Brian Deer



briandeer.com
selected investigations & journalism

Welcome to my website: a small selection from my investigations and journalism of recent years, plus pages of evidence and resources for some of my longer inquiries.

Many of the stories here are in some way connected with medicine.  The prime example is an award-winning series about a children’s vaccine, over which there was a decade-long alarm triggered by one man: British former doctor Andrew Wakefield.  I was glad to expose him as dishonest and a research cheat, preying on vulnerable families. It was a gruelling fight, however, involving years of litigation (in both the United Kingdom and the United States) and public hearings, as he fought back with vexatious complaints.

Another is a series over an antibiotic known by many names, such as “Septrin” and “Bactrim”, which, although largely banned in the UK after my investigation during the 1990s, continues to cause a worldwide epidemic of deaths and suffering.  For years, I’ve received emails from patients injured by the drug, or from relatives of those who’ve died. Although I’ve lately had to scale back my involvement, those pages are still among the most visited at briandeer.com.

Some of my work for television is noted here, including my hour-long Channel 4 Dispatches programmes, MMR - What They Didn’t Tell You, and The Drug Trial That Went Wrong.  So is material from my participation in a Dateline special, reported by NBC anchor Matt Lauer and produced by Ami Schmitz. My favourite audio is here too: an hour-long 2011 "Econtalk" interview with Russ Roberts on my investigation of the Wakefield fraud. I think it shows something of who I am.

Other types of writing include samples of my features: particularly for The Sunday Times Magazine at the peak of its success. Social and technological change is throttling this kind of long-form journalism, and I know it’s not just me who misses its glories. Here, for example, is the story of Matthew Bell, who battled the food bug e-coli O157.  And, written for the Mail on Sunday magazine, the tragedy of footballer Justin Fashanu.

The most ancient stories here are from my tenure covering social affairs for The Sunday Times, and where in the 1980s I pioneered that now-popular beat. Looking back, my own favourites are simple, short reports, such as, "Last days of the Spike", a feature about the closure of an institution for the homeless, and a page 1 news story, "Schools escape clause 28 in ‘gay ban’ fiasco", which upset a bunch of bigots.

I’m also quite proud of "Situation critical", which propelled the 1986 Disabled Persons Act through the UK parliament. These weren’t my “biggest” or most talked-about stories, but they captured what I care about, and what brought me into journalism.

Almost all the published material here is from The Sunday Times, for which I’ve edited or written practically all my career. Transferring from The Times almost three decades ago, I started as a sub-editor in the paper’s business section under the legendary newspaper executive Anthony Bambridge. And it was him who would later give me my break: arriving behind my chair one day with his deputy, Tony Rennell, ordering me to the newsroom, then in London's Gray's Inn Road, and making me a reporter. What I am.

So that’s my website: an eclectic selection from a life in journalism. It’s not a blog, and, apart from a few contributions to The Guardian, such as Death by denial, and business discussions, such as over Baltimore tipsters Stansberry & Associates Investment Research, as yet contains little comment.

I first took to this way of life as a form of social and political action. I believe that in truth lies freedom. From the feedback I get, I know it makes sense to some people. I hope it makes sense to you.

brian deer


- Web realtime investigation -

Porter Stansberry & Associates "Controversy is our investment"

 

  • Doctoring the evidence

    What the science establishment doesn't want you to know. In this Sunday Times focus, Brian Deer reveals new efforts to deal with fraud and misconduct in research, and asks: how can the sociopaths in white coats be stopped?

  • Death by denial

    To mark the 25th anniversary of the so-called "Duesberg hypothesis", Brian Deer considers the fate of some of the strange crusaders who, contrary to the insights of a quarter century of science, argue that Aids is not caused by HIV

  • Solved: the riddle of MMR

    In part three of an award-winning Sunday Times of London investigation, Brian Deer cracks the secrets of the most damaging scientific fraud in a generation, which triggered global epidemics of fear, guilt and infectious disease

  • Dispatches: TGN1412

    In March 2006, Ryan Wilson and five other young men were seriously injured by an experimental monoclonal antibody, being tested at a research unit in north London. Brian Deer investigates the scandal for Channel 4's current affairs flagship

  • The Vioxx connection

    When Merck Inc of New Jersey withdrew its top-selling drug from worldwide sale, the company was swamped with allegations of a cover-up. In this Sunday Times investigation, Brian Deer asks: who knew what... and when?

  • Research scandal exposed

    Following a Sunday Times investigation by Brian Deer, Britain's premier medical journal was forced to retract fraudulent research which caused a global crisis by linking the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine with autism

  • Dispatches: Andrew Wakefield

    Deer's 2004 TV investigation exposes British surgeon Andrew Wakefield, who The New York Times would later dub "one of the most reviled doctors of his generation" and Time would call one of the "great science frauds" of modern times

  • Love sickness

    An unassuming doctor from Vancouver, Canada, has been recruited to launch "sexual interest disorder" - a previously unheard of medical condition alleged by drug firms to afflict an astonishing one in three women worldwide

  • Travelling white

    Brian Deer in West Africa investigates VSO - funded by British taxpayers to support international development - and finds it playing the same old games that were supposed to have ended with the passing of empire

  • Matthew and the burger bug

    Escherichia coli O157 is a deadly mutation of a once-harmless germ. It could be tackled at source, but as Lancashire mother Rachel Bell discovered when her three-year-old Matthew got sick, it's easier to blame the victims

  • Notting Hell

    How a London property developer used charity status to terrorise the local community it was supposed to help. Brian Deer goes inside the Westway Development Trust: 23 acres of broken dreams and unanswered questions

  • Death of the killer ape

    For decades, the story of human evolution was told as a violence-packed thriller about predatory aggression. The truth, only now emerging from scientific research in East Africa, suggests we are children of the campfire, not the club

  • The VaxGen experiment

    VaxGen Inc of California's "world's first Aids vaccine", AidsVax, made its owners a fortune, despite never succeeding in trials. But Brian Deer's investigation led to a federal prosecution and exposed why the product could never work

  • Justin Fashanu's end game

    Black gay soccer star Justin Fashanu braved his sport's racism and homophobia - but when he sexually exploited a teenage boy in a suburban Maryland apartment it was his final bid to level an old score. Brian Deer investigates

  • The vanishing victims

    Claims that the DTP shot caused brain damage in infants created the template for modern health panics. The real story, exposed here for the first time in Brian Deer's award-winning investigation, is even more scary

  • Hang 'em high

    The British Labour Party was born on socialist Clydeside, racked in the 1990s by allegations of corruption. After prime minister Tony Blair moved to crush his Scottish critics, this may also be the place to read the party's future

  • Tremors in Tokyo

    As a new prime minister takes office, outsiders hope for big changes in Japan, whose surprisingly relaxed way of life is out of step with US interests. Brian Deer reports from Tokyo on why they could be waiting a long time

  • Bactrim-Septra: a secret epidemic

    The blockbuster antibiotic Septrin (Bactrim, Septra, Septran, co-trimoxazole) is among the most profitable drugs ever. But Brian Deer's investigation and campaign revealed a horrifying toll of needless deaths and suffering

  • Hard sell

    In 1932, the American-born Henry Wellcome drafted will documents intended to maintain his grip on the pharmaceutical industry, even from beyond the grave. It was broken after Brian Deer's Sunday Times investigation