From Malcolm Hooper Ph.D.,B.Pharm.,C.Chem.,MRIC
Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
School of Sciences
University of Sunderland
SUNDERLAND SR2 3SD
Phone 0191 515 2501
FAX 0191 515 3405
Public Relations Office 0191 515 2691
Chief Scientific Adviser to the Gulf Veterans' Association
web site http://osiris.sunderland.ac.uk/autism
26 January 2006
I attended the lecture on Gulf War Syndrome by Professor Simon Wessely on Jan 25th at 6.00 pm.
I write to express my extreme disquiet about the proceedings surrounding the lecture which led to many, including myself being totally misled about whether the lecture would be cancelled or not. Repeatedly, I phoned 3 times, I was told categorically by your office staff that the lecture had been cancelled and had been withdrawn from the College web site. Several others were similarly informed, including one member of the House of Lords.
When Professor Wessely was contacted directly he gave a clear assurance that the lecture would proceed to one person, but indicated to me that he “had not yet decided” about whether he would proceed with the lecture. The whole thing became a farce with disturbing overtones of deception and obfuscation. Wittingly or unwittingly your staff were drawn into all this. These activities reflect very badly on the College and particularly since no apology for all the confusion was offered to those attending the lecture. The College prides itself on providing public lectures in honour of its Founder. To be faced with such dissimulation is not in accord with the ethos behind the lectures and besmirches the honour of Sir Thomas Gresham.
I have written elsewhere about the contents of the lecture and will forward a copy to you. To do this important subject justice it is important that you invite a response from someone who can present a more up to date and hopeful picture of the truth about Gulf War Syndrome that comprehensively covers the peer reviewed literature particularly that which shows the extent of sickness among veterans and the failure of Government to care for all the sick veterans.
I would be willing to give such a lecture if invited.