University of Michigan Report of the Ongoing Investigation of the Neel-Chagnon Allegations

Apr 30th, 2015
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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
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Following is the official statement by the University of Michigan on the book, Darkness in El Dorado, by Patrick Tierney, forthcoming from W.W. Norton & Co. on November 16, 2000.

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October 20, 2000Update from University of MichiganUniversity of Michigan Report (Parts 1, 2, 3)of the Ongoing Investigation of the Neel-Chagnon AllegationsPart 1Following is the official statement by the University of Michigan on the book,Darkness in El Dorado,by Patrick Tierney, forthcoming from W.W. Norton & Co. on November 16, 2000.We now have galley proofs of the book, and are examining them in detail. In the meantime, however, we will respond to the allegations outlined in an e-mail message from two reviewers, Terence Turner of Cornell University and Leslie Sponsel of the University of Hawaii-Manoa. Their e-mail makes reference to the work of James V. Neel, M.D., and Napoleon Chagnon, Ph.D., with the Yanomami of Venezuela. Dr. Neel died last February.The University takes allegations of impropriety seriously and we have begun an internal inquiry. In the short time we have been engaged in this review, we have already found materials directly contradicting a number of the claims cited in the e-mail message regarding Dr. Neel and Dr. Chagnon. These errors are repeated in the galley proofs.We believe that Mr. Tierney has not consulted important original source material that was readily available for review. Analysis of that material and other material from persons familiar with the expeditions, the measles outbreak, and the measles vaccine refutes the allegations.Below are listed some of the allegations and a description of our initial findings.Claim:

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