care in the long run.

Is there anything wrong with having the correct knowledge, and not really caring?

Re:The sky's the limit..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206787)

Anything less, and it shows you don't really care in the long run.(all within the limits of sane and just laws, that is-in the presence of insane, or unjust laws, then no restrictions...you have nothing else to lose)

At some point you can run into conflicts with other priorities in life. Do you want to sacrifice future research possibilities and results by spending more time doing PR than research work? Do you want to have yourself and family make sacrifices so you can go a route that risks your career, and more directly their safety in some of the nastier fights?

Harrison Ford IS Prof. Tyrone Hayes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205917)

Oops, I guess Ford already made that film once (fictional though).

How about Russell Crowe as a professor who loses his beautiful mind and begins to see the world as a big plot against him....?

Re:Harrison Ford IS Prof. Tyrone Hayes (1)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 10 months ago | (#46205989)

How about "Michael Clayton"?

Re:Harrison Ford IS Prof. Tyrone Hayes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206001)

Uh... "But he wasn't paranoid: documents released after a lawsuit from Midwestern towns against Syngenta, the manufacturer of atrazine, showed a coordinated smear campaign. Syngenta's public relations team had a list of ways to defend its product, topped by 'discredit Hayes.' Its internal list of methods: 'have his work audited by 3rd party,' 'ask journals to retract,' 'set trap to entice him to sue,' 'investigate funding,' 'investigate wife,' etc."

The guy is crazy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205923)

In 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its independent Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) examined all available studies on atrazine and concluded that "atrazine does not adversely affect amphibian gonadal development based on a review of laboratory and field studies."

http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/atrazine/atrazine_update.htm

Re:The guy is crazy (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205995)

In 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its independent Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) examined all available studies on atrazine and concluded that "atrazine does not adversely affect amphibian gonadal development based on a review of laboratory and field studies."

Yeah, except... from TFA:

By that point, there were seventy-five published studies on the subject, but the E.P.A. excluded the majority of them from consideration, because they did not meet the requirements for quality that the agency had set in 2003. The conclusion was based largely on a set of studies funded by Syngenta and led by Werner Kloas, a professor of endocrinology at Humboldt University, in Berlin. One of the co-authors was Alan Hosmer, a Syngenta scientist whose job, according to a 2004 performance evaluation, included "atrazine defence" and "influencing EPA."

After the hearing, two of the independent experts who had served on the E.P.A.'s scientific advisory panel, along with fifteen other scientists, wrote a paper (not yet published) complaining that the agency had repeatedly ignored the panel's recommendations and that it placed "human health and the environment at the mercy of industry." "The EPA works with industry to set up the methodology for such studies with the outcome often that industry is the only institution that can afford to conduct the research," they wrote. The Kloas study was the most comprehensive of its kind: its researchers had been scrutinized by an outside auditor, and their raw data turned over to the E.P.A. But the scientists wrote that one set of studies on a single species was "not a sufficient edifice on which to build a regulary assessment." Citing a paper by Hayes, who had done an analysis of sixteen atrazine studies, they wrote that "the single best predictor of whether or not the herbicide atrazine had a significant effect in a study was the funding source."

Re:The guy is crazy (4, Informative)

anagama (611277) | about 10 months ago | (#46206299)

You might be interested in Last Call at The Oasis: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt20... [imdb.com]

It streams on Netflix.

Hayes was one of the interviewees in that documentary. He shows off some of the mutant frogs too.

Re:The guy is crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46207001)

You should see how aspartame got approved.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9-aleeQ2ho

Youtube Video:
The American Parasite - 250 Million Americans Infected

(note: I do not endorse and I am not affiliated with and have never used or tried and do not know anything about any products being sold by this Youtube video, just found the history of aspartame interesting).

Re:The guy is crazy (1)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 10 months ago | (#46206015)

What's next? EPA reading the next page on Steve Milloy's JunkScience website and deciding that DDT ain't bad either?

Re:The guy is crazy (5, Informative)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 10 months ago | (#46206463)

In 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its independent Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) examined all available studies on atrazine and concluded that "atrazine does not adversely affect amphibian gonadal development based on a review of laboratory and field studies."

It's called regulatory capture motha f**kers.

There is no rage like nerd rage! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205929)

Last comment before the boycott. Just logged out and intended to close the /. tab for the week. Hey, logging out redirected me to the BETA, adding insult to injury. So one more "Fuck BETA!!!11!!!ONE" post before I go.

I hope when I come back in one week there is a post from Dice telling us they were wrong and that they will never do this again and will add Unicode and LaTeX to Slashdot Classic to make up. If not: see you on Usenet comp.misc or Soylentnews.org.

The new Slashdot. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46205957)

It must have blackjack, hookers and ponies. Or I'm not going there.

Re:The new Slashdot. (1, Insightful)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 10 months ago | (#46206249)

I've heard something about forex, drag queens and gay stallions. Would that work for you Sir?

The beta is as horrifying as people are saying. (-1, Offtopic)

rcharbon (123915) | about 10 months ago | (#46205999)

My first look at the beta, cause I'm always logged in. It's as horrifying as people are saying. So much air, so little content.

