Richard L Tweedie

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Richard Tweedie was a statistician who made his living as a lecturer in information and computing sciences at Bond University on the Gold Coast in Queensland, the only private for-profit university in Australia. He worked part time as a tobacco lobbyist for the Tobacco Institute of Australia. He had originally worked for them at the University of Western Australia.

He lost his university post in 1991, and moved to the USA with his Australian girlfriend, another academic, Kerry Mengersen (aka Kerrie Mengersen, who was 15 years his junior) He continued to work for the tobacco industry; both he and Mengersen are listed as members of the infamous Independent Working Group (IWG) set up by Dr Julian Lee]] to counter the National Health & Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) report on the dangers of second-hand smoke.

His new post was at Colorado State University and a few years later the University of Minnesota.

Documents & Timeline

1947 Aug 22 Born in Leeton, New South Wales, Australia hr> 1968 Graduated with an arts degree from Australian National University (ANU) and received a travelling scholarship.

1969 - mid To Cambridge, UK for a year then doctoral work. (MA)

1972 PhD in Canberra and returned to Canberra, ACT, Australia

1972-74 Post-doctoral Fellow in Statistics, Institute of Advanced Studies, ANU.

1974-78 Statistician with the CSIRO's Division of Mathematics and Statistics.

1978-79 University of Western Australia

1979-81 Head of Division of Mathematics and Statistics in the CSIRO's Melbourne office. He simultaneously set up a private company Siromath Pty Ltd to do consultancy work.

1981-87 Shifted to Sydney, running SiroMath full-time. During 1981 he also lists Visiting Professor, Colorado State University.

1985 Sep Tweedie through SiroMath is contracting to WD & HO Wills. He is working on analysis of tobacco blends. [2]

1987 Joined Bond University as Dean of the School of Information and Sciences.

1989-91He is now the first Professor at Bond University at the head of Information Sciences.

1989 Nov 19 [Wrong date on document] The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was in the process of publicly asserting that second-hand smoke (ETS) was a known carcinogen ("risk assessment").

This is a draft speech script prepared for a media briefing by Dr Don de Bethizy, sentior toxicologist at RJ Reynolds. They have lined up all the industry's favourite scientific touts who are being paid to attack

..."the scientific merit of two EPA draft documents -- the ETS risk assessment and the workplace smoking guide" [which he says] contain many major scientific shortcomings. The time we have today only permits us to scratch the surface.

