The academy's silence following your publication of two articles on Peter Duesberg ("Unconventional thinkers or recklessly dangerous minds?" and "Without prejudice", 6 May) is disappointing but not surprising. With researchers almost wholly dependent on external funding, putting one's head above the parapet can be a career-threatening experience.
Perhaps everyone agrees with the premise of Jon Cartwright's synthetically balanced article that Duesberg has got it wrong, that he and the small group of dissidents against the HIV-Aids hypothesis are responsible for thousands of deaths. But what if they are right? What if governments have squandered billions of dollars and scientists have wasted thousands of man-hours pursuing a link between a virus and a disease that doesn't exist? Surely we need more exposure of the debate, not less, more journals such as Medical Hypotheses and more courageous editors such as Bruce Charlton.
As a layperson, let me put this challenge to the scientific community and virologists in particular: why doesn't HIV satisfy Robert Koch's postulates, and why has it been necessary to expand the definition of Aids over the past 25 years? I won't hold my breath.
Peter Staniczenko, Southampton.