Brian Martin: publications on scientific and technological controversies


Agricultural antibiotics

Polio vaccines and the origin of AIDS




Nuclear power

Nuclear war (including nuclear winter)

Ozone depletion


Repetition strain injury



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Brian Martin's publications

Brian Martin's website


Brian Martin. The Controversy Manual (Sparsnäs, Sweden: Irene Publishing, 2014), 465 pages. A practical guide for understanding and participating in scientific and technological controversies.

Brian Martin. Why do some controversies persist despite the evidence? The Conversation, 4 August 2014. Factors that sustain scientific controveries, with examples from the fluoridation debate.

Brian Martin. When you're criticised. Journal of Scholarly Publishing, Vol. 43, No. 2, January 2012, pp. 230-237. Options for responding to lengthy, damaging criticism.

Brian Martin. Controversies. In: William Sims Bainbridge (editor), Leadership in Science and Technology: A Reference Handbook (Los Angeles: Sage, 2012), pp. 97-104. Features of controversies, types of leaders in controversies, consequences of being a leader and issues for leaders.

Brian Martin. The globalisation of scientific controversy. Globalization, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2008. Nine facets of the controversies over fluoridation, nuclear power and the origin of AIDS are examined in order to assess the relationship between globalisation and scientific controversies.

Brian Martin. Dissent and heresy in medicine: models, methods and strategies. Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 58, 2004, pp. 713-725.

Brian Martin. Behind the scenes of scientific debating. Social Epistemology, Vol. 14, Nos. 2/3, 2000, pp. 201-209.

Brian Martin. Suppression of dissent in science. Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, Volume 7, edited by William R. Freudenburg and Ted I. K. Youn (Stamford, CT: JAI Press, 1999), pp. 105-135.

Brian Martin and Evelleen Richards. Scientific knowledge, controversy, and public decision-making. In Sheila Jasanoff, Gerald E. Markle, James C. Petersen and Trevor Pinch (eds.), Handbook of Science and Technology Studies (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1995), pp. 506-526.

Brian Martin, Evelleen Richards and Pam Scott. Who's a captive? Who's a victim? Response to Collins' method talk. Science, Technology, & Human Values, Vol. 16, No. 2, Spring 1991, pp. 252-255.

Pam Scott, Evelleen Richards and Brian Martin. Captives of controversy the myth of the neutral social researcher in contemporary scientific controversies. Science, Technology, & Human Values, Vol. 15, No. 4, Fall 1990, pp. 474-494. Reprinted in Townsend Letter for Doctors, No. 106, May 1992, pp. 365-374.

Agricultural antibiotics

Brian Martin. Agricultural antibiotics: features of a controversy In: Daniel Lee Kleinman, Abby J. Kinchy and Jo Handelsman (eds.), Controversies in Science and Technology: From Maize to Menopause (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005), pp. 37-51.

Polio vaccines and the origin of AIDS

Brian Martin. How to attack a scientific theory and get away with it (usually): the attempt to destroy an origin-of-AIDS hypothesis. Science as Culture, Vol. 19, No. 2, June 2010, pp. 215-239. Tactics used in a scientific dispute to minimise outrage over perceptions of transgressing proper scientific behaviour.

Brian Martin. Contested testimony in scientific disputes: the case of the origins of AIDS. The Skeptic, Vol. 13, No. 3, 2007, pp. 52-58.

Brian Martin. Investigating the origin of AIDS: some ethical dimensions. Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 29, No. 4, August 2003, pp. 253-256.

Brian Martin. The Politics of a Scientific Meeting: the Origin-of-AIDS Debate at the Royal Society. Politics and the Life Sciences, Vol. 20, No. 2, September 2001, pp. 119-130 [published 2005]. Also available in pdf.

Brian Martin. The burden of proof and the origin of acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Vol. 356, 2001, pp. 939-944.

Brian Martin, Political refutation of a scientific theory: the case of polio vaccines and the origin of AIDS. Health Care Analysis, Vol. 6, 1998, pp. 175-179.

Brian Martin. Sticking a needle into science: the case of polio vaccines and the origin of AIDS. Social Studies of Science, Vol. 26, No. 2, May 1996, pp. 245-276.

