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Levison Enquiry: Fiona Fox Science Media Centre gives evidence: Includes MMR and XMRV

Discussion in 'Media, Interviews, Blogs, Talks, Events about XMRV' started by Firestormm, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Tuesday 24 January 2012: http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/hearing/2012-01-24pm/

    Transcripts are available as well.

    Begins at 30 minutes and might be worth watching/listening to:

    MMR to begin and then a more topical example of headlines at 37 minutes featuring Stem Cells, Swine Flu, Climate Change (and how worst case estimates are reported out of context)...

    At 47 minutes she is talking about MMR and replication and moves into XMRV:

    From the transcript:


    '22 Q. Then you point out that very often claims even in scientific journals, although they usually are very heavily caveated, turn out not to be true. That, I suppose, is the life history of science, that most claims in science turn out not to be true.

    A. That's right. The example I give of the XMRV virus -- again, I don't know if you know anything about chronic fatigue syndrome or ME --

    LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: For the purposes of everybody else, tell us.

    A. I don't know how we disagree, but it is a disease which affects many, many people which causes chronic fatigue and many people cannot work.

    Some children have MECFS but they have never found a biological cause. They've found many things that contribute to it and there are treatments that are effective, but for many people, to discover that a virus has been found in the samples of, I think, 60 per cent of patients was extraordinary.

    'We found a biological cause.' And not only that, it promised an effective treatment. The treatments we have can alleviate the symptoms but they don't cure the disease.

    So this was huge hope for everybody. It was published in a good journal and it was run on the front pages, but again, I think the question newsrooms should have asked is: this is extraordinary. Has it been replicated? Has it been found before? The answer is: no. No one has ever found it before and this is the first study. Let's put it in the inside pages.

    In fact, in the States, people were running out buying tests for this virus, buying treatments which had helped alleviate other symptoms of this virus and then, within months, a group from Imperial College London came to the SMC. They tried to find it, couldn't find it, a group in Holland, a group in the States, and now we've had about ten studies. They cannot find it, and it ends it up it was contaminated samples.

    Again, it was in Science. It was in a good journal. It's right that the journalists write it up but not splash it on the front page. It's too preliminary.

    So we love science on the front page and there's some fantastic science stories. There's plenty of opportunities but I think it would resolve a lot of problems if journalists just didn't overclaim for these studies.'
     
  2. currer

    currer Senior Member

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    Just to introduce a bit of balance, here are the organisations that FUND the "independent" Science Media Centre.

    http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/pages/about/funding.htm

    Cardiff University? Isnt that where the Centre for Psychosocial Research is, the one that was set up by Unum to look at medically unexplained conditions like CFS? (and keep them medically unexplained)

    http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/research/spotlight/publichealth/profile.html
    http://medicine.cf.ac.uk/departments/primary-care-public-health/research/cpdr/

    Public Health research at Cardiff University takes many forms and tackles many health issues .....The group working on socio-economic, cultural and environmental conditions is co-chaired by Professor Mansel Aylward, Director of the Unum Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research, which adopts a bio-psychosocial approach to common health complaints such as stress, fatigue and aches and pains. The Centre is also working on identifying mental health issues in the workplace and their resolution another key theme of the Assembly Government Strategy framework.

    So these people dont have an agenda of their own, then?
     
  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Strange that she didn't comment upon the way in which the PACE researcher's claims of getting patients 'back to normal' were reported so unquestioningly. I'd have thought she'd be concerned about the confusion over the efficacy of treatments for CFS this would cause.
     
    jace and Dolphin like this.
  4. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    What is the significance of Fiona Fox being invited (or subpoenaed?) to testify?

    I had a quick look at the website and saw that the public can submit information to the inquiry.
     
  5. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Remember, I have been warnign about these folk for some time.
    ah huh...
    hey, I freely admit to being "mostly socialist", difference is I KNOW the problems and loathe extremes, I vote for whoever's the least corrupt, stupid or extreme, not by what "idiotology" they claim to represent :thumbsup:

    LOL, in a dark way, it reminds me of the "Thule Society", the psychic nutters who were large part of the the "behind the scenes" culture of the Nazis, in that there's always such "social groups", with vested interests and damn weird ideas, pushing agendas that sometimes go oh so most awry...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thule_Society

    Forget names of assclown pseudoscientists who bamboozled Stalin, old memory cells ain't what they were.

    tells you something, when a bunch of folk were once Marxist-Leninists, and switched to being Corporate Libertarians
    (and please note, folks, there's HUGE divergence of what "Libertarian" is, from benign and legitimate, to actively malign and downright bloody evil, as "Libertarian" is an umbrella that's come to shelter many various and often completely opposed ideals/people, so, no one get their nose out of joint :p)
     
  6. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Me too - 'these folk' being a network of former revolutionary communists turned corporate apologists, with a documented agenda to infiltrate key science and media positions and act in defence of a post-marxist, pro-corporate, anti-environmentalist agenda. Their stated aim back in the Living Marxism days was to deny any harmful affects caused by scientific progress to human health, arguing that the televising of incidents like the Bhopal Disaster would only lead to a public outcry and punitive damages on technology companies, thereby slowing down technological progress to the detriment of humanity. They overtly declared an all-out war on the environmental movement, expressly supported Trotskyite infiltrationist tactics, and are now in charge of dictating science reporting in the UK to a largely obedient media.

