Daily Beast: Interview with Mikovits who tells her side of events...

Firestormm

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Anyway....

Does anyone know when the next court date is? Or has it yet to be set. It was the civil case that was dropped wasn't it and the criminal that remains - or have I lost the plot completely? Thanks.
 

ukxmrv

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You say that there is very credible science Barb to support your views but when each individual paper is judged on it's own merits we have long threads debating each one. Not eveyone shares your idea of credible science. Not everyone shares mine - and that's fine. When we have enough science to back up either view then that argument will either go away or continue to fester for another 20/30 years. I'd rather the former than the latter.

There is no proof that the Lombardi, the Alter Lo or the Hanson papers results were due to contamination. We have theories but until we have proof that's all there is, theories and opinions.

They may be right or wrong but until someone produces evidence it's just a "don't know yet".

You may feel that the science is better than the HIV/AIDS time but science had nothing to do about the previous claims of contamination. Scientists may still be the same.

People may weigh the evidence and come up with different opinions. There may be subgroups of ME and CFS and possibly one group may be infected with a RV and possibly it may be causing their symptoms. We don't know because scientists are not testing patients for retroviral activity. Until we get proper testing then we don't know what we have.
 

jace

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Does anyone know when the next court date is? Or has it yet to be set. It was the civil case that was dropped wasn't it and the criminal that remains - or have I lost the plot completely? Thanks.
I couldn't possibly comment, except to say that it was the criminal charges that were dropped, and only the civil case brought by the WPI remains. They should drop that too, but it has the convenient (for WPI and denialists*) effect of gagging Mikovits.

Despite the criminal charges being dropped - no case to answer - the police in Nevada still have Mikovits' notebooks, which contain information about patients.

* For the pedants among us, denialists here is used as a shorthand to mean those under the sway of the theories and influence of Fauci and Straus, Wesseley and others of that ilk. EG those that don't think we're really ill, just a bit depressed and lazy.
 

Mark

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@ Mark Of course the scientific method is not flawless but if someone can come up with a better alternative I would like to see it. I don't doubt politics come into play but I think those who don't like what science is telling them, overgeneralize that believing in the scientific method is "faith based". Nothing coud be farther than the truth.

Barb C.:>)
Barb, I think you're missing the point of this critique. This is not an objection to the scientific method, it is an attempt to revive it. Nobody is criticising the scientific method itself, what we are saying is that the modern political reality means that science as a whole has lost its integrity.

Individual researchers' application of the scientific method is not the problem; the problem lies in what happens in the large, when decisions are made about what kinds of science can take place and what has most prestige and respect. Those decisions are driven by financial interests, even if the scientists taking part in the process may choose to blind themselves to those forces.

Numerous alternatives - reforms - to the current academic practice have been mentioned in this discussion. Many of these are already significant and growing movements within the scientific community. Some of the key issues are:

- Open Access (free public access) to Research Publications
- Open Access (free public access) to Research Data
- Requirement to pre-register scientific studies and publish all data, regardless of whether the study is 'successful' or 'career-enhancing', or not. This is necessary to eliminate the problem of publication bias, which is widely recognised as a serious issue affecting the integrity of the existing body of published literature.
- Encouragement of more Replication Studies, work which does not currently take place to a sufficient extent because it is not regarded as prestigious.

However, beyond these moves, which are already underway, there is a more fundamental issue: Funding. The privatisation of research, particularly since the 1980s, has destroyed academic freedom and that is ultimately the source of this crisis. If most research is funded (or not funded) by those who have a vested interest in the outcome, this distorts the scientific literature. This is not so much a question of whether, strictly speaking, the publications themselves are accurate - it's more a question of which specific questions (in detail) may be asked and which questions may not be asked.

This really is not about the scientific method itself: it is about how science is managed in the modern political environment. Politics - and money - trumps the scientific method today. Big businesses use science, and manipulate the process, to defend their interests. Many academics blind themselves to this corruption because they need to 'follow the money' and just want to get on with the research they want to do. Their own research may be valid, but what they don't see is the researchers who have left academia because they are unable to get funding to pursue their different research interests in the way they want to. An individual academic can easily be blind to the distortion of the field as a whole, but it is an act of faith to believe that the scientific method is immune to these political and financial forces.

A friend of mine who used to do research (before quitting after becoming disillusioned) once told me a simple example of how it works. She conducted a trial, funded by a drug company, aimed at determining whether a particular drug was associated with a risk of cancer or not. Her study found that it was. She was not permitted to publish that study, because all intellectual property was owned by the drug company which funded it, and she got "the wrong answer". 8 other similar studies were similarly funded at other Universities. The ones that found there was no association were published, the ones that didn't, weren't. And so the published body of evidence now tells us that this drug is safe. This was all completely legal. The drug company funded the research, and they have the right to decide what to release and what not to release. But when this sort of thing is happening, it makes a mockery of science, and regardless of the strengths of the scientific method, it is an act of blind faith to trust the outputs of science as a source of truth in a world where this sort of corruption is endemic.
 

barbc56

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Great post, Mark.

