THE MEDICAL Research Council's former head of public communications this week took her past employer to industrial tribunal claiming unfair dismissal and breach of contract. Mary Rice, 50, was dismissed by the MRC in November last year for "gross misconduct" after she criticised its acceptance of Pounds 147,000 from the tobacco industry. Ms Rice told The Sunday Times that she thought the MRC's decision to accept research funds from British American Tobacco (BAT), to study whether nicotine could help people at risk of Alzheimer's disease, could not be justified.
The tribunal's decision, due today, was not known as The THES went to press. Ms Rice is claiming reinstatement and compensation. The MRC declined to comment.