Brian Martin. Polio vaccines and the origin of AIDS: the career of a threatening idea. Townsend Letter for Doctors, No. 126, January 1994, pp. 97-100.

Brian Martin. Peer review and the origin of AIDS - a case study in rejected ideas. BioScience, Vol. 43, No. 9, October 1993, pp. 624-627.


David Dingelstad, Richard Gosden, Brian Martin and Nickolas Vakas. The social construction of drug debates. Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 43, No. 12, 1996, pp. 1829-1838.

Brian Martin. Interest groups and social controversies. In: Feasibility Research into the Controlled Availability of Opioids. Volume 2: Background Papers (Canberra: National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, July 1991), pp. 83-86.


Brian Martin. Euthanasia struggles. Chapter 7 in Nonviolence Unbound (Sparsnäs, Sweden: Irene Publishing, 2015). Features of nonviolent action are used to analyse methods used in disputes over euthanasia.

Brian Martin. Euthanasia tactics: patterns of injustice and outrage. SpringerPlus, Vol. 2, No. 256, 6 June 2013. Struggles over euthanasia, from the Nazi T4 programme to denial of voluntary euthanasia.

Brian Martin. Deadly censorship games: keeping a tight lid on the euthanasia debate. The Conversation,, 21 November 2011. Censorship of information about voluntary euthanasia.

Brian Martin. Techniques to pass on: technology and euthanasia. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, Vol. 30, No. 1, February 2010, pp. 54-59. Efforts for and against voluntary euthanasia as a struggle over technology.


Brian Martin. Scientific Knowledge in Controversy: The Social Dynamics of the Fluoridation Debate (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991), 266 pages.

Brian Martin. The sociology of the fluoridation controversy: a reexamination. Sociological Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 1, 1989, pp. 59-76.

Brian Martin. Fluoridation: the Left behind? Arena, No. 89, 1989, pp. 32-38.

Brian Martin. Analyzing the fluoridation controversy: resources and structures. Social Studies of Science, Vol. 18, May 1988, pp. 331-363.

Brian Martin. Coherency of viewpoints among fluoridation partisans. Metascience, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1988, pp. 2-19.

Brian Martin. Science policy: dissent and its difficulties. Philosophy and Social Action, Vol. 12, No. 1, January-March 1986, pp. 5-23.

Nuclear power

Brian Martin. Nuclear power and civil liberties. EnergyScience Coalition Briefing Paper No. 23, August 2015.

Brian Martin. Opposing nuclear power: past and present. Social Alternatives, Vol. 26, No. 2, Second Quarter 2007, pp. 43-47.

Brian Martin. Nuclear power and antiterrorism: obscuring the policy contradictions. Prometheus, Vol. 25, No. 1, March 2007, pp. 19-29.

Brian Martin. Education and the environmental movement. In Tom Lovett (ed.), Radical Approaches to Adult Education: A Reader (London: Routledge, 1988), pp. 202-223.

Brian Martin. Nuclear suppression. Science and Public Policy, Vol. 13, No. 6, December 1986, pp. 312-320.

Jill Bowling, Brian Martin, Val Plumwood and Ian Watson. Strategy Against Nuclear Power. Social Alternatives, Vol. 5, No. 2, April 1986, pp. 9-16.

Brian Martin. Science policy: dissent and its difficulties. Philosophy and Social Action, Vol. 12, No. 1, January-March 1986, pp. 5-23.

Brian Martin. Cracks in the Ringwood solution. Chain Reaction, No. 40, December 1984 - January 1985, pp. 32-36.

Brian Martin. The naked experts. Ecologist, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 149-157 (July-August 1982).

Brian Martin. Nuclear power and the Western Australia electricity grid. Search, Vol. 13, No. 5-6, pp. 132-136 (June-July 1982).

Brian Martin. The Australian anti-uranium movement. Alternatives: Perspectives on Society and Environment, Vol. 10, No. 4, Summer 1982, pp. 26-35. An earlier version appeared in Swedish in Natur och Samhalle, No. 2, 1980, pp. 56-70.