I don't think I have ever said that politics/corruption don't exist. in the scientific world. I have personally seen this in academia. What I have been trying to say is that (some) people who have a distrust of science/medicine/research, can have the same type of "blind faith" that all science/medicine is evul when in reality the truth lies somewhere in between..

This is why critical thinking, skepticism, whatever you want to call it, is vitally important when analyzing what is going on in the world.

I threw away my rose colored glasses a long time ago.;)

Barb C.:>)
 

Mula

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Great post, Mark.

I don't think I have ever said that politics/corruption don't exist. in the scientific world. I have personally seen this in academia. What I have been trying to say is that (some) people who have a distrust of science/medicine/research, can have the same type of "blind faith" that all science/medicine is evul when in reality the truth lies somewhere in between..

This is why critical thinking, skepticism, whatever you want to call it, is vitally important when analyzing what is going on in the world.

I threw away my rose colored glasses a long time ago.;)

Barb C.:>)
Science is self correcting and now it is all grey?

Science comes in all flavors encompassing integrity and corruption, but there is no special ability for the middle ground to dominate every instance.
 

barbc56

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I am sorry that you are not understanding what I am saying. As you say in your second sentence, "science comes in all flavors" which is spot on. But in the long run, IMHO, it eventually does self correct. I believe that the Mikovits et. al. study will be a prime example of this self correction.

I'm at a loss of what else to say ofther than reread my previous posts.

I wouldn't be surprised if like me, you. would like to see this thread get back on topic.

Barb C.:>)
 

alex3619

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The issues raised by Mark and others are only the tip of the iceberg. My next blog may be called Greenwashing, which refers to spin campaigns to discredit science. The sequel will be on Zombie Science, which is effectively the buying of scientific influence. The third is on Information Monopolies, which is about manipulating information in society at large.

Greenwashing is about a quarter written, and is a review of a book on ME and MCS called Skewed, with additional commentary.

What we have discussed here about corporate and government manipulation of science is only the tip of the iceberg. The worst thing is none of this is really based on conspiracy - business as usual suffices to do this. Science has lost its ascendancy in public thinking.

Bye, Alex
 

ukxmrv

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Barb, have you considered that it could be on topic for what you keep repeating? i..e you "believe" that the Science paper will be somehow "self corrected" by a process. It's the "believe" that people are high lighting by their postings.

You have a belief. No one knows what will happen. Science could go either way and it could take a long time. In the meantime what do patients do? We weigh up the evidence, we may "believe" things. We don't have any proof that your belief will come true any more than another patients belief.
 
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Great post, Mark.

I don't think I have ever said that politics/corruption don't exist. in the scientific world. I have personally seen this in academia. What I have been trying to say is that (some) people who have a distrust of science/medicine/research, can have the same type of "blind faith" that all science/medicine is evul when in reality the truth lies somewhere in between..

This is why critical thinking, skepticism, whatever you want to call it, is vitally important when analyzing what is going on in the world.

I threw away my rose colored glasses a long time ago.;)

Barb C.:>)
Barb- you do then understand, I hope, that critical thinking was going on in this thread when the 'science is self-correcting' comment was challenged? Only, you seem to be unable to recognise critical thinking and skepticism in ME patients, but these threads are choc full of critical thinking by patients, including the people who disagree with you. Some of the most critical thinking/'skepticism' I've seen has been from patients and others who recognise the problems in the way the retroviral issue has been mishandled by key 'denialists' as Jace called them (that's a fair description).

Unless you actually see evidence of 'blind faith' you should not claim it is what drives critical comments. However, the 'science is self-correcting' belief just cannot be established as true in actuality (it's not even that useful in a 'heuristic' way). So it is a faith-based assertion.
 

Mula

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I am sorry that you are not understanding what I am saying. As you say in your second sentence, "science comes in all flavors" which is spot on. But in the long run, IMHO, it eventually does self correct. I believe that the Mikovits et. al. study will be a prime example of this self correction. I'm at a loss of what else to say ofther than reread my previous posts. I wouldn't be surprised if like me, you. would like to see this thread get back on topic. Barb C.:>)
It is contradictory to say science is grey and self correcting, but as others have discussed self correction is a belief and grey is not a prerequisite. Other studies have had no trouble detecting the viruses and continue to have spotless results with those tests. If it was your position to not oppose any of this research I believe that would meet your correction philosophy.