You are on page 1of 20


Volume 1181 of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, published Dec 2009

Correspondence by CAROLINE WEBB in pursuit of information about how and why the decision was taken at the NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES to put work by Alexey Yablokov et al into the ANNALS series of science publications. The NYAS use the justification that all they are doing is re-publishing previously published work, together with the claim that they think it is scientifically valid work from the general scientific community But there was no review prior to publication. The sources were never checked up on. There was no concern that the author was a founding member of Greenpeace in Russia, and was using work that had first been prepared for a Greenpeace Report about Chernobyl for which Yablokov served as General Editor. The idea that the entire project could be seriously biased and scientifically deficient appears to have been ignored by the decision-makers. The concern about committing the name of the NYAS as an institution and the names of the Governors to this publication was also ignored. There was apparently no discussion with the Board of Governors of the NYAS prior to signing legally binding contracts with the author Yablokov and with a consulting editor who turns out to be well known for writing political tracts denying peer-reviewed science. The book was waved through unquestioned This does not befit any Academy of Science.

Inquiry to UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation) via their website
Concerning New York Academy of Sciences Publication of work on Chernobyl Consequences by Alexey Yablokov I am writing to ask if the New York Academy of Sciences made any contact with UNSCEAR prior to deciding to pay for the translation of work by Alexey Yablokov and subsequent publication in English in their Annals. If there was any contact made, may I be given the names of the correspondents at UNSCEAR and at NYAS please? I am researching the background to the decision taken by NYAS to publish this work, and will be writing to the Chairman of their Board of Governors about this decision. Thank you

Email from Malcolm Crick at UNSCEAR Concerning New York Academy of Sciences Publication of work on Chernobyl Consequences by Alexey Yablokov
From: Malcolm CRICK Date: Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 11:03 AM Subject: Re: [WEB] Concerning New York Academy of Sciences Publication of work on Chernobyl Consequences by Alexey Yablokov Dear Ms. Webb Thank you for your inquiry. I can inform you that no contact was made by the New York Academy of Sciences with UNSCEAR prior to deciding to pay for the translation of work by Yablokov et al. Yours sincerely Malcolm Crick Malcolm J. Crick Secretary, United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR)Vienna International Centre P.O. Box 500, A-1400 Vienna, Austria Tel: +43 (1) 26060/4330 Fax: +43 (1) 26060/5902 Direct fax: +43 (1) 26060-7-4330 Email: Web site: 3

EMAIL TO THE WHO - World Health Organization re New York Academy of Sciences publication of Yablokov book on Chernobyl Health Effects
To: Date: Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 9:34 AM Subject: re New York Academy of Sciences publication of Yablokov book on Chernobyl Health Effects Dear Christy Feig, I am researching the background to the decision taken at the New York Academy of Sciences to organize translation into English of the text published in Russian by Yablokov in 2007 and publication of this work through its Annals publishing arm. Please see: I would like to know if there was any contact with WHO at all by anyone from the NYAS prior to publication. If so, may I be informed who the correspondents were please, both NYAS and WHO. I imagine there was not any contact made but I am double checking before I send a letter to the Chair of the NYAS Board of Governors asking him a number of questions relating to their decision-making and reviewing process. His responses will be published, if I receive anything. If not, my questions will be published. I hope to hear from you very soon. Thank you, Sincerely, Caroline Webb -------------------------

Email from Nada Osseiran, World Health Organization

From: Osseiran, Nada A.L. Date: Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 4:37 AM Subject: re New York Academy of Sciences publication of Yablokov book on Chernobyl Health Effects Dear Caroline,

Further to your email below I wish to convey the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) did not contact WHO prior to the publication by Yablokov on the Chernobyl effects. Best, Nada 4

Nada Osseiran (Ms) Communications Officer Office L-228 Public Health & Environment Dept. (PHE) Health Security & Environment Cluster (HSE) World Health Organization (WHO) CH-1211 Geneva 27 Tel: +4122 7914475 Mobile: +41 79 4451624 Fax: + 4122 7914127 Email:

EMAIL TO THE IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency Re. New York Academy of Sciences publication of Alexei Yablokov Book on Chernoby
Sent July 1, 2011 I am writing to ask if the New York Academy of Sciences made any approach to the IAEA regarding the work by Alexei Yablokov et al on Chernobyl prior to their decision to organize translation and publication of the work. I am researching the background to this decision as I wish to find out more about it from the NYAS Chairman of the Board of Governors. I imagine there was no contact at all between the NYAS and the Chernobyl Forum but I wish to double check before writing to NYAS. The relevant link to their Annals is: Best regards, Caroline Webb

Email from Peter Kaiser, International Atomic Energy Agency

From: Cc: Date: Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 5:49 AM Subject: Re. New York Academy of Sciences publication of Alexei Yablokov Book on Chernobyl Dear Ms. Webb, Although the survey took longer than we anticipated, and I apologize for the delay in our response, we have not found any indication that the NYAS or the authors of the cited papers contacted the IAEA staff who are engaged in the Chernobyl Forums follow-on activities. Please feel free to contact us if we can offer any further information.

With best regards, Peter Peter Kaiser | Section Head - News & Information / Public Information Division International Atomic Energy Agency | VIC PO Box 100, 1400 Vienna, Austria Tel.: + 43 2600 21286 | Mobile: + 43 699 165 21286

************ EMAIL TO BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES : Decision-Making at NYAS re. Translation, Editing and Publication of A. Yablokov et al Book on Chernobyl Effects
Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 3:19 PM To: John Sexton CC: Ellis Rubinstein Seth Berkley Len Blavatnik Nancy Cantor Martin Chalfie Kenneth Davis Robin Davisson Alice P. Gast Brian Ferguson Jay Furman Brian Greene Steven Hochberg Mehmood Khan Abraham Lackman Bruce S. McEwen Russell Read Jeffrey Sachs David J. Skorton Frank Wilczek Nancy Zimpher Dear Dr. Sexton, I am doing some research for a possible article for publication. I would be glad if you could spare the time to respond to some questions I have regarding the NYAS 6