Brian Martin. Disruption vs organisation. Social Alternatives, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 42-43 (June 1982).

Brian Martin. Nuclear Knights (Canberra: Rupert Public Interest Movement, 1980), 88 pages.

Brian Martin. The power struggle abroad. New Journalist, No. 30, pp. 15-16 (April 1978).

Hugh Saddler and Brian Martin. Australian uranium and the election. New Scientist, Vol. 76, pp. 644-645 (8 December 1977).

Brian Martin. Uranium: hope or havoc. Development News Digest, No. 19, pp. 25-27 (March 1977).

Nuclear war (including nuclear winter)

Patrick Hodder and Brian Martin. Climate crisis? The politics of emergency framing. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 44, No. 36, 5 September 2009, pp. 53-60. The shortcomings of framing climate change as an emergency, with a comparison with the movement against nuclear war.

Brian Martin. Politics after a nuclear crisis. Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 9, No. 2, Fall 1990, pp. 69-78.

Brian Martin. John Hampson's warnings of disasster. Unpublished, 1988. How atmospheric scientist John Hampson spent years trying to alert national leaders to a danger to stratospheric ozone from nuclear explosions.

Brian Martin. Nuclear winter: science and politics. Science and Public Policy, Vol. 15, No. 5, October 1988, pp. 321-334.

Brian Martin. Queensland versus Greenpeace: the Vega affair. Gijutsu to Ningen (Technology and Humanity), June 1988, pp. 71-79 (in Japanese).

Brian Martin. Extinction politics. SANA Update, No. 16, pp. 5-6 (May 1984); Extinction politics revisited. SANA Update, No. 21, pp. 15-16 (October 1984).

Brian Martin. Proliferation at home. Search, Vol. 15, No. 5-6, pp. 170-171 (June-July 1984).

Brian Martin. The fate of extinction arguments. Unpublished, 1983.

Brian Martin. The global health effects of nuclear war. Current Affairs Bulletin, Vol. 59, No. 7, December 1982, pp. 14-26.

Brian Martin. Critique of nuclear extinction. Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 19, No. 4, pp. 287-300 (1982).

Brian Martin. How the peace movement should be preparing for nuclear war. Bulletin of Peace Proposals, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 149-159 (June 1982).

Brian Martin. Mobilising against nuclear war: the insufficiency of knowledge and logic. Social Alternatives, Vol. 1, nos 6-7, pp. 6-11 (June 1980).

Ozone depletion

Brian Martin. The Bias of Science (Canberra: Society for Social Responsibility in Science (A.C.T.), 1979), 100 pages.


Brian Martin. Critics of pesticides: whistleblowing or suppression of dissent? Philosophy and Social Action, Vol. 22, No. 3, July-September 1996, pp. 33-55.

Brian Martin. Pesticides, the Vietnam war and the Evatt Royal Commission. In Evatt Revisited: Interpretation of Scientific Evidence: Proceedings of a Conference which Re-examined the Findings of the Royal Commission on the Use and Effects of Chemical Agents on Australian Personnel in Vietnam (Sydney: Centre for Human Aspects of Science and Technology, University of Sydney, 1989), pp. 83-84.

Brian Martin. Agent Orange: the new controversy. Australian Society, Vol. 5, No. 11, November 1986, pp. 25-26.

Repetition strain injury

Brian Martin and Gabriele Bammer. When experts disagree. In Don Ranney, Chronic Musculoskeletal Injuries in the Workplace (Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders, 1997), pp. 101-113.

G. Bammer and B. Martin. Socio-political aspects of RSI. In Holger Luczak, Ahmet Çakir and Gisela Çakir (eds.), Work with Display Units 92 (Selected Proceedings of the Third International Scientific Conference on Work with Display Units, Berlin, Germany, September 1-4, 1992) (Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers, 1993), pp. 532-536.

Gabriele Bammer and Brian Martin. Repetition strain injury in Australia: medical knowledge, social movement, and de facto partisanship. Social Problems, Vol. 39, No. 3, August 1992, pp. 219-237.

