Sheldon Krimsky, an expert on environmental leadership who explores the issues of the interconnectedness of science, justice and biotechnology, and who warns of the dangers of companies private underwriting and research research, died April 23 in Cambridge, Mass. He is 80 years old.
His family said he was in the hospital for a trial when he died, and they do not know why.
Dr. Krimsky, who has taught at Tufts University in Massachusetts for 47 years, warns in a way about the conflict of interest that schools face when their scholars receive millions of dollars in funding from organizations such as pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
In his book “Science in the Private Interest” (2003), he argues that the seduction of results has had an impact on research and in the processes affecting justice and independence of colleges.
But his wide-ranging public service work has gone beyond the dangers posed by the dangers posed by the research industry. An author, author or author of 17 and more than 200 journals, he has been involved in a wide range of research – stem cell research, genetic modification of food and DNA. belong to them – and seek to identify potential problems.
“It’s Ralph Nader of bioethics,” said Jonathan Garlick, stem cell cell scientist at Tufts and a friend of Dr. Krimsky, mentioned in a telephone interview, talked about long-term consumer products.
“He said that if we do not slow down and pay close attention to the key points, once you put the genie out of the bottle there will be disasters that can happen for generations. people, “Dr. Garlick added. “He wants to protect us from irreversible damage.”
In “Justice Justice” (2012), Dr. Krimsky wrote that the DNA evidence was not always reliable, and that government agencies had created large amounts of DNA that posed a threat to civil liberties. In “GMO Deception” (2014), which he co-authored with Jeremy Gruber, he criticized agriculture and the food industry for changing the genetic make-up of food.
His last book, published in 2021, is “Understanding DNA Ancestry,” in which he describes the problems of ancestral research and claims that the results from genetic research companies then differences can differ in their conclusions. Recently, he began to investigate the phenomenon of stem cells – tissues made from animal cells that can grow in the laboratory.
Nader, in fact, had a long partnership with Dr. Krimsky and has written instructions for his book.
Mr. Nader said in an email. “He tried to emphasize the importance of democratic processes in the decision-making process to open research in many areas. He criticized scientific dogmas, saying that research should always be open to options for treatment. again. “
Sheldon Krimsky was born June 26, 1941, in Brooklyn. His father, Alex, was a house painter. His mother, Rose (Skolnick) Krimsky, was a garment worker.
Sheldon, also known as Shelly, majored in physics and math at Brooklyn College and graduated in 1963. She received her Master of Science degree in physics from Purdue University in 1965. At Boston University, she received her Master of Arts degree in thought in 1968 and a doctor in the philosophy of science in 1970.
He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Boriss-Krimsky, a composer, artist and writer, whom he married in 1970; one daughter, Alyssa Krimsky Closey; one son, Eliot; three grandchildren; and one brother, Sidney.
Dr. Krimsky started his association with Tufts in what is now called the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning in 1974 and helped establish it for decades. He has also taught ethics at Tufts University School of Medicine and is a professor at Columbia University, Brooklyn College, New York University and New York University.
He began researching inconsistencies in academic research in the 1970s, when he led a group of students to investigate whether the WR Grace drug company was polluting drinking water in Acton, Mass.
Dr. Krimsky said that when the company learned that it was going to issue negative warnings – the wells were later selected by the Superfund site – one of its executives asked the president of Tufts bury the subject and kill it. The President refused. But Dr. Krimsky was frustrated that the company was trying to intervene, and it led him to start learning how organizations, even if they were financially viable, sought to regulate research.
“He spoke the truth to power,” Dr. Garlick said. “He wants to give a voice to unbelief and give a voice to unbelievers.”
Dr. Krimsky was a longtime supporter of what he called “unbelief.”
“When applying, you should start with skepticism until there is strong evidence that your skepticism is gone,” he told the Boston Globe in 2014. “You are not in research. Start by saying, ‘Yes, I like this idea., and it must be true.’
He was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and led his Committee on Independence and Accountability from 1988 to 1992. He was also a Fellow of the Hastings Center, a bioethics research institute in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, and has worked on the journals of seven research journals.
When he is not working, he enjoys playing the guitar and harmonica. He divided his time between Cambridge and New York City.
“Shelly never gave up hope for a better world,” said Julian Agyeman, a professor at Drs. Krimsky Temple and its temporary president, said in the Tufts obituary. “He’s an expert-expert-expert.”