Heritage Project — The fake news about James Neel

James van Gundia Neel died of cancer at his home in Ann Arbor on the first day of February 2000. He was 84. He was promptly memorialized as one of the greatest scientists in U-M's history. But a few months after his death, he was accused of causing a deadly epidemic among Indigenous villagers in the Amazon rainforest.
Read the full story on the Heritage Project. Click on the image to enlarge.


  1. Vilma Mesa
    on January 25, 2023 at 7:44 am

    I just finished reading the book, Galileo’s middle finger, by Alice Dreger (2015) and learned about this terrible attack on Neel’s work. People may want to find Dreger’s account interesting, with more detailed accounts than presented here, but also illustrative of a more generalized pattern of disregarding evidence in pursuit of personal interests.

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