|Guide to the Records of Dr Jan Sapp Regarding the Briggs Affair|
About the records
Scope and Content
These records were brought together by Dr Jan Sapp of the History and Philosophy of Science Department at Melbourne University in preparation to research the Briggs affair. The Sapp Collection contains documents provided to Dr Sapp by Deakin University, papers from the private collection of the then Vice Chancellor of Deakin University, Professor Fred R. Jevons, and a quantity of newspaper cuttings taken from various Australian newspapers.
Further information about this guide and the records it describes, including transfer arrangements, custodianship and other contextual information, is held in the office files and the Heritage Documentation Management System (HDMS) database at the eScholarship Research Centre, University of Melbourne.
Key Events in the Briggs AffairThe months in this chronology have been provided as a guide and should be confirmed against records in the collection or other records.
November 1983A complaint is lodged by Dr Jim Rossiter, Head of the Deakin University Ethics Committee, against two research papers published by Professor Michael Briggs, in conjunction with his wife, Maxine, in 1979 and 1980. The papers concern the effects of an oral contraceptive pill. The university initiates a Preliminary Committee of Inquiry.
September 1984In an invocation of the Visitor system of University appeal, Michael Briggs petitions the Governor of Victoria, Rear-Admiral Sir Brian Murray, in relation to the Preliminary Committee of Inquiry.
February 1985Sir Brian Murray rules against Deakin University, upholding Michael Briggs’ petition and criticising the Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University, Professor Fred R. Jevons, for failing to exercise his discretion in referring the matter to a preliminary inquiry.
June 1985A new inquiry is initiated by three prominent Victorian medical specialists who allege gross misconduct against Michael Briggs. The complainants are Dr Bryan Hudson, Professor Henry Burger and Jim Rossiter. Their concerns are published in a letter to the medical journal, Contraception.
October 1985Michael Briggs resigns from Deakin University and the inquiry proceedings cease. By this time Briggs has left Australia, and is believed to be living in the south of Spain.
October 1986Michael Briggs confesses scientific fraud to journalist, Brian Deer. His statement is subsequently published in The Sunday Times.
December 1986Newspapers report that Michael Briggs has died in Spain.
Access ConditionsAccess conditions apply to Series 9 - "What is Truth?" Manuscript by Professor Fred R. Jevons. Readers interested in viewing the records in this series should consult the Manuscripts Librarian at the State Library of Victoria for more information.
How These Records Can Be UsedResearchers wishing to consult these records will need to contact the State Library of Victoria regarding the access conditions that may apply to specific series or inventory items.
Where material from the Records of Dr Jan Sapp Regarding the Briggs Affair is copied or quoted the source of the material must be acknowledged.
Preferred CitationRecords from the collection should be cited as [Inventory item number and title], [Series number], Records of Dr Jan Sapp Regarding the Briggs Affair, MS 13603, State Library of Victoria, Australia.
For citation of the published guide, an acceptable form would be: Ailie Smith and Ann McCarthy, Guide to the Records of Dr Jan Sapp Regarding the Briggs Affair, The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre, 2007 [URL and date accessed].
Publication HistoryThis is the first edition of the Guide to the Records of Dr Jan Sapp Regarding the Briggs Affair.
CopyrightThe Guide to the Records of Dr Jan Sapp Regarding the Briggs Affair has been published by the University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre (previously the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre). You may download, temporarily store in cache and display the material on this web site in unaltered form only. You may also print and copy the material on this site in unaltered form as permitted by the Copyright Act 1968 only (retaining this copyright notice). This guide is the result of serious scholarly research and must be formally acknowledged as such when the guide itself or the records it catalogues are cited.
The Records of Dr Jan Sapp Regarding the Briggs Affair are held by the State Library of Victoria. The State Library of Victoria manages any rights (including moral rights) in all material contained in the Records of Dr Jan Sapp Regarding the Briggs Affair.
All information in the guide to this collection and in the material of the collection itself, served from Australia, is administered under Australian Intellectual Property Laws.