Daniel Webster is a professor of public health at Johns Hopkins University. He is also the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. Anyone who follows “gun violence” (sic) or “gun safety” research should have run across his research. It would not be an exaggeration to say his research is slanted against most of what my readers believe in.
Thus, it is not much of a shock to see he has been named the very first Bloomberg Professor of American Health. This is an endowed professorship funded by one of Michael Bloomberg’s charities called the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. For those that aren’t up on academia, an endowed professorship is considered an honor, it carries great prestige, and it comes with money in terms of salary, extra research monies, and often a dedicated assistant.
The following comment from his benefactor more or less sums up what to expect in the way of “research” from Webster.
“No other developed country in the world has even close to the rate of gun deaths we have in the U.S., and we can’t accept that,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City. “This new position will support the great work Dr. Webster is leading on gun violence and help build evidence for smart policies that can prevent more needless deaths.”
Johns Hopkins University’s school of public health is also named after Mayor Bloomberg.
You can read the full press release here.
After reading this and being aware of Webster’s work, all I can think of is the title of the famous short story by Stephen Vincent Benet – The Devil and Daniel Webster. Unlike farmer Jebez Stone in the story, in this case it is Webster himself who has sold his soul or so it would seem.