This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.
RESEARCH HELP: If you wish to help research or write for this project, we are always looking for volunteers.
E-mail the editor (below).
Ervin Y Rodin
Rodin was a Professor in the Department of Systems Science and Mathmatics, and an expert in Mathematical Modelling at Washington University St Louis. At the university he was also an associate of Gerald Esterson with whom he shared control of the ALEPH Foundation.
In late 1972, Theodor Sterling, a university department associate of Rodin, was proposing to enlist tobacco-industry involvement in one section of a Pollution: Engineering conference in Israel.
Sterling had a tentative arrangement with tobacco lawyer Bill Shinn (of Shook Hardy & Bacon who represented the industry's Committee of Counsel) to provide $5,000 to support a side-stream 'panel' at the Tel Aviv conference,. This would look at smoking and health ... undoubtedly in a highly favourable way.
Shinn effectively controlled access to the tobacco industry's secret payment system, (Special Account #4) which was used to launder funds paid to scientists. But for the Israel conference, for some reason, they needed a double-cut-out between the cigarette companies and the scientists receiving the money.
Sterling obviously approached Rodin to use his ALEPH foundation to provide this additional cover for the industry funding, and Rodin wrote him a letter which was passed on to the lawyers as a guarantee that such a grant to ALEPH would be used for the purposes promised.
Sterling also planned another more ambitious conference in Tel Aviv two years later. This would involve attaching a special, by-invitation-only workshop to another genuine scientific conference.
The purpose appears to be to would produce and publish an annex to the proceedings which would be useful as propaganda to the tobacco industry. This project was piggy-backing a loaded pseudo-scientific workshop on the back of an open scientific conference, and this attachment would give the publication some additional status in the scientific world.
ALEPH was also coopted (initially anyway) to act as a laundary channel for these funds. However there is no evidence that it did so. Nor is there anything in the archives to suggest that the two principles, Rodin and Esterson, ever sought to capitalise further on their relationship with the tobacco industry.
1972 Feb 24: The ALEPH Foundation was run by Ervin Y Rodin and Gerald L Esterson (Exec Director) — two professors at Washington University, St Louis. They say that the Aleph Foundation is a non-profit fostering international cooperation and dialog among professionals and scientific groups. They were willing to act as an 'intermediary' for Theodor Sterling running a tobacco funded conference in Israel.
Sterling, at this time, was a mathematical and computer science lecturer at the St Louis, Washington University
They would make grants to the speakers "on the basis and up to the amount
of a lump sum grant, which is to be made to our foundation.'
[ Note: 17 copies of this letter exist on various company files, so this must have been a CTR or Tobacco Institute operation]
1972 Mar 1: Bill Shinn of Shook Hardy & Bacon is writing to the Committee of Counsel members, who handle the allocation of Special Account #4 money to hirelings.
The work which Dr. Theodor Sterling has been doing in connection with air pollution became unusually valuable following the President' s transmission on January 31 of an air pollution message to Congress, which you have received, that attempted to implicate cigarette smoking in 95% of lung cancer and 90% of chronic obstructive lung disease.
Dr. Sterling has consulted with us in connection with this message and has also, at Jack Mills request, attended meetings in Washington. We would like for him to have every opportunity to continue his work in this area and he has recently submitted a request to us to help fund a panel on "Effects of Pollutants on Human Health." This panel will meet in connection with an International Meeting of the Society of Engineering Science in Tel Aviv, Israel, during June. A copy of the program, is enclosed.
Dr Sterling is requesting a grant to the ALEPH Foundation, which will administer the funds. Copies of both the letter from Dr Sterling requesting support and the ALEPH Foundation's letter to Dr Sterling are also enclosed. We recommend a grant of $5,000 as a special project (non-CTR) and would appreciate your letting us know your views by March 10. [ie secret funding.]
I have just received, and also enclose a copy of Dr Sterling's latest published article "The Incidence of Lung Cancer in the US Since 1955 in Relation to the Etiology of the Disease."
1972 June 12 - 17: Pamphlet for the conference "Pollution Engineering and Scientific Solutions" held at a hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel. The pamphlet shows that Ervin Rodin was also a Professor of Applied Mathematics at Washington University. His associate (as Exec Director) in the ALEPH Foundation, GL Esterson was a Professor in Chemical Engineering and served as "Chairman of the US Program Committee."
They had the EPA, NOAA and Washington University listed as US Co-sponsors with the School of Engineering, Tel Aviv University.
Sterling is listed as "Convenor" of the panel/section on "Effects of Pollutants on Human Health" , and his associate, SV Pollack (also from Washington University), is another speaker in this panel session on smoking & health.
1972 July: - Aug /E Sterling has approached the tobacco industry to explore
" the feasibility of an International Conference on the Microchemical Environment in Relation to Lung Cancer (or to Cancer)  in Jerusalem, sponsored by all levels of Israeli public and private health services, medical associations, government units and academic institutions. [This would be held in 1974]
[Sterling is proposing here to have a closed workshop of tobacco scientists to create a 'position paper'. and to ride this workship on the back of the otherwise open conference on the distribution of general cancers]
The Aleph Foundation, in St Louis, Missouri, has indicated its interest in bringing together and organizing the necessary working committees.
Regardless of whether the conference concerns Itself with the larger aspects of all cancers or limits itself solely to lung cancers, I would suggest that the sessions be followed by one or two day workshop devoted primarily to lung cancer.
Participants In that workshop would be relatively few. Participation would be by invitation only. The participants of the workshop would have played a major role in-organizing and discussing the major sessions during the conference.
(It may be practical, and even desirable, to let some time pass between the sessions and the workshop. One to two days might suffice to develop the position papers.)
It will be desirable to publish the proceedings of the conference as separate sets of monographs, all held together by a common title. (Like "Proceedings of the Jerusalem Conference on Microchemical Environment and Lung Cancer).
In order to produce the proceedings, separate provisions need to be made to support an editorial group that would see to it that manuscripts are collected, edited, integrated, and prepared for publication. (A number of desirable and prestigious candidates are available for this group.)
Rodin was to travel to Israel to set up the Israeli end of the operation. Sterling was to run the organization ("fountain") committee.
There ought to be a representative from WHO. I suspect that Dr. Higginson would have to be one of the individuals if not the individual representing WHO. However, the purpose of the conference needs to be discussed in detail with Dr. Higginson before a final decision can be made on how WHO will participate. Certainly Dr. Hirayama should be part of the fountain committee.
[This was before Higginson became vocally anti-smoking, and before Hirayama put the tobacco industry into a panic by publishing his study on lung-cancer among non-smoking wives of smoking husbands in 1980]