Julie Rehmeyer's 'Through the Shadowlands'
Writer Never Give Up talks about Julie Rehmeyer's new book "Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer's Odyssey into an Illness Science Doesn't Understand" and shares an interview with Julie ...
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Scientists trade insults over ME (JHP special issue)

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Old Bones, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. Old Bones

    Old Bones Senior Member

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    The news coverage is starting! Here, an article just released on "The Times" website:

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/...-myalgic-encephalomyelitis-me-study-slk0cv5lj

    The dispute led to mass resignations and an exchange of insults so intense that in emails seen by The Times one scientist referred to another as a “disgusting old fart neoliberal hypocrite”.

    The title basically is the story -- not many facts, but rather, a bunch of name-calling and controversial quotes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  2. deleder2k

    deleder2k Senior Member

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    Scientists trade insults over myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) study


     
    Dechi, actup, MeSci and 21 others like this.
  3. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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  4. Wolfiness

    Wolfiness Activity Level 0

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    Wow.


    Wow!


    The narrative is changing!! Wow!!!!
     
  5. Wolfiness

    Wolfiness Activity Level 0

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    (I can haz riot now plz? :cat:)
     
  6. Woolie

    Woolie Gone now, hope to see you all again soon somewhere

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    I have to say that again, Coyne's disinhibited behaviour has worked against us here. It has given the SMC something to work with, and something that overshadows the actual validity of the arguments.

    I do not think David Marks covered himself in glory either. He should have said something much more statesmanlike, about how UK psychology/psychiatry is a tightly woven group, and many feel that disagreeing with one's colleagues is dishonourable, etc. etc. Often its more about factions than the truth.

    Edit: on the other hand, shit sticks, and out of all these insults, what many people will remember is that it all had something to do with that particular trial.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
    Starsister, char47, CarolB and 29 others like this.
  7. Robert 1973

    Robert 1973

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    Positive that they've reported it but disappointing report. More focus on the science and less on the personal disputes and insults would be appreciated.
     
  8. hixxy

    hixxy Senior Member

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    @Woolie I agree. Would have been much better if he maintained his professionalism.
     
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  9. Wolfiness

    Wolfiness Activity Level 0

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    Agreed.
     
  10. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

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    Really wish he'd move on to other projects.
     
  11. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    So no one blames 'the other side', Science Media Center and the psych lobby who have been in the wrong, and Davey-Smith who was supposed to be a principal investigator for MEGA?

    No one taking into account that the British paper may already be skewed on one side because of SMC and BPS grooming?
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  12. Woolie

    Woolie Gone now, hope to see you all again soon somewhere

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    I think that bit is obvious. I'm talking about how we might have played right into their hands.
     
  13. Esther12

    Esther12

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    With a scandal like PACE, maybe we're only likely to get rather 'disinhibited' outsiders taking an interest?

    People who carefully and cautiously assess whether it would be in their self-interest to get involved will often just stay away. We get people on our team when they respond with a 'this is fucking bullshit'.

    I do wonder if Coyne still hasn't taken on board how much we've got stacked against us, and how little room for error we have. Being right often isn't enough. As patients we get reminded of that on a pretty regular basis.

    I think that it would have been better if Marks and Coyne had been more restrained, but it's unlikely the Times was ever going to write up the methodological problems with PACE, and maybe there's something to the 'shit sticks' argument. Having stuff like this coming from academics is certainly much better than having patients portrayed as the insulting radicals.

    I don't know what the best tactic in a situation like this is. It's a weird situation! I think it's best for patients to be cautious in the claims that they make, but maybe it's different for those able to speak with some authority?
     
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  14. deleder2k

    deleder2k Senior Member

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    I don't know how the medical establishment that doesn't know about ME perceives this.

    This has been going on for years and years. Millions are suffering. We need a major disruptive force. Perhaps this is whats needed to get attention. I don't know, but I know that sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary. Something that will make fuss.

    I don't want to compare the case of ME to HIV in the 1980's, but lets just remember that to get people to understand the gravity of the situation people needed to do something else than write in the newspapers and to write letters to politicians. Sometimes you need to change the narrative. Make noise. Get attention. A story like this could become the #1 story in a split-second. It is possible.

    I haven't read everything that Coyne has written though...
     
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  15. Esther12

    Esther12

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    On re-reading the article, I think it's pretty good for us overall. I'd have loved a detailed take-down of the PACE trial's flaws, and some of it is annoying, but it's still drawing attention to the academic scandal. That's a good thing, right? It makes it sound a bit exciting, and the sort of thing others may want to look into? If we get more independent people looking at this, that's to our advatage as the truth is on our side.
     
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  16. deleder2k

    deleder2k Senior Member

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    My impression is that we need more attention. Not every researcher does know about this trial. Lets hope that some that reads this story gets curious about it. Then they'll understand that the PACE trial is worth the "GATE" tag added to its name.
     
  17. Wolfiness

    Wolfiness Activity Level 0

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    I doubt he cares.
     
  18. JamBob

    JamBob Senior Member

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    I think it's quite a good article in some ways. The first sentences will make the biggest impression and they are very negative towards PACE.

    What I'd really love to know is who provided the story to the Times and how they themselves framed the story. If it was Ed Sykes or Sir Wes then it looks like the Times didn't just print whatever they said uncritically.

    There's another "editorial" part by Tom Whipple and Oliver Moody which is more on the fence but I can only grab a part of it....

     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  19. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    In the original article it's good to see that even the Times isn't letting the psychosocial brigade have it all their own way, portraying it as six of one and half a dozen of the other is a significant move in the right direction, although nowhere near far enough of course. When I read the headline I did wonder who had been doing the insulting on our behalf, and of course it would be that liability Coyne. We have now been promoted from "borderline sociopaths" to "Professor Coyne and his allies".

    Anyway, Coyne has got his wish of getting "all this backchannel bullshit into the open", and allowed the Times to portray the JHP's special edition as part of a childish academic spat. On the other hand "disgusting old fart neoliberal hypocrite" is a wonderfully attention-grabbing piece of publicity that will appeal to the British public, and if it's true that there's no such thing as bad publicity then his petulant rantings may have inadvertently done us a favour after all - we were never going to get higher level coverage from the Times anyway, what with their place on the board of the SMC and the lazy, spineless journalism we've had from them in the past.

    Can't help noticing that 3 JHP board members stropping off in a huff is a newsworthy "mass resignation" whilst the fate of 250,000 UK citizens suffering from ME for decades seems totally unworthy of serious investigation.
     
  20. GreyOwl

    GreyOwl Dx: strong belief system, avoidance, hypervigilant

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    The BPS crew has a history of stropping off in a huff when they don't get their own way. There must have been a memo about it at some point...
     
    actup, Mary, Webdog and 8 others like this.

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