Gabriele Bammer and Brian Martin. The arguments about RSI: an examination. Community Health Studies, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1988, pp. 348-358.


Published articles and chapters

Brian Martin. Caught in a controversy: lessons from engagement. Engaging Science, Technology, and Society, Vol. 2, 2016, pp. 55-66, recounting experiences from the Australian vaccination debate and discussing the usefulness of ideas from the field of STS (science, technology and society) for responding to attacks. This article is followed by commentaries by Max Liboiron and Teun Zuiderent-Jerak, and then a response to the commentaries: Brian Martin. STS interventions: preparing, defending, learning. pp. 83-87. See also the contents page for links to all these articles.

Brian Martin. A vaccination struggle. Chapter 8 in Nonviolence Unbound (Sparsnäs, Sweden: Irene Publishing, 2015). Features of nonviolent action are used to analyse methods used in a vaccination dispute.

Brian Martin. On the suppression of vaccination dissent. Science & Engineering Ethics, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2015, pp. 143-157, doi 10.1007/s11948-014-9530-3

Brian Martin. Censorship and free speech in scientific controversies. Science and Public Policy, Vol. 42, No. 3, 2015, pp. 377-386; doi 10.1093/scipol/scu061. Analysis of arguments concerning free speech, with a case study involving the Australian Vaccination Network.

Brian Martin and Florencia Peña Saint Martin. El mobbing en la esfera pública: el fenómeno y sus características [Public mobbing: a phenomenon and its features]. In Norma González González (Coordinadora), Organización social del trabajo en la posmodernidad: salud mental, ambientes laborales y vida cotidiana (Guadalajara, Jalisco, México: Prometeo Editores, 2014), pp. 91-114. On collective bullying in public arenas, with a case study from the Australian vaccination debate.

Brian Martin. Healthy dissent: resisting attacks on alternative medicine. Townsend Letter, Issue #361-362, August-September 2013, pp. 93-99. Lessons from the attack on the Australian Vaccination Network.

Brian Martin. When public health debates become abusive. Social Medicine, Vol. 7, No. 2, May 2013, pp. 90-97. Categories of public health debates are proposed and applied to the Australian vaccination debates.

Brian Martin. Online onslaught: Internet-based methods for attacking and defending citizens' organisations. First Monday: Peer-Reviewed Journal on the Internet, Vol. 17, No. 12, 3 December 2012. A case study from the Australian vaccination debate illustrates a variety of methods of online attack and defence.

Brian Martin. Dealing with dilemmas in health campaigning. Health Promotion International, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2013, pp. 43-50. Vaccination is the main example. Caught in the vaccination wars (part 3) is a response to criticisms of this article.

Brian Martin. Debating vaccination: understanding the attack on the Australian Vaccination Network. Living Wisdom, Issue 8, February 2011, pp. 14-40.

Additional commentary

Brian Martin. What SAVN doesn't want you to read. 10 July 2014. Some items that Stop the Australian Vaccination Network has largely ignored rather than attacked.

Brian Martin. Biased reporting: a vaccination case study. 18 March 2014. An analysis of a January 2014 article by Rick Morton in The Australian, identifying six types of bias.

Brian Martin. Caught in the vaccination wars (April 2011) and Caught in the vaccination wars (part 2) (July 2011). Responses to criticisms of my comments on the vaccination controversy.

Judy Wilyman thesis

Brian Martin. Mobbing of a PhD student: lessons and responsibilities. In press.

Brian Martin. A worthy PhD. 5 May 2016. Response to Peter Bowditch, "What is a PhD worth?", Australasian Science, March 2016.

Brian Martin. News with a negative frame: a vaccination case study. 3 March 2016. A detailed critique of Kylar Loussikian's 13 January article in The Australian.

Brian Martin. An orchestrated attack on a PhD thesis. Blog post, 1 February 2016. On the attacks on Judy Wilyman's PhD thesis and those associated with it.

Brian Martin. Hysterical reaction to vaccination study an attack on academic freedom. The Australian, 20 January 2016, p. 29.

Brian Martin. Judy Wilyman, PhD: how to understand attacks on a research student. 11 January 2016