Long-time mammography screening critic Dr. Peter Gøtzsche plans to start a new organization called the Institute for Scientific Freedom, according to a news item published online January 11 in the BMJ.
The new institute will be based on three principles:
- Science should be free of financial conflicts of interest.
- Science should be published as soon as possible and made freely accessible.
- Scientific data should be freely accessible.
Gøtzsche was the lead author of an analysis published in 2000 that dismissed the findings of randomized controlled trials in favor of screening mammography. Over his career and under the Cochrane banner, he has published articles and books attacking breast screening as a harmful procedure that should be eliminated.
In September of last year, Gøtzsche was fired from his post on Cochrane's board. He was one of the institute's founding members but had in recent years fought with Cochrane leaders, claiming that psychiatric drugs do more harm than good and criticizing the quality of Cochrane's own reviews, according to the BMJ.
His current employer, the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, aims to fire him, the BMJ said. Gøtzsche plans to put off decisions about how to structure the new institute until his employment situation is resolved, although he plans to launch the new organization March 9 at an international symposium in Copenhagen.