Declaration court

The Geneva University investigation

Was the collaboration secret?

The ethical issues

Industrial associations

Tobacco smoke publications

Letters to scientific journals

ETS workshops

The campaign



How Public Opinion and dedicated anti-tobacco terrorists destroyed good science and a scientific reputation.

Research on the effects of tobacco smoke and why people smoke is of high priority from a public health point of view. Over the years a substantial part of this research has been funded by the tobacco industry, either in their own laboratories or through grants to scientists at universities or other organisations. 

When it became apparent that certain parts of the tobacco industry had tried to diminish the effects of smoke as well as second-hand smoke, and had particularly questioned the results and conclusions from epidemiological studies showing a relation between passive smoking and disease, there was public outrage which was supported by several international organisations.

In the wake of this, it has become morally questionable to work with tobacco industry funding and those who had done so have been condemned akin to the actions of the Spanish inquisition. The research process and its findings have been ignored. The mere fact of having been associated with the tobacco industry has become a crime – guilt by association. This concept is also applied retrospectively – the scientist should have known that she/he was acting unethically. 

Nowhere have these developments been more apparent than in the “Affaire Rylander” – the action of anti-tobacco activists in Geneva against a well known and reputable international researcher. This site sets out the background of the Rylander affair and provides evidence to show how public opinion and preconceived ideas can destroy findings based on reputable scientific work. 

Ragnar Rylander   

(updated December 2006)