News FocusSCIENCE AND THE MEDIA

‘Vengeance’ Bites Back At Jared Diamond

Science  15 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5929, pp. 872-874
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_872

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Summary

On 20 April, well-known biologist and author Jared Diamond was sued in the Supreme Court of the State of New York for allegedly defaming two tribesmen from Papua New Guinea whom he described in The New Yorker as having engaged in a violent "revenge war." The lawsuit, which also names as a defendant Advance Publications Inc., the owner of The New Yorker, demands at least $10 million in damages. It follows a yearlong investigation led by artist Rhonda Roland Shearer, the widow of evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, who directs a journalism ethics program that publishes a Web site called Stinkyjournalism.org.