decision to translate and then publish work done by Yablokov and the two Nesterenko co-authors. As you are the Chair of the NYAS Board of Governors, I believe you are in a position to send me some firm answers on matters that concern me and others. For ease of reading, I summarize the main questions here and the rest of my email elaborates on them. 1. Who recruited Janette Sherman to be the Consulting Editor of the Yablokov manuscript? Were other names for Editorship ever discussed? 2. Was her recruitment discussed at Board of Governors level? 3. Was the decision to pay for translation into English from Russian of the Yablokov work made at Board of Governors level? If not, who has authority at the NYAS to allocate funds for this substantial translation task to be done? 4. Who reviewed the work and passed it as suitable for publication in the Annals? If more people than the Annals Editor were involved, who were those people please? 5. Was the Board of Governors consulted over the decision to publish? 6. Was an Evaluation Panel ever set up and what were their findings? 7. Are you aware that the NYAS Board of Governors' names have been used to grant authority to the claims of prominent campaigners who believe nuclear energy is too dangerous to exist and must be terminated? The name of the Consulting Editor for the Chernobyl Consequences work, Janette Sherman, is well known in anti-nuclear circles going back many years. She and her colleague Joseph Mangano have recently caused fear and alarm across the world by issuing an 'analysis' of some of the infant mortality statistics published by the Center for Disease Control (the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report - MMWR), claiming that there was a 35% 'spike' in infant deaths in some cities of the US on the West coast in the weeks following the accident at Fukushima, making the insinuation that the very low level of radiation received on the US West coast is responsible for those deaths. This is a very serious claim. Here is a link to their press release/'report': Several commentators have taken a look at this infant mortality statement by Sherman and Mangano and see that it is highly selective in the data it discusses. Here are three analyses of their work at an informal level: 7 These articles are not long and anyone can follow the logic of the critiques to see that the Sherman and Mangano work is fundamentally flawed through its "cherrypicking" of dates, and abnormal, non-scientific haste in making any suggestion that apparent increases in infant deaths could be firmly tied to the radiation plume/s from Fukushima. I learn that it takes CDC up to a year to gather the information about cause of death with infants under the age of 1 year. Without that information to hand there could not be anything meaningful said in the attempt to tie infant deaths to Fukushima. This very point, however, begs the central thesis of the Yablokov work that the NYAS decided to put into its Annals, namely that no matter what the scientific world knows about radiation-associated sickness and mortality, when it comes to radiation effects from either Chernobyl or Fukushima, that knowledge is worthless and to be disputed. This claim about the invalidity of mainstream scientific research and knowledge is stated flatly and defiantly throughout the Chernobyl Consequences treatise itself. Given this 35% spike incident, I would like to know who in the NYAS recruited Janette Sherman to be the Consulting Editor of the Chernobyl Consequences treatise. Was her recruitment discussed by the Board of Governors at all? Were any other names put forward to serve as Editor who had no record of anti-nuclear campaigning? Secondly, were you and the NYAS Board Members aware of the decision by NYAS staff to arrange for the translation of the Yablokov work into English? Did this kind of expense (325 pages of translation) have to pass a Board of Governors' meeting or is such a decision never on the agenda of the Board and you were therefore completely unaware that the NYAS was committing funds to pay for this translation? Who is responsible in the NYAS for having made that decision to organize a translation? Thirdly, I would like to know who - either in or outside the NYAS - then read the work closely and passed it as suitable for publication in the Annals. I cannot believe that the Annals Editor did that scientific review work alone. Who did Mr Braaten's predecessor ask to review the 325 pages carefully, check out the references cited and pass opinion on the work overall? What are their names please? Fourthly, are you aware that there was a response given to NYAS member Mr Theodore Rockwell, who has been in touch with NYAS on several occasions concerning the Chernobyl Consequences treatise, telling him that a "Panel" of people has been assembled to look into the scientific status of the Yablokov work and its suitability, or otherwise, to be published in the Annals? About a year ago 8

Ted Rockwell, a lifelong nuclear engineer and author, was told that a group of people was being assembled and after they had evaluated the treatise, a decision would be taken to either remain firmly behind this work or take a decisive stand against it. Despite several efforts to get an answer about this Evaluation Panel and what it has concluded, no answers have been provided to Mr Rockwell. What is the status of any 'Evaluation Panel" please? Who has participated in it and what have they concluded please? More than enough time has gone by for this evaluation work to have been done. I have received permission from Mr Rockwell to attach his two documents sent to NYAS in the last year, to which he has thus far received no response, plus one more document which is in progress Truth Betrayed. I have found that the translation paid for by NYAS has been published for free reading by the whole world on a website called Here is the link: This is not the only place it can be found on the internet. Is this a breach of copyright I wonder? In fact, who owns the copyright on this work now? Is it the authors or is it the NYAS? I have also found very many websites and videos by people such as Helen Caldicott using the name of the NYAS to inflame people's emotions and thus gain support for political goals of terminating nuclear power worldwide, with obvious consequences for the world's climate. Caldicott's responses to Guardian journalist George Monbiot clearly show that she believes your organization has explicitly endorsed the 'science' presented in that work. She repeatedly urges him to read the work because it has been approved by the NYAS. See: and the publication of Caldicott's correspondence with Monbiot: Given that your name and the names of all the Board of Governors of the NYAS are printed at the beginning of the Chernobyl Consequences book, could one be surprised at Caldicott's determination to misuse your authority? Of course the same point applies to the many other political campaigners now pointing their followers to the NYAS as having sanctioned the entire work and having granted it firm truth and validity status. The question of what standing the science has in this work is of great importance therefore. If all other scientists whose work is selected to be published in the NYAS Annals have to conform to accepted norms of methodology and intellectual process in the sciences, how is it possible that Yablokov et al's work was given exemption? Was it sufficient to take the word of author Alexei Yablokov and the editor Janette Sherman that the works cited in the NYAS-published treatise were peer-reviewed and that no further investigation was needed before deciding to embroil NYAS in this publication exercise? Did no one speak up for making contact 9

