James Enstrom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
James Eugene Enstrom
Born Alhambra, California[1]
Alma mater Harvey Mudd College, Stanford University, University of California, Los Angeles
Scientific career
Fields Physics, epidemiology
Institutions University of California, Los Angeles
Thesis Measurement of the two photon decay of the symbol for the neutral K meson (1970)
Doctoral advisor Melvin Schwartz[2]

James Eugene Enstrom (born c. 1943) is an American epidemiologist who has worked at the University of California, Los Angeles since 1976, where he is currently a retired researcher.[3][4] He is serving as President of Scientific Integrity Institute.[5]


Enstrom received his B.S. from Harvey Mudd College in 1965 in physics, and his M.S. and Ph.D., also in physics, from Stanford University in 1967 and 1970, respectively.[3] He became interested in epidemiology when conducting postdoctoral research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, when he noticed a map which showed that Utah had the lowest cancer incidence rate of any state in the United States.[1] In 1976, he received his MPH from the University of California, Los Angeles in epidemiology.[3]


In 1975, Enstrom published a study which found that Mormons in California had lower cancer rates than did other Californians.[1] This study, like several subsequent studies by Enstrom, was funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), but in 1992, the society decided to stop funding his research, leading him to reluctantly turn to the tobacco industry for funding.[1] In 2008, he published a study, along with Lester Breslow, which found that Mormons had longer life expectancies than non-Mormons.[6][7]

BMJ study and controversy[edit]

In 1996, Enstrom requested that the tobacco industry provide him with funds to conduct research into the health effects of passive smoking. From 1997 to 1998, he received three tobacco industry grants, the combined value of which was $700,000; most of this money was dedicated to his study on passive smoking.[8] This study, published in BMJ in 2003, concluded that "The association between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed."[8][9] This study used data from one of the American Cancer Society's databases, which Enstrom had requested and received from the society.[10] Michael Thun of the American Cancer Society criticized Enstrom for not informing the ACS that he had requested or received funding from the tobacco industry.[8] In September 2006, the ACS sent the University of California, Los Angeles a letter charging Enstrom with misrepresenting scientific evidence to deny that passive smoking was harmful.[10]

In 2006, prosecutors in a federal racketeering case filed documents which stated that Enstrom had received $94,500 from the tobacco industry between 1992 and 1997.[1] The following year, the judge in this case, Gladys Kessler, ruled that major tobacco companies were guilty of racketeering and misleading the public regarding the dangers of second-hand smoke, citing the paper co-authored by Enstrom in the BMJ as evidence of this.[8]


In 2010, the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health announced that it would not be rehiring Enstrom because it felt his research was "not aligned with the academic mission" of their department.[11] In 2012, Enstrom filed a lawsuit in federal court against UCLA in response to them terminating his position there.[12][13][14] The suit was represented by David A. French of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.[15][12][16][4] In the suit, Enstrom said that UCLA administrators "discriminated against Dr. Enstrom based on his ideological and political affiliations and sought to purge an academic dissenter from their ranks."[17][18] In 2015, the case was settled, with UCLA allowing Enstrom to use the title "retired researcher" and continue to access university resources.[4][15][16][19][20] Enstrom said that he was not entirely satisfied with the settlement, but he believed it was the best compromise that could have been reached in the case.[21] Enstrom said, “I am a good scientist, a very honest scientist. If I didn’t fight I could have disappeared.”[22][23][24]

The case is a common referenced example of protecting speech on college campus and costs of challenging orthodox.[25]


  1. ^ a b c d e Paddock, Richard C. (28 March 2007). "Tobacco funding of research reviewed". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  2. ^ "James E. Enstrom". American Council on Science and Health. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "James Eugene Enstrom Biographical Sketch". Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c French, David (9 March 2015). "A Victory for Academic Freedom and a Defeat for Junk Environmental Science". National Review. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  5. ^ "SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY INSTITUTE - Biography". www.scientificintegrityinstitute.org. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  6. ^ Enstrom, James E.; Breslow, Lester (February 2008). "Lifestyle and reduced mortality among active California Mormons, 1980–2004". Preventive Medicine. 46 (2): 133–136. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.07.030.
  7. ^ Cannon, Mark W. (13 April 2010). "UCLA study proves Mormons live longer". Deseret News. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d Paddock, Richard C. (28 March 2007). "Tobacco funding of research reviewed". Los Angeles Times. p. 2. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  9. ^ Enstrom, JE; Kabat, GC (17 May 2003). "Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality in a prospective study of Californians, 1960-98". BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 326 (7398): 1057. doi:10.1136/bmj.326.7398.1057. PMC 155687. PMID 12750205.
  10. ^ a b Thacker, Paul D. (8 February 2007). "Tobacco on Trial in California". Inside Higher Education. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  11. ^ Macedo, Diane (31 August 2010). "Scientist's Firing After 36 Years Fuels 'PC' Debate at UCLA". Fox News. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Whistleblowing Scientist Who Challenged Environmental Regulation Sues UCLA - FIRE". FIRE. 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  13. ^ "UCLA professor of 35 years suing to keep his job after challenging environmentalist status quo". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  14. ^ TheGlobalDispatch (2015-03-17), ACLJ David French interview Dr James Enstrom UCLA lawsuit, retrieved 2018-03-15
  15. ^ a b "University of California at Los Angeles: Non-Reappointment of Controversial Professor - FIRE". FIRE. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  16. ^ a b "More Support for Whistleblowing UCLA Professor; Enstrom Case Becomes Class Assignment - FIRE". FIRE. 2011-08-16. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  17. ^ Gordon, Larry (15 June 2012). "Researcher sues UCLA, says his firing was political". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  18. ^ "ACLJ's David French on Dr James Enstrom case: fake phDs, corrupt science and peer review". www.theglobaldispatch.com. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  19. ^ "Victory: Enstrom Earns Favorable Settlement in First Amendment Retaliation Case Against UCLA - FIRE". FIRE. 2015-03-06. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  20. ^ "Here's One Way to Reach Scientific Consensus | National Review". National Review. 2015-03-12. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  21. ^ Maskara, Shreya (March 5, 2015). "Former UCLA researcher James Enstrom reaches settlement with UC". Daily Bruin. Archived from the original on March 13, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  22. ^ Maskara, Shreya (March 5, 2015). "Former UCLA researcher James Enstrom reaches settlement with UC". Daily Bruin. Archived from the original on March 13, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  23. ^ "The Left Loves Science? | National Review". National Review. 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  24. ^ "A Good Day for Academic Freedom | National Review". National Review. 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  25. ^ "Restoring free inquiry on campus - AEI". AEI. Retrieved 2018-03-23.