IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE by Andrew Goliszek


A History of Secret Programs, Medical Research, and Human Experimentation
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High-minded, full of righteous indignation and now-it-can-be-told breathiness, this tract trades in half-baked conspiracy theories.

To be sure, there are odious accounts of Nazi and Japanese wartime medical atrocities and the earlier histories of eugenics and sterilization laws. Other well-publicized medical scandals concern the suicide of a physician who unwittingly drank LSD-laced Cointreau, mentally retarded children subjected to hepatitis experiments at Willowbrook, and more recently the death of a young volunteer in a clinical trial for gene therapy. Not so well known, but credible, are descriptions of government programs to develop interrogation and brainwashing techniques, not to mention various biological, chemical, and radiological WMD. Does anyone really believe that the US is less vigilant in such research than its enemies—or allies, for that matter? But Gulf War syndrome caused by bioweapons perfected by Iraq from mycoplasma bacteria shipped to Iraq by an American biotech company? West Nile virus a trick of Cuban ornithologists, who infected birds migrating to the US, where they would be bitten by mosquitoes and transmit the disease? HIV infection connected to polio or smallpox or hepatitis B vaccines? Or a mycoplasma? Indeed, read Goliszek (Biology/North Carolina A&T State Univ.) and you get a dim view of all vaccines, which seem to routinely cause cancer or brain damage. And a dimmer view of clinical trialists, the FDA, biotech, and drug companies, the latter especially at fault for wanting to regulate the health-supplement industry and for suppressing the “fact” that lack of vitamin C causes heart disease. Having made such charges, the author invariably hedges his bets by saying the jury is still out, while offering scant references for what he has said, which is sometimes just plain wrong. He laments that Phase I clinical trials leave patients believing they will get the experimental drug, for example, but Phase I trials are limited to healthy volunteers, not patients.

Off the deep end.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-312-30356-4
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2003