with the Chernobyl Forum scientists? I have written to the IAEA and to WHO and to UNSCEAR and all three have responded to say that no contact was made with them prior to publication of this work. There was apparently no checking of the references cited in the book. None. In the light of all of the above I find it hard to believe that NYAS is acting with consistency when it makes the following statement on their website: "The Academy is committed to publishing content deemed scientifically valid by the general scientific community, from whom the Academy carefully monitors feedback." But there is no possible way that the Chernobyl Consequences book by Yablokov et al could be deemed "scientifically valid by the general scientific community". The book repeatedly states that it is stepping aside from the rest of the scientific world, repudiating its methodologies and proposing an alternative view, resulting in an essentially unfounded claim that 985,000 people have died as a direct result of releases of radiation from Chernobyl, with predictions made for millions more deaths that they claim must be linked causally with the Chernobyl accident. This is in stark contrast with the figure for deaths and predictions published by the Chernobyl Forum scientists - over 100 of them - who produced a 600 page report in 2005, as you must be aware. There is another statement made on NYAS website which gives me much concern as well. On the page of the NYAS website describing the Yablokov et al work, the following statement is made: "This is a collection of papers translated from the Russian with some revised and updated contributions. Written by leading authorities from Eastern Europe, the volume outlines the history of the health and environmental consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. According to the authors, official discussions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and associated United Nations' agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl Forum reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments." I would like to know if the Board of Governors ever discussed whether - and exactly how - the 9 UN agencies scientific work was at fault and inadequate and therefore if you all explicitly approved the above statement. If you and the Board did not discuss and approve the statement, who has responsibility for having allowed this work by Yablokov (and Janette Sherman, implicitly) to get into print under the NYAS name? The world of concerned scientists, concerned journalists and concerned members of the public wish to receive a clear answer about the decision-making procedures at NYAS about this Yablokov book. I look forward to hearing your remarks and answers to my various questions. Sincerely, Caroline Webb 10

Email from NYAS Annals Editor, Douglas Braaten, in Response to Email sent to the Board of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences on July 4, 2011
Sent: July 7, 2011 Dear Caroline Webb, On behalf of the Academy, I write in response to your 4 July email to various NYAS Board members concerning publication of the Chernobyl volume in our journal Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. In collaboration with Dr. Timothy A. Mousseau, Professor of Biological Studies and Dean of the Graduate School, University of South Carolina, the Chernobyl project was originally taken on, developedincluding the choice of Janette Sherman-Nevinger as consulting editor and the decision to translate the volume, and accepted by the Annals Executive Editor (EE) at that time under the direction of the Vice President (VP) of Publishing and Communications (a position that no longer exists at the Academy). The volume was published online on 30 November 2009. In April of 2010 the Academy posted an online statement indicating that the volume is a translation of a book previously published in Russian that presented a series of meta- analyses of 100s of scientific studies that had been published in Slavic language journals. The Academy statement also mentioned that the Annals Chernobyl volume was not a study by or for the Academy; that the Academy provides an open forum for discussion; and that the authors were solely responsible for the content. In late March 2011, George Monbiot, a reporter with The Guardian, wrote to me asking for details on the review process for the Chernobyl volume. I explained the details of the Annals editorial practices and procedures in place at that time. Monbiot published a statement from the Academy in The Guardian that read: In no sense did Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences or the New York Academy of Sciences commission this work; nor by its publication do we intend to independently validate the claims made in the translation or in the original publications cited in the work. The translated volume has not been peer-reviewed by the New York Academy of Sciences, or by anyone else. Efforts continue to have the Chernobyl volume evaluated by a group of peers. The volume is no longer for sale (all copies sold covered production costs) and a second printing is not 11

