Or so said Margaret Mead, and I believe it's true.
One rarely gets the chance to meet such people, but on September 3, 2008, I was sitting in a popular Washington, D.C. Mexican restaurant blocks from the Capitol building, chatting with Paul Thacker. Few have heard of him, but many have heard about his boss, Charles Grassley, the senator from Iowa who has crusaded for transparency in industry-academic relationships. As Thacker and I ate enchiladas and chatted about Grassley's investigations, it became clear that Thacker himself was the spark behind the blizzard of letters and inquiries that ultimately exposed a slew of cozy arrangements between academics and the drug industry.Now, Meredith Wadman has published this fascinating profile of Paul Thacker in the journal Nature, and it is required reading for anyone interested in the Man Who Brought Down Nemeroff, and more generally in the process of political reform. I won't even quote from it because I want to encourage you to read the article yourself (a subscription is required to read the whole thing). And for more on Thacker, check out this PBS documentary based on his earlier investigative reporting on the manipulated science sponsored by the tobacco industry and by deniers of global warming.