Any scientist whose research might conceivably threaten the bottom line of powerful corporate interests risks facing an orchestrated campaign to destroy their reputation.

That’s the message of a commentary, published May 17 in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, that spins a cautionary tale about the fragility of scientific integrity by drawing on the disturbing history of a popular weed killer.

The piece focuses on atrazine, explained author Jason Rohr, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, because it’s “one of the most commonly used, well studied, and controversial pesticides on the planet.”

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Photo Credit: Earl Neikirk