planned. The licensing rights for the volume have been returned to the authors, so they can distribute it as they wish (the Academy will thus not benefit financially from future sales of the volume). Besides our effort to review the volume, at least two Academy-independent reviews have been published (included as PDFs), accompanied by a response by the authors of the Chernobyl volume. As we wrote in our online statement of 26 April 2010, the Academy is committed to publishing content deemed scientifically valid by the general scientific community, from whom the Academy carefully monitors feedback. At this time we are prepared to post on the Academy website commentaries on the Chernobyl volume that speak to its scientific merit and which are not simply ad hominem attacks (all commentaries will be evaluated by the Academy before posting). And when our peer evaluation of the volume is complete, we will post whatever the evaluation consists of. I hope these comments are helpful to you. Regards, Douglas Braaten

Douglas Braaten, Ph.D. Director and Executive Editor ANNALS of the New York Academy of Sciences The New York Academy of Sciences 7 World Trade Center 250 Greenwich St, 40FL New York, NY 10007-2157 --------------------------

Email to Douglas Braaten, Annals Editor of the New York Academy of Sciences re. Book on Chernobyl Effects by A.Yablokov et al
Sent July 12, 2011, CC to Ellis Rubinstein, CEO of the NYAS and John Sexton, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the NYAS
Dear Dr. Braaten, Thank you for your reply of July 7 to my email inquiry to the Board of Governors Chairman regarding the decision-making re. the Chernobyl volume 1181 of the NYAS Annals. I am glad to hear that there will now be some space given on the website for commentaries to be posted relating to this work. That is a step forward. However concerns remain about decision-making about this publication.


In reflecting upon your comments from which I learn that there was no contact made with the Governors, at least officially, prior to deciding to take this project on, I realize that the decision to translate and publish the Yablokov Chernobyl Annals volume cannot have been taken in isolation from CEO Ellis Rubinstein who has been in post throughout this period and under whom budget decisions are directed. In the absence of any involvement or knowledge by the Board of Governors about this decision, it is to Mr. Rubinstein that questions about decision-making are therefore properly addressed and who must surely bear the main responsibility for decision-making on this matter. Your own role is of having supported the original decision, I assume, because had you been unable to accept the reasoning behind publishing the work, or had you found any of the faults to be cause for concern that, for instance, Dr. Monty Charles has found in the work (see below), you surely could not have stood by and allowed this publication to proceed as it has done. It is no secret what the provenance of the manuscript is. In 2006 Greenpeace published a report with a similar name to the one published by NYAS, called The Chernobyl Catastrophe: Consequences on Human Health and author Alexei Yablokov was highly involved in that volume. In his Preface to the book, Yablokov refers to the background work by Greenpeace and others. Most of the content and most of the sources cited are the same, I believe. There were some updates between the Greenpeace Report and the NYAS Annals volume but otherwise nothing substantially changed, I believe. Thus, notwithstanding the collaboration with an American university scholar, Dr. Timothy Mousseau, there are some questions that need answering.

1. What is the reason - or the reasons - that this manuscript was taken on as a
project? As the only guide regarding its scientific merit was the 2006 Greenpeace report - and the opinion of already 'biased' people such as the authors or Janette Sherman-Nevinger - would it be true to say that Ellis Rubinstein, yourself, the previous Annals Editor and the VP of Publishing/Communication were satisfied there was sufficient confidence in such sources to justify a decision to translate and publish? It would seem that you were indeed satisfied because the point leads directly to my next question.

2. Why was no review done prior to publication? How was it justified that a review of
the contents of this work was unnecessary before committing the august and important reputation of the New York Academy of Sciences to the work? You say that a review is being done now - but this is after a fait accompli. The horse has bolted and it is too late to close the gate. I believe it is the first time in the history of Western science that the normal protocol of review prior to publication has been violated. Yes, I understand all the points made in your email and on the website regarding this being a previously published work but this in no way stands up as an argument for putting it out in print and online prior to a special review process at the NYAS.

