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Podcast Skeptical of Racism Draws JAMA Boycott

A number of researchers are boycotting the Journal of the American Medical Association following a podcast episode skeptical of structural racism in medicine, Buzzfeed News reports.

During that since-deleted episode, Edward Livingston, then the deputy editor at JAMA, said that "structural racism is an unfortunate term" and that "many of us are offended by the concept that we are racist," as MedPage Today previously reported. It noted that JAMA further promoted the episode on Twitter with the message: "No physician is racist, so how can there be structural racism in health care?"

This led to a backlash, the resignation of Livingston, and, later, to Howard Bauchner, the editor-in-chief of JAMA being placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of the podcast.

According to Buzzfeed News, some researchers think more needs to be done beyond the investigation and other measures JAMA has implemented or announced. In particular, it reports that a number of researchers say they will not submit manuscripts to the journal, as they think it does not have "the knowledge and sensitivity" to assess papers examining racial disparity, and call for the journal to diversity its staff.

The University of California, San Francisco's Monica McLemore, for instance, tells Buzzfeed News that she would need evidence of larger changes at JAMA before returning.

The Scan

Close Panel Vote on Califf Nomination

The New York Times reports there was a close committee vote to advance the nomination of Robert Califf to lead the US Food and Drug Administration to the full Senate.

Task Force Reports on Scientific Integrity

Nature News writes that that a new task force report recommends that the US establish a cross-agency scientific integrity council.

Across the Hall

Genetic testing, closed-circuit cameras, and more show how a traveler, without any contact, infected others at a New Zealand quarantine facility, CNN reports.

Science Paper Examines Influence of Chromatin Modifications on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

In Science this week: genes regulating chromatin modification may contribute to OCD risk.