Peering through the tobacco smokescreen

 作者:万俟舨     |      日期:2019-03-03 01:04:00
By Kelley Lee One sunny afternoon in May four years ago, I emerged somewhat dazed from the Wellcome Trust offices in London, onto the busy Euston Road. I had popped in with colleagues for an informal chat. We walked out with an agreement that the charity would give us £1 million for a massive project to obtain a 7 to 8 million page collection of internal documents from British American Tobacco (BAT). The files contained a wealth of information about the firm’s past activities and future strategies. BAT had been ordered to make them publicly available after a US court case and was storing them in a warehouse in Guildford. But the firm was making it hard for people to access them. So Anna Gilmore, Jeff Collin and I at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in collaboration with Stanton Glantz at the University of California, San Francisco, (UCSF) hatched a plan to get copies of every single document and put them on the internet for anyone to read. Getting the Wellcome grant was a crucial first step. But over the next four years, we would face a succession of further hurdles. BAT made it increasingly hard for us to effectively use the Guildford files, causing long delays and obstructing our access,