Dr David Tuller:More on the Lightning Process and the Science Media Centre’s Collusion With UK Journalists


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Trial By Error: More on the Lightning Process and the Science Media Centre’s Collusion With UK Journalists
22 April 2021 by David Tuller Leave a Comment

By David Tuller, DrPH
*April is crowdfunding month at Berkeley. I conduct this project as a senior fellow in public health and journalism at the university’s Center for Global Public Health. If you would like to support the project with a donation to Berkeley (tax-deductible for US taxpayers), here’s the place: https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/project/25504

My story on the Lightning Process this week, published by Coda Story, was pretty long. Even so, it didn’t cover everything I would have liked to include. Here a bit more about the issue.
As we now know, the pediatric Lightning Process study conducted by Professor Esther Crawley, Bristol University’s methodologically and ethically challenged pediatrician, violated core concepts of scientific inquiry but was published anyway. BMJ whitewashed what appeared to be research misconduct by posting a 3,000-word correction/clarification rather than retracting the paper.

In retrospect, those in the ME/CFS patient and advocacy community who challenged Professor Crawley’s decision to study the Lightning Process in kids were prescient: It was a bad idea. Nonetheless, this understandable negative reaction became part of the so-called Science Media Centre’s scheme to orchestrate press coverage about what it purported was a coordinated campaign of harassment against researchers in this field. In 2012, Professor Crawley herself wrote an essay on the issue for the SMC’s tenth-anniversary publication, “Views from the front line,” under an ominous headline–“Threats of persecution.”.............