A recent review article and accompanying editorial in the Journal of Health Psychology, and a subsequent editorial in the British Medical Journal, may interest AHP readers. The pieces address Hans Eysenck and his colleague Ronald Grossarth-Maticek’s work on health topics and the call for an inquiry into the ethically and scientifically problematic findings reported in numerous publications. Full details below.
“Personality and fatal diseases: Revisiting a scientific scandal,” by Anthony J Pelosi. Abstract:
During the 1980s and 1990s, Hans J Eysenck conducted a programme of research into the causes, prevention and treatment of fatal diseases in collaboration with one of his protégés, Ronald Grossarth-Maticek. This led to what must be the most astonishing series of findings ever published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature with effect sizes that have never otherwise been encounterered in biomedical research. This article outlines just some of these reported findings and signposts readers to extremely serious scientific and ethical criticisms that were published almost three decades ago. Confidential internal documents that have become available as a result of litigation against tobacco companies provide additional insights into this work. It is suggested that this research programme has led to one of the worst scientific scandals of all time. A call is made for a long overdue formal inquiry.
“The Hans Eysenck affair: Time to correct the scientific record,” by David F Marks. Abstract:
The Journal of Health Psychology publishes here Dr Anthony Pelosi’s analysis of questionable science by one of the world’s best-known psychologists, the late Professor Hans J Eysenck. The provenance of a huge body of data produced by Eysenck and Ronald Grossarth-Maticek is highly controversial. In Open letters to King’s College London and the British Psychological Society, this editor is requesting a thorough investigation of the facts together with retraction or correction of 61 publications. Academic institutions have a conflict of interest concerning allegations of misconduct, which is why I believe that the only way forward is to have a National Research Integrity Ombudsperson to investigate allegations.
“Hans Eysenck: controversialist or worse?,” by Richard Smith. No abstract.