Re:The beta is as horrifying as people are saying. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206111)

Dice intends to cater to the vapid airhead crowd that drives ad revenues. Not to people who are expecting content.

Re:The beta is as horrifying as people are saying. (0)

Arker (91948) | about 10 months ago | (#46206123)

It's not one of those things that looks ugly but works fine, either. Those are fine. We get used to those.

That thing looks fugly and does NOT work. At all. By design, it seems.

I've been a regular here since '97 and I am really going to miss this place.

Corporate war against Nerds and how they fought (0, Offtopic)

oRCAD Monkey (1867884) | about 10 months ago | (#46206037)

3000000 nerds had favourite community forum.

Sometimes argue but most time very happy.

Forum website bought by Dice.

Change forum into website for Pointy Haired Bosses, called Beta Slashdot.

Dice think " Make more money this way"

Now Nerds very sad. sad sad sad

Please Please Mr. Dice, give back forum to Nerds.

Then Nerds happy again.

3000000 Nerds that are unhappy with you is not good.

Re:Corporate war against Nerds and how they fought (0)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#46207073)

3000000 Nerds that are unhappy with you is not good.

We'll shoot capacitors and power resistors (the big ceramic ones) at you with our homemade slingshots.

Being a scientist does not mean he is right. (0, Troll)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 10 months ago | (#46206057)

Lets look at the tactics that were listed .

have his work audited by 3rd party,

Seems like a valid scientific tactic to see if his stidies are valid

ask journals to retract

If statements are inaccurate retraction may be warranted

set trap to entice him to sue

The company would like to sue but eve if they were proven right in court the company would come off as the bad guy.

investigate funding

is he being funded by a competitor to make our pesticide look bad? Does he have a financial based bias?

investigate wife

maybe his wife has a bias and is influencing him.

The main point is that none of these things has anything to do with following him or reading his emails. I like the quote about "asking questions to make him look foolish". Was one of those questions "What scientific studies done by people other than you back up your claims"?

The knee jerk reaction of "big companies bad, individuals good" is not always accurate.

Re:Being a scientist does not mean he is right. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206071)

Are you fucking kidding me? Are you a shill or just stupid?

How a reputable company responds. (5, Insightful)

Etherwalk (681268) | about 10 months ago | (#46206185)

Are you fucking kidding me? Are you a shill or just stupid?

Neither. I am guesing (s)he is an IP lawyer. Used to thinking about how the company can get its way within the bounds of the law rather than asking whether things like investigating a scientist's wife in the hope of discrediting his research should be permissible in a civilized society. Maybe she does have a bias--maybe she got dumped by your company's CEO. But there's a big difference between *knowing* she has a bias and trying to cook one up.

The company's POV may be valid, but not all of the actions it intended in support of them--whether legal or not--are moral.

The real issue is that any reputable company in response to science that is bad for their products should be saying "this science showed that maybe there's a problem here, we'd better make sure we're not hurting our customers or their neighbors, let's do some research and legitimately see what the deal is." Resorting to discrediting the other guy should only come up, maybe, when and if you've established that his research is wrong, that the product is safe, that the guy's data is wrong, and that he's basically a crackpot. Unfortunately economic incentives make most people feel free to allow their product to poison or even murder despite the science. (See, e.g., cigarettes.) This is actually a good reason for broad diversification--the smaller a percentage of revenue is dependent on one product, the more willing a company is to do the right thing when one product proves unsafe.

Re: How a reputable company responds. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206347)

Oh, ffs, would you go read the New Yorker article, please. Your guesses are based on your biases.

Re:Being a scientist does not mean he is right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206147)

The main point is that none of these things has anything to do with following him or reading his emails.

Well, there is actually evidence presented in TFA that people were following him, that scientists, journalists, etc. who were "friendly" to Syngenta were badgering him... and pieces critical of him in the media may have been drafted or written by Syngenta PR, but were published in the media by 3rd parties. (There are notes from PR worrying that some of the actions and coverage were getting too extreme, so they might not truly seem "independent.")

The knee jerk reaction of "big companies bad, individuals good" is not always accurate.

The knee jerk reaction of "I read the summary, but it didn't have all the details, but I assume it must be wrong" even without reading TFA is not always accurate.

The knee jerk reaction... (1)

mevets (322601) | about 10 months ago | (#46206373)

There are the good few (companies) that spoil it for the rotten masses, but they are so rare as to seldom garner a mention.
I would expect that a good company would immediately fire the author of this snivelling little shit strategy, not implement it.

Re:Being a scientist does not mean he is right. (3, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about 10 months ago | (#46206495)

The knee jerk reaction of "big companies bad, individuals good" is not always accurate.

But it's more likely true than not.

Re:Being a scientist does not mean he is right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206627)

It still sounds like a bunch of ad hominem tactics, perfectly valid scientific tactics.

How far should they go? (0)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 10 months ago | (#46206063)

As far as it takes to smash capitalism and see the parasites hang.

Re:How far should they go? (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#46207087)

"Go Big Red! Smash State!"

