Elizabeth Loftus on Recovered Memory and Academic Freedom

Irvine -- In the wake of the California Supreme Court ruling affirming academic freedom, Subversity, a KUCI public affairs program, re-broadcasts our 2002 interview with the defendant in the civil case, UCI distinguished professor in psycholgy Elizabeth Loftus.

In the interview, she argues for her academic freedom to conduct research into claims of recovered memory. In this particular case, the dispuate is over an article she co-wrote that appeared in Skeptical Inquirer. She also discusses her skepticism about recovered memory.

The state Supreme Court, in affirming Loftus' academic freedom rights last Monday, threw out most of the charges against her, but allowed one count -- that of alleged misrepresentation -- to be sent back to the trial judge. Loftus has "emphatically" denied misrepresenting her professional ties with a psychiatrist, according to the court's opinion.

Loftus was sued by a now-adult woman, Nicole Taus, the once-unidentified subject of published case study that claimed the then-girl had recovered memories of being sexually abused. Loftus, skeptical of the claim, dug into the case and discovered her identity, although she never revealed it. In the lawsuit, Taus argued her privacy was invaded by Loftus, even though Taus herself revealed her identity by filing the lawsuit under her own name.

This interview first aired shortly after Loftus arrived at UCI, which welcomed her from the University of Washington, which had investigated her after Taus complained.

The original show aired November 12, 2002.

The current show airs Monday, 5 March 2007, from 9-10 am on KUCI, 88.9 fm in Orange County, California, and is webcast simultaneously on kuci.org.


Taus v. Loftus, S133805, Supreme Court Opinion

LA Times:
Maura Dolan, Ruling May Constrain Researchers, February 27, 2007

San Francisco Chronicle:
Rob Egelko, Top State Court Rules in Key Privacy Case, February 27, 2007 www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/02/27/BAGCGOBK6Q1.DTL&feed=rss.bayarea

AP dispatch in The Reporter (Vacaville):
Solano trial ordered involving researcher, March 2, 2007

Skeptical Inquirer article by Elizabeth Loftus and Melvin J. Guyer
"Who Abused Jane Doe? The Hazards of the Single Case History"

Part 1: www.csicop.org/si/2002-05/jane-doe.html

Part 2: www.csicop.org/si/2002-07/jane-doe.html

Skeptical Inquirer article by Carol Tavris
The High Cost of Skepticism:
Here's what happened to two scientists who believed that tenure and the First Amendment would protect their rights to free inquiry.



Daniel C. Tsang
Host, Subversity "What's behind and beyond the Orange Curtain"
Mondays 9-10 a.m. on 88.9 fm, kuci.org
KUCI talk page: http://kuci.org/talk/
Subversity: http://kuci.org/~dtsang
E-mail: subversity@kuci.org
Daniel Tsang, KUCI, PO Box 4362, Irvine CA 92616, USA

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