3. Given the two questions above, could it be the case that just four people working

for the New York Academy of Sciences opted to use the auspices of the institution to enable a contentious piece of work to gain credibility and standing? Did political (cause-based) motivation take precedence over scientific motivation? Although your April 26 web statement says "The expressed views of the authors, or by advocacy groups or individuals with specific opinions about the Annals Chernobyl volume, are their own", and it is credibly claimed in the same short statement that the role of the NYAS is to provide 'forums' for the discussion of scientific matters, these disclaimers cannot over-ride the reality that the name of the Academy has been given to work that was not reviewed/evaluated before it was published. I would therefore say that such disclaimers are eviscerated of real meaning by the event of publishing itself. Exactly the same points could have easily been made by enabling this work to be honorably discussed at the NYAS without it actually being published by the Academy. Another publisher should have taken responsibility for its publication. Instead of this course of action with the manuscript being taken, four people appear to have proceeded to exploit the good name of the NYAS without any reference to the Board of Governors before doing so. Although you may point out that there are many scientists work cited from various Slavic journals and other documents, checking those sources cannot be done at all easily, as Dr. Charles comments in the review article you sent me. The playing field is therefore not level. Sources remain shrouded in obscurity. No one can get to the bottom of things and actually pass a well-informed detailed opinion on it. This loses credibility for the work, not gains it. But that is less my concern than the propriety of having taken the decision to take it on in the first place. I submit that for any English-speaking audience reading the book by Yablokov et al published in the NYAS Annals, English language sources of investigation are needed, otherwise one is simply taking things on faith. This is so unusual that one must question the judgment of the people who took the decision to publish this Yablokov work. Obviously we are bound to ask: Why would virtually none of the results found by Slavic scientists have appeared in English-speaking journals anyway? It is not as though there is a shortage of translators that any serious scientist could employ to get their work onto the world stage. I believe translation into English is done all the time by other non-English speaking scientists, so what is holding the Slavic scientists back from joining the rest of the community? I am sorry but it is not credible to point to sources that no one can check out properly as having unquestionable merit for the NYAS to have taken this work on. It is about as dubious as saying because Mr Yablokov thinks he is right, we are happy to let his words go out under our name This has never been done in science before, Dr Braaten, for the good reason that science came into being as a necessary and inevitable advance on people using faith and belief and anecdote to explain nature and the world. There is one other point that somehow has been found acceptable to the four NYAS staff members responsible for publishing this work, namely the point that the Russian authors are claiming regarding the uniqueness of the Chernobyl event. We 14

are asked to give credence to the assertion that because Chernobyl was a unique event, the authors of the Annals volume are justified in using methodologies that are in contradiction to the methodologies used by the rest of the scientific world. This point is made throughout the work, I believe. How can such an approach not have raised alarm bells with anyone working at the NYAS? The answer has to be that there appears to have been a deliberate decision to treat this work differently from anything else published through the Annals. Can you think of any other instance in which you would accept the argument that something is so unique that it requires a re-writing of large sections of science and methodology, not to mention casting explicit doubt on the integrity of many other scientists working for international organizations? This is another grievous aspect of the whole affair so far as I am concerned. The claim is clearly made that data has been ignored and downplayed by international scientists and that funding for research has been withheld because of pressure from the nuclear power industry. But that claim belies a set of presumptions which have not yet been proven as valid science. And someone also needs to do the numbers about how much money has been spent on research into Chernobyl effects, and also on money spent to help those whose lives were upended by this terrible accident in order to reach clarity about this allegation by Yablokov and others. Where any journal Editor would give pause for thought about the various points I am making, it seems that you and predecessors and Mr Rubinstein thought it was just fine to go ahead without checking it out with any of the Board of Governors with scientific credentials whose names have now been firmly tied to this Annals volume for all the world to see with two very evident results: confusion for many people and exploitation by other people with axes to grind. For myself and others this is unaccountable without drawing the conclusion that the name of the Academy has been used for non-scientific purposes, either through negligence or through conscious intention. Either that or even deeper waters are flowing in the Academy, yet to come to light, surrounding energy sources for the world and the competition between them, which may have played a part in the entire affair. I will appreciate hearing any comments you may have in response to these points and questions. This matter concerns the world and it is important that we receive your best efforts to explain your decision-making. Otherwise I feel there should be a formal investigation of the manner in which this legal contract to translate and publish was drawn up, and a conclusion reached on whether the time has come for the NYAS to withdraw all association with the work by making a very public statement. Sincerely, Caroline Webb 15

