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Tracey Brown is the Director of pro-GM lobbyists Sense about Science. As an associate of the British libertarian LM group, her writing has been published by Living Marxism, Spiked Online and the Institute of Ideas.
Working in PR
Before becoming the director of Sense about Science, Brown was a senior analyst in the "Risk Analysis Unit" of the PR company, Regester Larkin. "Tracey is responsible for developing tailored forecasting and risk issue analysis for our clients," her biographical note at the PR firm stated. Regester Larkin specialises in " reputation risk management" and "crisis management, including countering campaigns by environmental, health and development NGOs. Regester Larkin's clients are nearly all pharmaceutical, oil, or biotechnology companies, including BioIndustry Association, Shell Chemicals, TOTAL, Bayer, Pfizer, Aventis CropScience, and gas company BG Group. One her Sense About Science biographical note, Brown's stint with Regester Larkin is cryptically referred to as being "a year in a more commercial environment to set up a risk research unit."
Brown working as a Research Associate in the Sociology Department at the University of Kent, Canterbury, where Frank Furedi is a professor. Furedi is the leading influence in the libertarian LM group. Brown went on to co-author 'Complaining Britain,' Society Vol.36 No.4 with Furedi. Her biographical note states that while at the University of Kent she "was responsible for a European Commission project to set up social research centres in Russia. Her own research specialism is the sociology of law."
In October 2002 Tracey Brown attended a meeting about the design of the UK government's official Public Debate. She was invited as part of a group of eight 'social scientists familiar with the GM debate and public engagement processes' who were brought together for advice. In fact, 'public engagement processes' are not part of Brown's area of specialism which is the sociology of law.
Brown appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today programme in December 2002:
- "Time and time again now we see a pull-back from a willingness to judge evidence, from a willingness to put forward policy based on evidence, and a desire to try to push the discussion in different directions but without ever taking responsibility for the consequences in terms of progress. There's a vacuum" (12 Dec, 2003).
Brown's contact details at Sense about Science are given as:Email tbrown AT senseaboutscience.org, Telephone 01795 537322. The phone number was also that of the now defunct Global Futures "a charitable foundation sponsoring research and publications on new social trends". The only publication on the charity's web-site was one by Frank Furedi. (Furedi under the alias Frank Richards, was the chief theoretician of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) - a faction that evolved into the publishers of the magazine Living Marxism (later LM).) Brown worked with Furedi for a number of years and with Global Futures between its inception in 2002 and its demise in 2005.
According to the Charity Commission, the administrative contact for Global Futures was Ellen Raphael who, at the time Sense about Science was established, also worked for Regester Larkin alongside former Monsanto PR man Harry Swan. (Raphael also studied in Frank Furdei's department at the University of Kent, Canterbury.) Raphael has subsequently joined Brown at Sense about Science as Assistant Director. One of Global Futures' two trustees was Phil Mullan (aka Phil Murphy). Mullan, a central member of the RCP and a regular contributor to LM, is also the registrant of the Spiked website which was set up 3 years ago by the man who headed the RCP, LM's ex-editor Mick Hume. Global Futures' other trustee was Michael Fitzpatrick (aka Mike Freeman), another RCP/LM stalwart. Fitzpatrick is also a trustee of Sense about Science.
Tracey Brown and Frank Furedi have worked with both LM and Spiked and have also both worked with the Institute of Ideas, which has published a book co-authored by Brown: Compensation Crazy. The Insitute of Ideas was established by Claire Fox, LM's co-publisher. Like Spiked it arose from the ashes of LM.
Tracey Brown is on the Stakeholder Platform of the Innogen Centre- the ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics - along with a number of other GM proponents, including Dr Andrew Cockburn of Monsanto, Phil Dale of the John Innes Centre and John Hillman of the Scottish Crop Research Institute.
Brown's biographical note on the Sense About Science website states that she has a number of other "voluntary roles" including the "awards panels for the Energy Institute and Women in Science, and BioVision Environmental Chair. She sits on the Royal College of Pathologists Campaign Board."
- "Tracey Brown", Regester Larkin, March 9, 2001. (This is an archived version of the company's website).
- "Office team: Tracey Brown, Director", accessed December 2007.
- University of Kent, Concise Staff Information: DOSSA (Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology): Members l995/6", accessed December 2007.
- Advisory Discussion with Social Scientists", October 23, 2002.
- Global Futures, October 2002.(This is an Internet Archive page).
- Innogen, "Innogen Stakeholder Platform Membership", accessed December 2007.