    Fiona Fox's affiliations to this network are documented on Powerbase.

    The experiences of the anti-GM campaign while dealing with this group have disturbing echoes for us today:

    The biggest question for patients with ME is: Why is this network, with these stated aims, so consistently interested in writing about, and misrepresenting, the science around ME? Professor Malcolm Hooper identified the connection in "The Mental Health Movement: The Persecution of Patients?", citing George Monbiot's "Invasion of the Entryists":

    So to sum up: Fiona Fox, Director of the UK's Science Media Centre, is a member of a network of former Living Marxists with a stated agenda of infiltrating the UK establishment and an ideology based on defending bio-industry from damaging revelations about issues affecting public health. This group is well known for promoting the views of Professor Simon Wessely, and for perverse and immoderate attacks on those with ME, and attributes the 'effectiveness' (sic) of the 'ME lobby' to its 'middle-class base'. And Professor Simon Wessely (himself a member of the Science Media Centre's Science Advisory Panel) may be contacted through Living Marxism's modern incarnation, the online magazine 'Spiked'.

    And any similarity to the 'Sonic The Hedgehog' character Fiona Fox is purely coincidental...

     
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  7. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Fiona Fox spoke at the inquiry to give evidence? Evidence of what? Evidence of what she sees as shoddy, sensational science reporting in the US as contrasted to the sensible restraint shown by the press covering the ME/CFS story in the UK (as guided by the SMC)?

    Is her authority and the authority of the SMC under investigation? Doesn't sound like it, if she was invited to "give evidence" as the headline at the top of the first post says.

    Although I've been reading at the Inquiry website, I have not watched the tape. Pardon me if I've not grasped what is obvious to everyone else.

    I was surprised to find out that a friend in the UK (well-read, interested in politics) has never heard of Fiona Fox or the SMC.
     
  8. VillageLife

    VillageLife Senior Member

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    If your going to mention XMRV at least tell the story!
    The part about the tests being used were able to detect other retroviruses.... The NIH continuing work, the lipkin study.
    People in your own country positive for a new human retrovirus....The Ashford uk 50 tested at NCI and most of them positive for a retrovirus.

    Why did she take the oath that she would tell the truth.

    I'm going to complain tomorrow, what is the point of anything she is saying, her main point is be careful what you report, make sure the science is balanced, research the facts.... well she made the biggest error and did not explain clearly to the whole room the current situation with this retrovirus, she broke her own rules on reporting.
     
  9. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Very few people have. There are public names, like politicians or popular journalists... and then there's a whole raft of really important officials, academics and civil servants who are moving forward on contentious political issues without any real public scrutiny or debate. We have an 'independent' civil service, so officials stay in their jobs when the government changes, unlike America. It has good and bad points, but the more I learn about the specifics, the more I come to see the advantages of the American system - one of the advantages being that it's absurdities are more easily observed, where as our can remain hidden away.
     
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  10. currer

    currer Senior Member

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    If the public can give evidence to the Levinson enquiry, couldn't we make a complaint?. After all, we are abused by the press all the time! The internet enables us to come together and organise ourselves.

    It seems that representing innocent citizens with valid grievances as some kind of dangerous urban terrorist is the standard response of these factions. Remenber this was also an accusation in the BMJ in the article by "Nigel Hawkes" an alias if ever I heard one.
    http://www.meassociation.org.uk/?p=6711
    Ending the stalemate over CFS/ME, British Medical Journal, 22 June 2011

    We must object to this - it is tantamount to stripping us of our citizenship. We have a right to our own voice and a right to defend ourselves against persistent press misrepresentation
     
  11. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    Telling the story also involves the long prostate cancer saga and the same failures to replicate in Europe before the WPI had even published their paper in Science. If Fiona Fox has neglected to mention that part, then she is also behaving unethically.
     
  12. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    The XMRV example was explained so briefly that it was always going to miss important stuff out. I don't think this can be pointed to as unethical behaviour, although for those who have seen how the SMC has behaved with regards to CFS, it is part of an ongoing pattern.
     
  13. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    *nods in agreement!*
    As I've said, UK was one of the world's most secretive societies, only exceeded by North Korea and Albania, even the Soviets weren't as secretive! Jeesh (htough on their part was often gross ineptitude that exposed things, lol)

    and since the Weasels and this bunch of maniacs are invovled, it's hard proof they know or suspect ME is linked to vaccines or other parts of the medical technology industry!
    The wouldn't get invovled otherwise!


