It is rather unfortunate that the academic mission of UCLA is incompatible with objective research and academic freedom, although since the University is situated in California, I guess it goes with the territory. Enstrom received a barrage of intimidation in 2003 when his case-control study in the British Medical Journal showed no excess cancer risk from secondhand smoke (conducted with Geoffrey Kabat and recently mentioned by Peter Hitchens).
Enstrom received much the same treatment last year when his study of air pollution did not support the California Environmental Protection Agency's a priori conclusion that particulate matter kills 2,000 people in the State each year. Enstrom's estimate of deaths from the type of air pollution that Cal-EPA want to prohibit—at enormous cost to the haulage industry—is more like zero.
Enstrom was sacked from UCLA for conducting this inconvenient study (and, as I mentioned in a previous post, his secondhand smoke study certainly greased the wheels). Since then, a number of studies have supported Enstrom's findings, but Cal-EPA ignored them in favour of a study conducted by Dr Hien T. Tran which happened to find a serious risk from the very thing Cal-EPA wanted to ban. The problem with Dr. Tran is that he's a fraud who bought his PhD from an online University for $1,000. Cal-EPA have since accepted this, but Enstrom's trials go on.
The video below (from Reason.tv) tells the story. As Adam Kissel from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education says:
If Dr Enstrom loses his job because he has expressed his academic freedom then it's a message to other researchers that you'd better not knock the boat because you might be next.
Do try to find nine minutes to watch this...