What Happened to Freedom of Academic Speech–UC Davis Threatens Professor for Writing about PSA Testing Which Was Published
Posted Aug 27 2012 12:00am
This is just so bizarre and the fact that it has not been completely rectified yet is even stranger. I get tons of emails with press releases and so forth on PSA tests and all kinds of other matters and I don’t understand this at all especially since they facility voted 52-0 that the doctor’s rights for academic freedom has been violated. The professor has been a medical reporter for the New York Times, ABC News and more and is a recognized expert on Prostate Cancer. The newspaper also did their editing which sounds like it played into the way it read and was interpreted. This goes back to the year 2010.
Perhaps he could leave and return to UCLA where he came from as an option and this certainly would stand to quiet additional academic information and lectures. They didn’t even address the editing with the newspaper either and for the school to take “legal” action on this is unreal. The event was sponsored by the NFL so was this to be an infomercial type of presentation where the doctor’s opinion differed a little? We all want the truth and honesty and this whole situation seems to be a bit more political than anything else in what I have read. No more PSA articles on this blog as most of the time when it comes to those types of articles and press releases I refrain from them anyway as it goes back and forth as far as opinions. BD
When UC Davis announced a seminar on men’s health back in October 2010, it sounded like a typical educational event. But UC David professor Michael Wilkes investigated and learned that the seminar was primarily a sales pitch about the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, and that its main message was that men should get tested regularly beginning at age 40.
Prof. Wilkes, an expert on prostate cancer screening, came to the same conclusion almost two years ago. In response to the UC Davis seminar, he and USC professor Jerome Hoffman wrote an opinion article for the San Francisco Chronicle. They made basically the same argument that the USPSTF made in their lengthy, thoroughly researched report: that the PSA test often does more harm than good.
The story would end there, if not for what UC Davis then did to Prof. Wilkes. Within a few hours of the publication of the newspaper article, the Executive Associate Dean at the UC Davis medical school informed Wilkes that he would be punished in two ways.
First, he would lose his position in the doctoring program, and second, he would lose the funding support for a Hungarian student exchange program that he organized. Dr. Wilkes, it is worth noting, was recruited to UC Davis from UCLA because of the innovative program in doctoring (how to be a doctor) that he developed.
This summer, the UC Davis faculty senate voted 52-0 that the university had violated Prof. Wilkes’ academic freedom, and called for the university to apologize and withdraw its threats, which UC Davis has not yet done