[In fact they dug out the deepest slime in the pit. Every scientist mentioned here is a long-term tobacco industry science-for-sale entrepreneur or witness for hire.]
Today, you'll hear why
  • Gray Robertson, an internationally regarded expert on indoor air quality, believes the Workplace Smoking Guide is poorly conceived, with conclusions that are ill-considered.
    [Robertson was the owner of ACVA/HBI -- the most corrupt of all the indoor air testing company employed by the tobacco industry. He was one of the industry's main contract lobbyists.]
  • After Gray Robertson, you'll hear from Dr Phil Witorsch, pulmonary physician and a clinical professor of medicine at George Washington University Medical Center. He will detail the specific reasons he believes the EPA has drawn invalid from evidence concerning the relationship between ETS and respiratory diseases in children.
    [He spent most of his time as a tobacco consultant lobbyist, travelling around the world to provide witness services for the tobacco industry in court cases. He was a founding member of the notorious IAPAG (Indoor Air Pollution Advisory Group) which was a 'WhiteCoats' organisation run by tobacco lawyers Covington & Burling.]
  • Dr. John Wesley Clayton, professor emeritus of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Arizona, and former president of the International Congress of Toxicologists, will discuss the available toxicological data on ETS. None of these data appears in the Risk Assessment. And -- more important -- none supports the contention that ETS is a human carcinogen.
    [Clayon had then been receiving CTR grants for 15 years, and in return, on his retirement, he had become a professional witness who worked extensively for the Tobacco Institute (and probably any other industry with the funds). He was handled by lawyers Shook Hardy & Bacon.]
  • Dr Maurice E LeVois, a highly experienced epidemiologist who has designed large studies for the US government will detail some important omissions in the Risk Assessment. As Dr LeVois will point out,the draft arbitrarily omits important epidemiological, dosimetric, medical and statistical evidence that conflicts with the conclusions reached by the EPA.
    [LeVois was, at various times, the partner of Max Layard and also George Carlo -- both notorious science-for-sale entrepreneurs (Carlo also for the cellphone industry). During the 1990s they worked almost full-time for two industries -- tobacco and dioxin/herbicides -- mainly through infiltrating organisations like Veterams Affairs and conducting their fake studies]
  • Dr. Richard L Tweedie, the dean of information and computing sciences at Bond University in Australia, will present the findings of his own analysis of the epidemiologic studies conducted on ETS. And he will discuss some major differences between his conclusions and those reached by the EPA.
    [Tweedie and his girlfriend (also a long-term tobacco tout) Kerry Mengersen were rewarded with an endowed chair at the University of Colorado]
  • Peter N. Lee, a British statistician whose work is frequently cited by the EPA in the Risk Assessment, will explain why the misclassification adjustment made by the EPA is mathematically incorrect.
    [Lee spent his life as a full-time contractor in statistics to the Tobacco Advisory Committee (TAC) of the UK. He was retained to try to find holes in any adverse scientific finding.]
    Dr William J. Butler, a biostatistician, will focus on the EPA's failure to identify or discuss several important confounding factors that could account for most -- if not all -- of the increased risk noted by the EPA.
    [Butler was a contract scientific lobbyist from the company Failure Anaiysis, Inc. Butler and this company worked extensively for the tobacco industry: he was one of their regular witnesses used with State Assembly hearings. He also spoke at Philip Morris's closed McGill Uni. ETS symposium -- which only enrolled paid industry touts.]
  • Dr Joseph L Fleiss, the head of the division of biostatistics at the Columbia University School of Public Health, will discuss a number of considerations that make meta-analyis an invalid basis for drawing conclusions about ETS.
    [A regular Tobacco Institute consultant and speaker used at fake/closed conferences. (McGill Uni.)]
  • Dr. Paul Switzer, a professor of statistics at Stanford University, will focus on a number of statistical uncertainties, inconsistencies and biases that seriously undermine the scientific credibility of the Risk Assessment.
    [Another regular scientific witness who also played a key role in the loaded McGill University ETS Symposium,]
  • Finally, Dr W Gary Flamm, the president of the International Society for Regulatory Toxicology & Pharmacology, will talk about serious violations of scientific objectivity contained within the .document. [
    The Society was a front for a group of science-for-sale toxicologist who worked for a range of industries with poisoning and polluting problems. Flamm also lectured at McGill.]

1990 Richard Lewis Tweedie has sent Philip Morris his CV.[4]

1990-91 The archives also have three papers marked "Not to be quoted without permission". They are:

  • R.LTweedie, PhD DSc, K.L Mengersen, PhD, and j.A Eccleston, PhD Confoun,ding and Misclassification Effects in Case-Control Studies of Lung Cancer Incidence
  • R.LTweedie, PhD DSc Age-adjustment in Passive Smoking Studies
  • RLTweedie, PhD DSc, S . Low Choy, BSc, and KL Mengersen, PhD Dose-Response Relationships in Studies of Lung Cancer and Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke


1991-97 Professor of Statistics, Colorado State University at Fort Collins.

1992 Jan 17< b> Tweedie has hit a gold mine. Philip Morris, BAT and Lorillard were funding a 'research proposal' for him at Colorado State worth approximately $200,000. (Lorillard's share was $39,584 and these payments were divided on a market-share basis). [6]

1993 Apr 6 Arthur Stevens, the general in-house lawyer for Lorillard tobacco wrote a memo to the file:

Research Proposal - Professor Richard Tweedie, Colorado State University
WLR&K (law-firm) advised that in view of the fact that there is no current urgent need for Prof. Tweedie's assistance in a civil case, it would be appropriate for Lorillard to continue its moratorium with respect to funding of "special research projects". Accordingly, I have advised Bemie O'Neill, Esq., of Shook, Hardy &. Bacon, that Lorillard will not participate in the funding of renewed or new research by Dr. Tweedie.[7]

Tweedie must have been providing witness services during his first year in Colorado.

