Another scientist involved in disease control has been killed. David Banks was the principal scientist with Biosecurity Australia and was involved in containing pest and disease threats. He died along with 15 other people when the commuter plane he was traveling in went down in Queensland, Australia.
The communications manager at Biosecurity Australia described it as a devastating loss for the country. His primary mission was protecting livestock and plants in the country, and keeping diseases from crossing into Australia. He was an expert in the propagation of diseases by insect vectors, among other things.
Since January of 2004, more than twenty scientists are known to have died in accidents, under suspicious circumstances, or been murdered.
Tom Thorne and Beth Williams, prominent experts on chronic wasting disease, were killed on December 29, 2004, in a road accident.
In November, the former head of the Infectious Diseases Unit of the National Institute of Allegies and Infectuous Diseases died in Mexico, with no cause of death given.
In October, Matthew Allison was killed by an explosion in his car, either due to a bomb or a self-induced explosion. He had degrees in microbiology and biotechnology but was not apparently involved in the field when he died.
In August, Dr. John Clark, an expert in animal science who developed the techniques that led to the creation of Dolly the sheep, the first cloned animal, was found hanged in his home.
In July, Dr. John Badwey, a biochemist at Harvard Medical School, developed a pneumonia that could not be diagnosed and died.
In June, Dr. John Mullen, a McDonnell Douglas nuclear scientist on contract to Boeing, was killed by a massive dose of arsenic. Also in June, Dallas county's chief epidemiologist, Dr. Assefa Tulu, died of a hemmorhagic stroke, believed to be an accidental death.
Dr. Eugene Mallove, an alternative energy expert and cold fusion researcher, was beaten to death in May near his home. He had just published a letter stating that it was only a matter of months before the world would see a free energy device.
Also in May, the body of senior programming analyist William T. McGuire, was found in three suitcases in and around the Chesapeake Bay. His murder remains unsolved, and no motive has been uncovered. He was an adjunct professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
In March, Louisiana State University emeritus professor of microbiology Dr. Vadake Srinivasan died in an auto accident apparently caused by a stroke.
In January of 2004, Dr. Michael Patrick Kiley, an expert on Mad Cow and Ebola died of unexpected heart failure, and Dr. Robert Shope, a virus expert died of lung transplant complications.
In October of 2003, another LSU professor, West Nile researcher Michael Perich, died in a single-vehicle car accident.
In July of 2003, British biological weapons expert David Kelly died after allegedly slashing his own wrists while walking near his home. He was the Ministry of Defence's chief scientific officer and senior adviser on biological weapons to the UN biological weapons inspection teams in Iraq.
Dr. Leland Rickman, an expert on infectious diseases and consultant on bioterrorism at the University of California at San Diego died during a visit to Lesotho.
The list is a long one, and it goes on. Since 2001, there have been 47 such deaths reported outside of Iraq, and reputedly numerous scientsts in Iraq who worked on Saddam Hussein's weapons programs have been assassinated.