    Large part of why I want Scotland the Hell away from this horror unfolding in England, sorry, i don't believe this can be fixed short of violent or massive revolution, societal collapse or the like, it's too horrendously entrenched, adept at perverting and preventing democratic change etc, so we're best away from that before they drag us down into an abyss, too :(
    not about "anti-Englishness", at all.
    When a ship goes down at sea, and you have two life rafts tied together in a stormy ocean, and one raft has a small cadre of rich, brutally uncaring scum who demand larger shares of the limited rations, who start messing with the boats' safety, who sell seats in the boat to the poor sods swimming in the water and toss overboard those who can't pay...and threaten to sink BOTH ships by their crap...well, you cut the rope and drift away to save yourself, even if you care for some of the poor sods on the other ship :(
     
  14. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I don't think that's true - I expect that there are lots of different and overlapping explanations for the way in which CFS has been treated, and no particular conclusion can be drawn from it.

    re Scottish independence - I have to admit that I hadn't thought about those advantages to it.
     
  15. currer

    currer Senior Member

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    Actually silverblade, I have considered moving to Scotland (where my ancestors came from, not wholly a foreigner) to get away from the disturbing and seemingly irreversible change for the worse in England.
    Scotland takes quite a number of refugees from England, who cant stand the politics here, according to a radio programme I heard. They seem to integrate well and become rabidly pro Scottish, including supporting scottish rugby and football teams against England.
     
  16. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    I did listen to the enquiry and from what I gathered the examples of MMR and XMRV were used in the context of 'over-hyped' and potentially damaging i.e. inciteful reporting. And perhaps supporting unsubstantiated claims.

    I think that was the point she (and her submission) and others were trying to made. This enquiry (for those who don't know) is a 'public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press' although what struck me as ironic was that in the case of the above (and as Levison himself made mention) both studies were in reputed Journals and both were covered extensively by those Journals and other similar medical/science publications - including all the commentaries and sensationalism.

    I mean it wasn't only the tabloids but it could be said that the tabloids over-hyped these two issues mentioned - though personally I think the MMR example is more highly relevant than XMRV. Particularly in this country. But I don't think - in the context of the submission - that she can legitimately be criticised for not telling the whole story.

    Neither does 'truth' or 'liable' or anything else we might think come into it. This was her impression of how 'the press' sensationalise scientific findings and she chose some examples to demonstrate her point - as she saw them relevant. I will probably have to listen to it through again - but that's my impression.

    She seemed to be saying that tabloids should take a deep breath before launching 'front page' breakthroughs and (in the example re: climate change) actually listen and report what is said at the science media conferences from the scientists themselves as well as seeking second opinions and trying to report a balanced piece.

    I didn't listen past the XMRV bit - kind of ran out of steam - but she also referred to the more recent reporting of stem cell implants in patients who were blind. And how that was reported as a 'cure for all' when in fact is clearly wasn't and was indeed only a small trial that needed much work.
     
  17. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Esther
    aye, I'more concerned about a small, and thus, more accountable government
    "Bigger " is *NOT* best, it leads to gross arrogance from inflated power, wars and other crap from complete devolvement frum seeing the suffering actions caused

    Westminster government doesn't give a damn about anything more than 150 miles from London, the centre of power, as that's what it's all about: power. :/

    See also the terrible stuff about the Metropolitan police over last 20 years, they could commit any crime and get away with it because they "protect the City"
    Did you see the video of the Met cop SOB attacking an MPs aide?
    http://uk.video.yahoo.com/news-1260...-to-sue-met-police-over-assault-27878999.html
    Never mind Brazilian plumbers getting their heads blown off
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Jean_Charles_de_Menezes

    Scotsmen shot in the back cause the twats thought he was a ProvoIRA with a shotgun (was a chair leg he was taking to get fixed and ya know, Scottish accent doesn't sound Irish),
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Harry_Stanley

    or the passer by getting batoned and dying...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Ian_Tomlinson

    or the classic Stephen Waldorf case
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Waldorf_shooting

    Did any met cop pay for those crimes? NO.
    ugh
    (and I have family who are/were cops, I have no issue with the force per se , and certainly not when they have to defend themselve sor others vs brutal or mad maniacsm, but the Met force is in general, rotten)



    Currer
    hey yer welcome! :)

    there is some "antiEnglishness" to be honest (hey Maggie did no one any favours, bar the bankers, lol) but it's more often in rural areas and is the same problem across much of the UK:
    rural folk see house prices rising as "townies" who cannot afford to live in the insane spiralling house priced urban centres, move into lower priced rural
    but the locals lose ability to get housing which is now increasing in price and "grabbed", which puts their back up.
    Hence some councils have been trying to build more council homes, or doing "liek for like" so locals and incomers have housing.

    and of course, we have "Neds"...sigh. Proof that mutants do exist! :p
     
  18. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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    Or they could get a good concise ;) summary from scientists and journals from wellcome the trust SPIN unit. :D

     
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  19. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    She got across that "XMRV is not real" so, mission accomplished because that is now in the minds of MPs and the Parliamentary record!
     
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  20. Uno

    Uno Senior Member

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    I am submitting a response to Lord Justice Leveson and I urge you all to do the same.

    The truth needs to be made public and the bias of the press needs to end. Look how quick they rushed to report the PACE trial, it was even on mainstream news channels. That had no scientific basis in fact yet it made mainstream news within a day.
     
    jace likes this.

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