Email to Bill Silberg, Former Vice President of Publishing and Communication at the New York Academy of Sciences
Sent July 18, 2011 Dear Mr Sillberg, I am doing some research into how the NYAS became involved in translating and then publishing the work on Chernobyl by Alexey Yablokov et al. I wonder if you would be able to help me. I have been informed that the work came under your brief as the person holding the post of VP of Publishing and Communication at the time but this does not help me understand what actually happened and if you are able to fill in some of the gaps that would be much appreciated. It is not yet clear who first proposed that the work be taken on as a production for the Annals from within the Academy. Was it yourself or the former Editor of the Annals or was it the CEO Ellis Rubinstein? It is important to identify where responsibility lies. Perhaps it was all three of you? Members of the Academy, and concerned others such as myself, would very much like to know how the NYAS become involved in Yablokov's book and who decided it should be taken on. Another question that would throw light on this point is to know who signed the contract with the author/s and the date. I am presuming it was drawn up and signed prior to the work of translation being done but this might be mistaken. The question is relevant to the issue of why there was no attempt to review the work prior to publication. Only post-publication, after questions were raised, has this work been put out to some unknown reviewers who have not yet concluded anything. Another question I have is to do with the selection of Janette Sherman-Nevinger to have responsibility for editing the work once it was translated. Was there ever any discussion of recruiting someone with more scientific neutrality than she has? Who proposed that she be selected? There have been extensive 'consequences' to this book about Chernobyl Consequences and I hope you will be able to respond to this email. At stake are some very significant questions that concern a lot of people. Sincerely, Caroline Webb

2ND Email sent to Bill Silberg, Former VP of Publishing and Communications at the New York Academy of Sciences
Sent July 21, 2011


Dear Bill Silberg, I have given thought to your response to me today in our brief phone conversation. You said that you had nothing to say about the decision at the New York Academy of Sciences to publish the book by Alexey Yablokov et al, and that I should direct all my inquiries to the Academy. But the reason I have come looking for you via the internet is because the Academy is not giving a full and adequate answer to the question put to them over the last year or more, namely: Who is responsible for having decided to publish that book - to translate it, to recruit Janette ShermanNevinger as an editor, to pass it on to Wiley/Blackwell for publishing a limited hard copy print run, and then allowing it to go out onto the internet for free download by anyone? Who is prepared to own this specific decision? Is it one person or two, or three, or four? I have straightforward questions for you now. Did you or did you not take responsibility for accepting the project? If you did not have any responsibility and involvement at all, please speak up. If you were approached by the Annals Editor at that time (name still unknown) about the project and you said "Go ahead, it sounds good to me, we know and trust Tim Mousseau, so go ahead", then please will you confirm or deny this position in relation to decision-making. If you said that it was 'good to go' from your point of view, did you then consult with your CEO in advance of a final decision leading to contracts being signed? If not, why not? If so, what did he say? If you said it was not a good idea from your point of view, were you overruled? The only person who could have over-ruled you is Ellis Rubinstein. True or false? These questions need to be answered, please, as you have standing to protect of your own. This is part of your life story and you have an obligation to speak truthfully to the public about a matter of public concern. The project went ahead without any notification to the Governors of the Academy. This is confirmed by Doug Braaten. There are knock-on effects from this situation which are not trivial. I think that you should not seek to hide behind some 'circle of wagons' with respect to your place of employment as a VP of Publishing and Communication but come forth and speak the truth. The bottom line in all this is the advance of science. Are you dedicated to that or not? I am dedicated to that. So is Theodore Rockwell, long-time member of the NYAS. He has said to me and others quotable in writing - that if research shows there is a definitive problem with low level radiation in the environment, he would not attempt to deny that just because he has had a career in nuclear engineering. He is not out to protect the nuclear industry. Nor am I. I am someone very interested in matters of energy and environment. I am neither a scientist, nor an expert in radiation and biology. I am genuinely curious - as only an amateur without any financial involvement can be curious. My motivation is to see that truth and accuracy in science is done. Your support of the principles of accountability and transparency in all human affairs, in this case in relation to decision-making regarding the Chernobyl accident and scientific research into its effects, is urgently requested to be confirmed. Best regards, Caroline Webb 17

