Brian Martin (born 1947) is a social scientist in the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry, Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, at the University of Wollongong in NSW, Australia. He was appointed a Professor at the University in 2007, and in 2017 was appointed Emeritus Professor. His work is in the fields of peace research, science and technology studies, sociology, political science, media studies, law, journalism and education, as well as research on whistleblowing and the suppression of scientific dissent. Martin was president of Whistleblowers Australia from 1996 to 1999 and remains their International Director.
Martin has spoken at a British Science Association Festival of Science, and testified at the Australian Federal Senate's Inquiry into Academic Freedom. The crustacean Polycheles martini was named after him.
Gary, Indiana, US
|Education||Rice University, (BA in Physics); University of Sydney (PhD)|
|Occupation||Social scientist at University of Wollongong (social study of dissent, peace studies); formerly mathematician at Australian National University|
|Employer||University of Wollongong|
Martin's original academic field was stratospheric modelling and numerical methods. He has published extensively about the social dynamics and politicisation of controversial scientific topics. His topics of inquiry have included the globalization of polarised science such as the origin of HIV/AIDS. He argues that there are situations in which scientific research that threatens vested interests can be suppressed. He identifies a number of direct and indirect mechanisms through which this can occur, ranging from the denial of funds and the denial of promotion and tenure, through to the creation of a "general climate of fear".
Martin has been criticised for supporting the now-discredited theory that oral polio vaccine caused AIDS. The hypothesis was first popularised in Rolling Stone magazine by way of journalist Curtis and AIDS activist Elswood in 1992, and was later further promoted by the journalist/writer Hooper and Martin, with Hooper crediting Martin for giving the OPV-AIDS link hypothesis "further publicity and credibility". Martin disputes the claim that he has been a supporter of the hypothesis, instead saying that he has "never argued in favour of the OPV theory", but has instead stated "that it was and remains worthy of consideration yet in many ways has been unfairly dismissed". A 2016 article in The Australian described Martin's 2010 paper as claiming "that medical researchers had colluded to silence the theory that the AIDS virus was caused by contaminated polio vaccines in 1950s Africa."
Martin has been active in the criticism of university systems. He has criticized conflicts of interest where universities are managing internal investigations that may lead to bad publicity, and recommends having independent groups investigate allegations of misconduct; he has written about the unauthorised use of research produced by students and junior researchers by senior academics; and he has been outspoken against sexual relationships between staff and students. He also reports that any bias within universities could simply be due to students strategically working in-line with the biases of their teachers.
Martin believes that if complainants go through the official channels the outcome is very predictable, in that organisation's internal grievance procedures or making a complaint to the relevant ombudsman doesn't work. He also believes whistleblower laws also don't work, saying; "Not only are whistleblower laws flawed through exemptions and in-built weaknesses but in their implementation they are rarely helpful".
Martin has been criticised for his role in the Judith Wilyman PhD controversy where medical academics and the AMA raised concerns of whether Professor Martin had the necessary knowledge to assess vaccine science. In his blog David Gorski has criticised Martin, saying that Martin is not distinguishing between dissent based on facts, science and logic as opposed to dissent based on pseudoscience and misinformation, and The Australian has criticised him as not recognising academic rigour over academic freedom.
In 2014, Martin published a paper characterizing criticism of Andrew Wakefield's discredited claims about vaccines and autism as "suppression of vaccination dissent". In 2016 an unedited source said that Martin "also defends the idea of a vaccine-autism link." However, Martin disputes this, saying: "I have never defended this idea."
In 2016 the Australian Skeptics criticised Martin's supervision of Wilyman by presenting Martin, Wilyman and the Social Sciences Department of the University of Wollongong the satirical Bent Spoon Award for awarding "a PhD thesis riddled with errors, misstatements, poor and unsupported 'evidence' and conspiratorial thinking".
His most cited papers are:
Brian Martin may refer to:
Brian Martin (basketball) (born 1962), U.S. basketball player
Brian Martin (footballer) (born 1963), former Scottish footballer
Brian Martin (luger) (born 1974), American luger
Brian Martin (social scientist) (born 1947), professor at the University of Wollongong in Australia
Brian Frank Martin (born 1936), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, Australia, 1993–2003
Brian Ross Martin (born 1947), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, Australia, 2004–2010
Brian J. Martin, American political figure who served as Mayor and City Manager of Lowell, Massachusetts
Brian F. Martin (born 1974), American entrepreneur
Brian Martin (footballer) (born 1985), Scottish footballerGeorge Waldbott
George L. Waldbott, M.D. (January 14, 1898 – July 17, 1982), was an American physician, scientist, and leading activist against water fluoridation.Mark Diesendorf
Mark Diesendorf is an Australian academic and environmentalist, known for his work in sustainable development and renewable energy. He currently teaches environmental studies at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia. He was formerly professor of environmental science and founding director of the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney and before that a principal research scientist with CSIRO, where he was involved in early research on integrating wind power into electricity grids. His most recent book is Sustainable Energy Solutions for Climate Change.Philip R. N. Sutton
Philip R. N. Sutton (1915 – March 12, 1995) was an Australian dental researcher and statistician. Sutton was a leading activist in the opposition of water fluoridation.
Sutton graduated with honors from the University of Melbourne with a degree in Dental Science. His subsequent degrees included Doctor of Dental Science, the highest dental research degree available. His post-graduate studies also included research in physiology, biochemistry and statistics for research workers.In 1939, Dr Sutton enlisted in the Australian Army. He was part of the medical team in North Borneo. He was elected chairman of the Victorian Branch of the Biometric Society. He was also a Foundation Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Dental Surgeons, and a member of the Council of the Victorian branch of the Australian Dental Association. He did extensive research in the South Pacific, studying tooth abnormalities and related dietary factors. He was appointed Senior Lecturer in Dental Science in 1964.In 1957, while a senior research fellow in the University of Melbourne in the Department of Oral Medicine and Surgery, Sutton was asked by Sir Arthur Amies, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Science, to check the numerical data and methods published in the American trials on artificial water fluoridation. Sutton's analysis resulted in a 72-page monograph that questioned those studies' findings, and culminated in another publication, Fluoridation: Errors and Omissions in Experimental Trials in 1960 which included the responses of the trials authors' to the original critique and Sutton's comments. Sutton's other publications included studies on the relationship between mental stress and dental disease, the first appearing in the journal, Nature, in 1962. In 1979 he published another critique of water fluoridation studies, Fluoridation 1979: Scientific Criticisms and Fluoride Dangers. His last book, The Greatest Fraud: Fluoridation, was published posthumously in 1996.Sheldon Krimsky
Sheldon Krimsky is Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University, and adjunct professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Tufts University School of Medicine. He is a fellow of the Hastings Center, an independent bioethics research institution.Krimsky received his bachelor's and master's degrees in physics from Brooklyn College and Purdue University respectively, and a masters and doctorate in philosophy at Boston University.