A researcher and Marcellus shale drilling opponent who said he is leaving the University of Pittsburgh over "philosophical differences" can speak his mind about environmental dangers of natural gas extraction, Pitt officials said yesterday.
Researcher Conrad "Dan" Volz told the Tribune-Review for a story on Sunday that he would step down as director of Pitt's Center for Healthy Environments and Communities because the university said he could not be an advocate for public and environmental health causes. He said yesterday that he expects to leave by the end of May.
"The university does not oppose Dr. Volz's personally held views," said Allison Schlesinger, spokeswoman for Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health, where Volz worked since 2004. "He, like any other researcher or faculty member, has the academic freedom to study and research anything he'd like and to express his views based on that research and study."