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Trouble brewing at NIH agency

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences faces inquiries as NIEHS scientists voice lack of confidence in director

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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More than 100 tenured and tenure-track scientists at the NIH's environmental agency say they no longer have confidence in the leadership of David Schwartz, embattled director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The vote of no confidence, cast during a secret ballot held from August 13 to August 20 at the request of NIEHS Assembly of Scientists members, follows a series of controversies at the agency, including its proposal to privatize and cut funding for Environmental Health Perspectives, the agency's open-access, peer-reviewed scientific journal, in September, 2005.Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), a ranking member of the Senate's Committee on Finance, has also accused Schwartz of mismanagement.This week, the NIH announced it was conducting a review of the "management and leadership" of the NIEHS, during which Schwartz will "temporarily" step down from his position. He is replaced by deputy director Samuel Wilson.A senior NIEHS researcher,...

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