Esa, on the Facts about Dr. Poul Thorsen
April 28, 2010
After listening to the anti-vax crowd shout about Thorsen as proof of conspiracy, I decided to look for the facts. A lot of the news I found was not in English, so it was not an easy task. But I did find one useful statement, so… here’s what we know for sure so far (though I’m sure more details will come out once the investigation is completed):
22nd January, 2010
Statement regarding Dr. Poul Thorsen’s involvement in Aarhus University projects
Aarhus University has decided to issue this statement in response to a num- ber of requests on the part of CDC Denmark project partners.
Issue: The extent and nature of Dr. Poul Thorsen’s continued involvement in the CDC Denmark project for which he once provided primary scientific and administrative oversight, as well as of his continued relation to Aarhus Uni- versity.
Background: The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation (DASTI) has been a grant recipient as part of a cooperative agreement with the US National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC, since 2001. The grant has been administered by Odense University Hos- pital and Aarhus University (AU) under the direction of Dr. Poul Thorsen. The grant has multiple components and involves collaborators at other insti- tutions in Denmark, including the University of Copenhagen and SSI (Statens Serum Institut). This successful collaboration has resulted in numerous valu- able scientific results, and many more are forthcoming.
Unfortunately, a considerable shortfall in funding at Aarhus University asso- ciated with the CDC grant was discovered. In investigating the shortfalls asso- ciated with the grant, DASTI and Aarhus University became aware of two al- leged CDC funding documents as well as a letter regarding funding commit- ments allegedly written by Randolph B. Williams of CDC’s Procurement Grants Office which was used to secure advances from Aarhus University. Upon investigation by CDC, a suspicion arose that the documents are forger- ies.
DASTI conducted an internal investigation of the authenticity of the docu- ments and have filed a police report with no specific person named in the fil- ing. A police investigation is ongoing.
In March 2009, Dr. Thorsen resigned his faculty position at Aarhus Univer- sity. In the meantime, it has come to the attention of Aarhus University that Dr Thomsen has continued to act in such a manner as to create the impres- sion that he still retains a connection to Aarhus University after the termina- tion of his employment by the university. Furthermore, it has come to the at- tention of Aarhus University that Dr Poul Thorsen has held full-time positions at both Emory University and Aarhus University simultaneously. Dr Thorsens double Full-time employment was unauthorised by Aarhus University, and he engaged in this employment situation despite the express prohibition of Aar- hus University.
Conclusion: Aarhus University wishes to confirm that Dr Poul Thorsen no longer has any connection to Aarhus University, and that Aarhus University will not be able to collaborate with Poul Thorsen in the future. To the extent that other parties collaborating with Aarhus University wish to draw on Poul Thorsen’s expertise, Aarhus University will only accept such collaboration if it has the purpose of securing data or protecting the interests of participating researchers and funding agencies.