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New PACE paper, more SMC spin.

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Esther12, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Fun fact: It's nearly been a year since Coyne blamed the Science Media Centre for this:

    http://jcoynester.wordpress.com/201...udy-of-therapy-for-persons-with-schizophrenia

    Not surprising that the SMC often operates as effectively a public relations organization for scientists. It wasn't set up to critique science or provide nuanced debate, it was set up to facilitate more scientists to engage with the media. It depends on appeals to the authorities of their approved "experts"/members. So, do Wessely et al view the SMC as "fellow travellers"* on the road to quality science journalism, or do they view the SMC as "useful idiots"* for providing good publicity?

    * I couldn't help using those terms given Fiona Fox's links to Living Marxism and the Revolutionary Communist Party.

    http://www.nature.com/news/science-media-centre-of-attention-1.13362
     
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  2. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member

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    Another substantial BMJ e-letter on the UK£5 million PACE Trial, this time from Alem Matthees.

    He highlights various changes to the protocol.

    He also highlights how the recovery criteria are much easier than planned (and there was an error in the justification given for changing them).

    http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h227/rr-16
     
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  3. eafw

    eafw Senior Member

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    It is very much proaganda. Also, in context - where health care workers do get hassled by stroppy patients - we never hear "Oh one time someone with cancer told their consultant that they'd be sorry (or some such thing) so we're now closing down the entire field of oncology because no one dare work in it"

    It's ridiculous.

    Wessely and gang and SaS are very cosy with the SMC crew, all part of the same network. He was one of the scientific advisors for a while. All heavily sponsored/funded by coorporate interests too.

    ETA link to more detailed info
    http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/The-SMC-and-its-campaign-against-MECFS.htm
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
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  4. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    :zippit:

    :whistle:
     
  5. OverTheHills

    OverTheHills

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    I would like to say THANKYOU and WELL DONE :thumbsup:to all those who have had substantial, well expressed e-letters published in the BMJ.

    I have no science background but it seems to me anyone who actually reads these criticisms with a half-open mind or an open half-mind is going to realise that something smells very bad.

    The lay media may still be singing White/Chalder/Wessley's tune but PWME have made real progress since the days when nonsense in journals went unchallenged.

    Its a good step forward.:balloons: I am very grateful to all of you

    OTH
     
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  6. Roy S

    Roy S former DC ME/CFS lobbyist

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    @biophile Thanks for this link. The story is quite revealing about the SMC and Fiona Fox.
    http://www.nature.com/news/science-media-centre-of-attention-1.13362
     
    It is dated July of 2013 and says she has a staff of seven. These statements are informative.
     
    [The SMC provides] "select journalists with a steady flow of quotes and information from its database of about 3,000 scientists, and by organizing around 100 press briefings a year"
     
    "But Fox and the SMC have also attracted some vehement critics, who say that they foster uncritical media coverage by spoon-feeding information to reporters, that they promote science too aggressively — the SMC has been called 'science's PR agency' — and that they sometimes advance the views of industry."
     
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  7. Bob

    Bob

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    A better article in the Daily Mail today, with good quotes from the MEA and others...

    Tony Britton, of the ME Association, told MailOnline: "Patients on the receiving end of this nonsense are pig sick and tired of it all."

    'I'd rather have CANCER than chronic fatigue syndrome': Woman who's battled condition for 10 years says people with it are unfairly labelled 'attention seekers'
    22 January 2015
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/a...ople-unfairly-labelled-attention-seekers.html
     
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  8. Bob

    Bob

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    And in case anyone has missed the latest article on medscape, by Miriam E. Tucker who wrote the other recent medscape article...

    Addressing Fear of Exercise Cuts Chronic Fatigue…Perhaps
    Miriam E. Tucker
    January 21, 2015
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/838452

    (Sometimes it's behind a paywall - it seems a bit random.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
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  9. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    Has the Daily Mail suddenly found what is left of it's conscience and humanity, and decided that there just might be another side to the story?
     
  10. Bob

    Bob

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    I doubt it. Perhaps if it generates traffic, then they'll publish many things?! (Except for certain stuff that goes against their big 'p' political leanings.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
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  11. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    Whatever it takes, Bob. I am over the purity of motive thing. That is for naifs.

    :angel:;)
     
  12. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    To be fair, the Mail is so consistently sensationalist that it can work out being more 'fair' on some things than the rest of the press which simply promote and establishment line.
     
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  13. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    It is one of the ironies in all this that entities like the DM, who have been one of our bigger problems on the propaganda and public perception front, can also be a major ally if they choose to be.

    Getting to the point where I will seriously consider shaking hands with Lucifer himself if that is what it takes to see a result in my lifetime. Perhaps even with the Daily Mail.


    (listen to the very end

    :p
     
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  14. eafw

    eafw Senior Member

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    No. This is nothing to do with telling "another side", it happens to be good copy for them. They couldn't give a flying toss about anything else here. The hooks for them in this case are cancer and a belly dancer (who used to be a scientist). They are particularly fond of cancer, it's what provides them with a lot human interest sensational fillers in between the more blatant political hate that they churn out.

    They have no interest in being our allies. That they may occasionaly publish articles that reflect a little more the reality of our condition is incidental, the stopped clock effect, or stopped calendar even - right once a year.
     
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  15. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    I have no delusions about DM's motives, nor how fickle and dangerous they can be.
     
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  16. Bob

    Bob

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    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
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  17. Bob

    Bob

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  18. eafw

    eafw Senior Member

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    I thought this was very telling, this is Fiona Fox quoted:

    "She adds that “the SMC does not believe that ‘links’ to industry automatically equate to a compromise in the quality or integrity of a piece of science”. "


    Hm, SMC doesn't believe it yet we know that it does have an effect. There's a reason that scientists are supposed to declare competing interests and funding sources.

    And

    “We have generally taken the view that the main responsibility for investigating and exposing any significant conflicts of interest should lie with the journalists reporting science stories and we applaud those reporters who take that responsibility seriously and report serious abuses prominently in the media,”

    Hang on though, SMC have set themselves up as an impartial and expert one-stop service for journalists, but here admitting that they're nothing of the sort and it's all the journos fault if they don't investigate further ?

    In summary: "we like to pretend that we're not massively compromised but actually we are, and are laughing all the way to the bank as the gullible media dance to our tune without question"
     
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  19. Roy S

    Roy S former DC ME/CFS lobbyist

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    " "I would close down the Science Media Centre," said Connie St Louis, former president of the Association of British Science Writers and a senior lecturer at City University, London. She conducted a small study on the centre’s impact on UK science reporting in the 12 national newspapers in 2011 and 2012. "
     
    That's interesting. This is from that article and her study would cover the time frame that the SMC did the media blitzkrieg on ME/CFS activism.
     
     
     
     
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  20. Bob

    Bob

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    Hmm, that seems to conflict with their mission statement:

    "Our Mission
    To provide, for the benefit of the public and policymakers, accurate and evidence-based information about science and engineering through the media, particularly on controversial and headline news stories when most confusion and misinformation occurs."

    With ME research, they certainly aren't fulfilling their mission, but are sowing confusion, and promoting misinformation to the media. (We have evidence.)

    "To provide [..] accurate and evidence-based information [..] through the media, particularly on controversial [..] news stories when most confusion and misinformation occurs."

    If it wasn't so serious I'd really be enjoying the wealth of irony here! They're the ones causing the controversy and confusion by promoting the misinformation! :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
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