The University of Wollongong has come under fire for accepting a PhD thesis that argues pharmaceutical companies created the vaccination industry for profit's sake – not human health.
Submitted by anti-vaccination campaigner Judy Wilyman last year, the thesis argues Australia's immunisation program was developed and pushed by the drug industry and the World Health Organisation, The Australian reports.
According to thesis, the World Health Organisation created a "secret emergency committee" at the insistence of pharmaceutical companies in order to "orchestrate" a panic around the 2009 swine flu pandemic.
"The swine flu pandemic of 2009 was declared by a secret WHO committee that had ties to pharmaceutical companies that stood to make excessive profits from the pandemic," she wrote.
Ms Wilyman, who works with various anti-vax groups, also cited a 27-year-old research paper that asserted there was no link between cervical cancer and the human papilloma virus (HPV) while disregarding more a recent paper that found 70 per cent of the cancers are linked to the virus.
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"The promotional campaigns for HPV vaccine misrepresented the risk of HPV infections and cervical cancer to women in different countries," Ms Wilyman wrote.
"This was done in order to create a market for the vaccine."
Last October Ms Wilyman shared an interview in earnest on her Vaccination Choice Facebook page in which anti-vax Sherri Tenpenny stated Nazi scientists had "infiltrated" medical research to make "everybody on the planet sicker".
According to her website, Ms Wilyman gained her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in science but her thesis was submitted to Wollongong Uni's humanities department.
A number of medical and science researchers have slammed the work, with senior immunology academic and spokesman for Friends of Science John Dwyer writing "please explain" to the university's academic board, asking it be reviewed.
"The candidate (Ms Wilyman) has endorsed a conspiracy theory where all sorts of organisations with claimed vested interests are putting pressure on WHO to hoodwink the world into believing that vaccines provide more benefits than they cause harm," Professor Dwyer told News Corp.
“I'd like to see the academic board ask for a review, for a please explain, from the faculty and the supervisor."
The supervisor, professor of social sciences Brian Martin, reportedly has a history of courting controversial academic papers including one thesis he supervised that argued the Rockefeller Foundation used musical tuning standards to declare a war on human consciousness.
News break – January 13