Poster Girl for Junk Science, or Spokeswoman for Voiceless?

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An October 24, 2005 item by Liz Kowalczyk in the Boston Globe described opposition, started by ACSH president Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, to the Harvard School of Public Health's award to Erin Brockovich:

Erin Brockovich-Ellis, the paralegal whose fight against a chemical company in California became fodder for a Hollywood blockbuster, has stepped into a new controversy, this time involving the esteemed Harvard School of Public Health. The school's decision to award Brockovich-Ellis its highest honor -- the Julius B. Richmond Award, named for the former U.S. surgeon general -- created its own mini-drama.

First, alumni Elizabeth Whelan, president of the American Council on Health and Science, a nonprofit think tank, wrote an opinion piece for the conservative Washington Times, calling Brockovich-Ellis ''the poster girl for junk science," and said that studies never proved anyone got sick from water near the Pacific Gas and Electric Co.; she urged the school's dean, Dr. Barry Bloom, to rescind the award.

See also:

"Radical Parody Threatens Environmental Movement" (from the Detroit News and New York Sun)

"Shaky Science at Harvard" (from the Wall Street Journal)

"That's Entertainment" (from Investor's Business Daily)

"Public Health or Brockovich Wealth?" (from, the Modesto Bee, and the Boston Herald)