Truth and Trust in Medical Publication: The Role of Editors and Whistleblowers



In this talk Professor Margaret Rees will discuss the MMR 1998 Lancet paper retracted for data fabrication and falsification in 2010, which has led to general vaccine hesitancy and preventable deaths. She will also consider high profile retractions in 2020 with regard to Covid-19. The publication process will be discussed, for example, what editors screen for before peer review, as well as the role of whistleblowers post publication.

Professor Margaret Rees MA, DPhil, FRCOG is Editor in Chief of Case Reports in Women’s Health and Emeritus Editor in Chief of Maturitas. She has a longstanding, unique portfolio of experience of research and publication ethics. She chaired a National Health Service REC, was on the Oxford University and Northumbria University RECs and is now a member of the Open University REC. She is on the advisory board of the UK Research Integrity office.

She was on the Council of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).  Her expertise has been recognized nationally and internationally, by appointments to a Readership in Reproductive Medicine at Oxford University; and visiting Professorships at Glasgow University and at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the University of Turku in Finland,
and an Adjunct Associate Professorship at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Jersey. In 2020 she received the Women’s Health Institute’s Woman of Distinction Award from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

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