Rah-rah.

Don't forget to register for your sophomore semester next year.

Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206125)

When ubiquitous omnipotent 3D printing comes to the home (and really, all you need is ONE of these printers to start the revolution: print copies of itself!), all these corporate shenanigans will collapse into dust. When no one will buy anything anymore from any corporation, the SPECIES SHALL BE FREE!!!

Profanity (2)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 10 months ago | (#46206131)

Judging by the amount of profanity in the posts related to a certain Beta, I would had expected that a profanity slinging scientist would be Slashdot's hero of the day....

Re:Profanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206425)

Judging by the amount of profanity in the posts related to a certain Beta, I would had expected that a profanity slinging scientist would be Slashdot's hero of the day....

i isn't excited by heroes who feed trolls and ramble on about how great they are.

What a waste of time.. However some was quite funny the bit about using weeds to help grow his crop was clever and amusing. i am appalled that every time i try and use a lowercase i this damn machine converts it to uppercase. STOP!!!! i'm looking at you MsSpellCheckingFacility.exe

He needs an Erin Brokovich to help (1)

mrflash818 (226638) | about 10 months ago | (#46206195)

He needs an Erin Brokovich to help!

Fight on! (1)

DaMattster (977781) | about 10 months ago | (#46206205)

He's got my support!

Go as FAR as needed... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206305)

I''ve dealt with that type of CRAP for years (here & elsewhere) & had the same type of shit leveled against me (especially online)

So - How'd I beat it? Facts, & truth. They'll always come out in the wash & DESTROY idiots from "KORPORATE AMERIKA" (not that they care: The "fearless leaders" of those entities are sociopathic lunatics who will not only attack a guy like him, but poison anyone in their way too, ala atrazine).

E.G. #1 of 2: They tried calling some of my work in programs a "virus" & I tore apart Computer Associates for it on the advice of an attorney. They had to down it to "NO THREAT". Their CRONY, this fat crap from country boy land Nebraska, Thor Schmuck, tried the same to me for them... in the end? The FAT SHIT lost, bad.

E.G. #2 of 2 - Same occurred with my "APK Hosts File Engine" in 2012, delaying its release by 4 months (& yes, I pursued it with the assistance of folks in the security community who work for malwarebytes & we got Comodo, McAfee/Intel, Symantec, ClamAV, Avira + others to COMPLETELY RESCIND IT (I told them, right off the bat, I was using an exe compressor in 64-bit they didn't understand, & they stepped my app thru a debugger & I turned up fine, as I said I would).

Same shit goes on here with trolls *trying* to "put down" that application of mine - not a SINGLE ONE has ever disproven my points on it enumerated here in hosts giving users added speed, security, reliiability, & even anonymity -> http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com]

APK

P.S.=> A nice side-effect is that a single line entry added to your hosts file gets you around the BETA (being forced down our throats here, mandatory javascript & all + cookies) -> http://games.slashdot.org/comm... [slashdot.org] - ... apk

Re:Go as FAR as needed... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206433)

The corporate idiots downmodded apk! We see his post anyway idiots.

Fight back (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 10 months ago | (#46206377)

And you will never work again in any related industry.

Bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206397)

I still work in the field of computing after I kicked the SHIT out of some "big names" (that staff fucking AMATEURS apparently) that I've absolutely KNOCKED THE SHIT ouf of http://science.slashdot.org/co... [slashdot.org]

APK

P.S.=> Do you *think* that bullshit you spouted actually SCARES anyone that knows they're right, AND knows more than their undereducated dunderhead deceitful sociopath attacker do BY FAR in said "related industry"? Hell no... I AM PROOF! apk

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46207065)

Gee Corporate sociopaths resort to all they understand: Downmods to hide truth yet again.

Just pour some in the Sygenta Board Coffee pots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206525)

Then we'll see how *safe* it is.

Anyway (5, Interesting)

rduke15 (721841) | about 10 months ago | (#46206535)

Tyrone Hayes [...] began to display signs of apparent paranoia over a decade ago. [...] But he wasn't paranoid

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you”
        -- Joseph Heller (?)

“Paranoia is just having the right information.”
        -- William S. Burroughs

Re:Anyway - proverbs for paranoids #4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206867)

if they can get you asking the wrong questions they don't have to worry about the answers - thomas pynchon

Sounds like (0)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 10 months ago | (#46206707)

Sounds like, we should take a page from this guys book and say FUck Beta!

This is Just the Socialism/Environmentalism Ven Di (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206951)

Corporate and corporation's are two different words. I wish the author wasn't purposely illiterate and just ignorant.

No limit except one's willingness to escalate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46206957)

"How do scientists fight a PR war against corporations with unlimited pockets? How far should they go?"

Corporations acting immorally negate any moral limits one might otherwise have acting against them.

If you are innocent and someone tries to ruin your life there is no reason other than your personal "outcome calculation" not to do them hurt.

Corporations can take any loss, but people fear pain. If a corporation loses against you, your human enemies within lose nothing. If you take your fight to your enemies directly, you can take from them things no lawsuit can ever get back.

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