the "Russian Conspiracy Theory"
Tuesday, January 8, I got an email message from Washington Post
correspondent Eli Rosenberg with a request for an interview. He wrote:
"Steven Austad recommended that I reach out to you," and this is the
best possible recommendation for me, so I agreed.
asked me to confirm that my early doubts on Jeanne Calment longevity
record were published in 2000 by academic journal "Population and
Development Review", and asked to provide some more details, which I
he asked me a strange question: "What was the motivation of the authors
of a new study?"
thought that this was a strange question for two reasons:
the answer was so obvious to me: curiosity (that was my answer).
I was puzzled why he asked me this question rather than asking the
all became clear when the Washington Post article has been published:
it had the "Russian Conspiracy Theory" in the title, and discussed the
vaguely threatening letters sent by Valery Novoselov to a number of
researchers involved in Calment age validation. The WaPo readers were
presented with an outlandish idea of government-sponsored Russian
attack on Calment validators.
wrote my opinion on this topic at my facebook page, mentioning a famous
attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
even got a "like" from Steve Austad for this comment!
prior interactions with Novoselov suggest that (in my opinion) it was
Novoselov's inexperience in conducting civilized academic
correspondence, that led to perception of his letters as veiled menaces
by some of his addressees, and that consequently provoked an idea of
the Russian Conspiracy Theory, to which I don't subscribe.
Novoselov is now looking for "traitors" trying to politicize the issue,
he should start out by looking in the mirror first.
text was published at facebook on January 30, 2019