Email sent to Alexey Yablokov, Author of Annals vol.1181 published at New York Academy of Sciences
Sent Aug 7, 2011 Dear Alexey Yablokov, I am researching for an article about Chernobyl and the divergent views on its health effects. Your work obviously features in my research. I have learned that Timothy Mousseau introduced your work to the NYAS. I would like to know if the decision to translate and publish the work was taken by the CEO Ellis Rubinstein or if you only dealt with the VP of Publishing and Communication and the Annals Editor at that time. Was the VP of Publishing and Communication the person who signed the contract with you on behalf of the NYAS or was it Mr Rubinstein? I would also like to know if it was you or Timothy Mousseau who suggested that the best editor for the work in English would be Janette Sherman. Who brought her name forward to the NYAS please? I would be glad if you could get back to me as soon as you can and I look forward to hearing from you, Sincerely, Caroline Webb --------------------------------

Email to Press Officer Nadja Popovich at the NYAS re. Press Release Issued to ENS April 2010

To: Nadja Popovich, Date: Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 10:18 AM Subject: Sourcing Press Release Issued to ENS April 2010 Dear Nadja, I attach a screenshot from the Environmental News Service website for April 26, 2010. The ENS has thousands of subscribers and the story appeared, as written, on very many websites around the world. Can you confirm whether the NYAS issued this Press Release or not please? If you did not issue it, do you know who did? I am trying to track the provenance for this article. Thank you, Regards, Caroline Webb 18


Email from Nadja Popovich, Media Relations Officer at NYAS

From: Nadja Popovich Date: Aug 18, 2011 Subject: Sourcing Press Release Issued to ENS April 2010 Dear Ms. Webb, I have been out on vacation since Friday. Sorry to have not responded sooner. But I do not believe we had anything to do with that publication. Best, Nadja Popovich Editor, Science & the City The New York Academy of Sciences 250 Greenwich Street, 40th Floor New York, N.Y 10007-2157 E-Mail: Tel: 212-298-8635


Email to Janette Sherman about her Claim to Academic Standing

Sent Aug 18, 2011 via Dear Janette Sherman, I am writing to ask if you are aware that you do not have Adjunct Professor status at Western Michigan University and would not have done while you were involved with the NYAS on the Annals Vol 1181. There is no record of you having had a renewal of that status in the Environmental Studies Dept and adjunct status only lasts 4 years. The Director of the Env Studies Dept confirmed that you have not actually taught there since 2001 anyway. He could not find any information about research projects involving you at all. Charles Ide, Biologist at WMICH said he had never collaborated with you and that the Institute was not functioning. The Director of the Env Studies Dept also confirmed that the name of the Environmental Institute is only a name. His words are: "On paper, the EI (Environmental Institute) consists of 2 components: the Environmental Studies Program (ENVS) and the Environmental Research Center (ERC). For several years now, ENVS has functioned independently of EI (and of course you are correct in noting that it is not even clear if EI continues to exist)." Do you have anything to say about this in the light of what is published on the NYAS

website about you?