“Rocking the boat”—Powerful new words from Dr. Campbell

Thank God for the courage of T. Colin Campbell.

“You can wonder and ask and research anything you like, until you cross the line defined by prejudice and reinforced by the moneyed interests that fund almost all science.” —T. Colin Campbell

During the past year, I have blogged a number of times about scientific integrity, academic freedom and the career of my favorite nutritional scientist—Dr. T. Colin Campbell. After a fifty year career in nutritional science with exposure to the highest levels of academia and government, he wrote the best-selling, oozing-with-integrity “China Study” in 2005.

Seven years later, he is still facing the resistance in academia, government and industry that he has faced throughout his illustrious career. So, now he is about to publish his second book, Whole, (also by BenBella in 2013) and has taken the dialogue to a new level. The following is an excerpt from that new book that he posted on his foundation website earlier this week; his words appear in gray.


When we live in a system, we absorb a system and think in a system.—James W. Douglass, “JFK and The Unthinkable”

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry, Cornell University—author of The China Study

     When I began my research career in nutritional science, I was naïve to a fault. My childhood environment of hay fields and milking barns did not prepare me for the dark side of science: the greed, the small-mindedness, and the outright dishonesty and cynicism of some of its practitioners. And the shocking examples of how public officials closed their eyes to important findings when they got in the way of their reelection.

     I entered the academy eager to participate in my idealized version of scientific inquiry. I couldn’t imagine anything better: learning new things, choosing which questions to research, then sharing and debating ideas with students and colleagues. I loved the transparency and integrity of the scientific method – how personal opinions and biases faded away before the majesty of real evidence. How a well-conceived experiment was like setting the table beautifully and inviting Truth to dinner. How honest questioning could banish ignorance and create a better world.

     What I discovered is that science was and is and can be just like that – as long as the researcher is careful not to pursue politically incorrect ideas outside the boundaries of “normal” science. You can wonder and ask and research anything you like, until you cross the line defined by prejudice and reinforced by the moneyed interests that fund almost all science.

     Normal science? That’s a strange phrase, isn’t it? What’s normal? I’ll go into this concept in detail starting in the next chapter, when I talk about scientific paradigms (what I call “mental prisons”). For now, let’s just say that a paradigm is simply a collection of ideas that constitutes an agreed-upon story, or narrative, about how the world is. This narrative defines what we are allowed to think, and think about, and is important as much for what it forbids as for what it describes. Normal science means anything that falls safely within those boundaries. “Normal” doesn’t mean “good” or “better” in any way, just a concept that doesn’t rock the boat of general agreement.

     For much of my career I’ve found myself bumping up against the invisible boundaries of that paradigm. In the last few decades I finally decided to blast through it altogether. That’s how I know so much about those boundaries: you have to cross the line to find out where it is.  

—-T. Colin Campbell


J. Morris Hicks, just trying to do my part to help people everywhere take charge of their health — and so much more.

As we know, the majority of the world’s nutritional scientists have taken the “normal science” road—not rocking the boat of general agreement. But thank God that Colin had the integrity and the courage to “rock that boat” — for millions of lives have been saved as a result.

Further, as I have said on this blog many times, Dr. Campbell has built the scientific, nutritional foundation that supports the clinical results of numerous medical doctors who have learned about the power of plant-based nutrition on their own. In so doing, he has created a bit of momentum that is beginning to be felt around the world. Maybe even some other scientists in his field will also see the light.

Unfortunately, the barriers described in the new book’s excerpt are such that there are few, if any, other notable scientists have joined Dr. Campbell in his transparent description of the failings of our “system.” Perhaps this new book will influence a few of his scientific colleagues to join his war on the dysfunctional system and “academic unfreedom” that is costing millions of people their lives every year.

Since beginning my independent study of the optimal diet for humans in 2002, I quickly became a huge fan of Dr. Campbell and later met him in person in 2005. He and his son Nelson graciously agreed to write the foreword for our book in 2011 and earlier this year, I was honored to be asked to join the board of Dr. Campbell’s foundation. A link to the foundation’s Plant-Based Nutrition course can now be found at the bottom of every one of my blogs.

Since beginning this blog in February of 2011, I have dedicated the following seven blogposts to the work, courage and uncompromising integrity of this great man and dear friend.

  1. Academic “Unfreedom” at Cornell—T. Colin Campbell
  2. Dr. Campbell’s Plant-Based Nutrition Course at Cornell
  3. T. Colin Campbell, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University
  4. Academic freedom in peril? T. Colin Campbell at Cornell
  5. T. Colin Campbell — Ready to play “hardball” with health authorities
  6. Cancer, cell phones, cow’s milk, and Cornell
  7. “Academic freedom” in nutritional science…a scary story

April 28 and 29—Doors open at 10 a.m. both days.

Invitation: Please consider this  as my invitation for you to join me for a few hours at my 4Leaf  booth this weekend at the CT VegFest in Hartford, CT. Here are the details:

  • When? April 28-29, 2012
  • Location: Hartford Convention Center, 100 Columbus Blvd., #400, Hartfort, CT
  • Cost of admission. Free to the public
  • Hours: Saturday from 10 to 6pm — and on Sunday from 10 to 4 pm.
  • Help needed: Working solo this weekend, I could use your help in administering 4Leaf Surveys and in selling books.
  • More Event details ctvegfest.org

Contact me if you’d like to join me for a few hours: Call or text me at 917-399-9700 or email: jmorrishicks@me.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to jmorrishicks@me.com

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Want to receive some occasional special news from us? You may wish to Join our periodic mailing listFor daily updates you can choose to “FOLLOW” at the top of the right column.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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1 Response to “Rocking the boat”—Powerful new words from Dr. Campbell

  1. Bill K. says:


    I often see a parallel between religious freedom and scientific freedom.

    I hope they are not constructing a cross somewhere with Dr. Campbells name on it.

    All of the World’s worst events have usually started with restricting academic freedom in one way or another.


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