Retracted Ecstasy paper "an outrageous scandal"

should publish referees' reports

Robert Walgate(walgate@scienceanalysed.com)
Sep 15, 2003

The retraction last week of a highly controversial paper published in Science September 2002, which purported to show that the recreational drug Ecstasy (methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA) caused severe damage to dopaminergic neurons, predisposing takers to Parkinson disease, has prompted two leading British scientists to call for the journal to publish the referees' reports.

Colin Blakemore—professor of physiology at Oxford University and chairman of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, who will shortly take up the position of chief executive of the UK Medical Research Council—and Leslie Iversen—a prominent pharmacologist who holds professorships at King's College London and Oxford University and reviewed the effects of cannabis for a House of Lords select committee report—both made the recommendation in interviews with The Scientist last week.

Even before the retraction, Blakemore and Iversen had been involved in a lengthy e-mail exchange about the original paper with Donald Kennedy, the editor-in-chief...

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