1993 Apr 13 Lorrilard has written to Shook Hardy and Bacon in reply to Professor Richard Tweedie's request for a Post-Doctoral Fellowship for his girl-friend Kerry Mengerson at the Colorado State University. Lorillard is willing to put in its one-third share of $22,083 (total $66,250). [8]

1994 Apr 7 Tweedie and Kerry Mengersen (still in Colorado) were recruited as members of the Tobacco Institute of Australia's so-called "Independent Working Party" under medical Lobbyist Julian Lee to counter the findings of the National Health & Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) of Australia which had circulated a draft report labelling ETS as a carcinogen (after studying the EPA findings and other literature.) [9] [, [10]

1994 Richard Tweedie appears to have transferred over to Colorado State University without Mengersen, and he began writing tobacco articles for medical journals with other coauthors. The science journal Environmentrics' was due to publish a paper by Richard Tweedie at Colorado State University and Sue Taylor of the university's Department of Preventice Medicine and Biometrics (Health Science Center). It was called Assessing Sensitivity to Multiple Factors in Calculating Attributable Risks. It carries an acknowledgement:

This research was stimulated by the preparation of an open commentary on the NH&MRC Draft Report (1995) by the second author . That commentary and the work in this paper were partially supported by the Tobacco Institute of Australia . The views in this paper are however entirely independent : they have been developed without consultation with any members or representatives of the tobacco industry, and should not be ascribed to that industry.[11]

1995 Mengersen must have followed Tweedie to Colorado. They are now jointly producing papers for the tobacco industry: "Meta-analystic Approaches to Dose-Response relationships, with Application in Studies of Lung Cancer and Exposure to ETS" published in Statistics in medicine. The authors are given as RL Tweedie and KL Mengersen, Department of Statistics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. Mengersen must have followed Tweedie to Colorado and got herself a job in the campus.

At this time the tobacco industry was trying to denigrate the importance of meta-analysis and also trying to suggest that low-doses of toxic substances were never a problem, and this study manages to do both. There is a partial admission of tobacco involvement:

This work was largely carried out at Bond University and at the University of Central Queensland.

We are grateful for the input and assistance of Professor John Eccleston and Ms. Samantha Low Choy in the early stages of the ETS analysis. The input of Bill duMouchel and Tom Chalmers at the CDC Atlanta meeting is also gratefully acknowledged.

The paper was completed at Colorado State University, with partial support from several tobacco companies, the methods and analysis here are however entirely those of the authors and should not be otherwise ascribed[12]

John Eccleston was also a member of Julian Lee's Independent Working Group for the tobacco industry.

1996 Dec 12-16 Tweedie in Colorado was still publishing papers for the tobacco industry (which Peter N Lee) reviewed. Tweedie and Mengersen also lined up with a cluster of Chinese research scientists and two well-established international tobacco-science lobbyists (Ragnar Rylander and his girlfriend Linda Koo) to present papers at the "International Symposium on Lifestyle Factors and Human Lung Cancer" in Guangzhou, People's Republic of China. Their paper was Bayesian Meta-Analysis with Application to Studies of ETS and Lung Cancer -- again an attack on the use of meta-analysis with ETS studies. [13]

1998 Unknown ?

1999-2001 Transfered to head the Biostatistics division at the University of Minnesota

2001 June 7 He died suddenly of a heart attack.

Mengersen returned to Australia and eventually became the Professor of Statistics, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology.

2007 A paper carrying the names K Mengersen, RL Tweedie and SA Moynihan was published belatedly in Statistical Science. It's title "Causality and Associations: The Statistical and Legal Approaches." The credits read:

  • K. Mengersen is Professor, Department of Statistics, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland JtQ0t, Australia e-mail:
  • S. A. Moynihan is a Research Assistant, Faculties of Science and. Law, Queensland. University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland 4001,

Australia e-mail: s.moynihan&

  • At the time of commencing this paper. Richard Tweedie was Professor, Department of Statistics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA. Richard Tweedie died before this paper was completed. His seminal contribution to the paper is acknowledged

Someone has reprinted this for circulation. It was in the Brown & Williamson files. [14]


<tdo>resource_id=31790 resource_code=tweedie_richard_l search_term=Richard L. Tweedie</tdo>

Peter Hall tribute