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Norwegian professor in biology supportive of PACE

Kalliope

Senior Member
Messages
367
Location
Norway
The Norwegian professor in biology, Kristian Gundersen, is known for his scepticism of alternative treatments (yet enthusiastic of Lightning Process!). Today he has written in one of the biggest newspapers in Norway, supporting the PACE-trial and warning against patients having opinions regarding medical research. Unbelievable!

Google translation ("In ignorance" is a title the newspaper has on problematic science-news)

Ignorance: Patients and their researchers
KRISTIAN GUNDERSEN PROFESSOR OF BIOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OSLO
UPDATED: 20.APR. 2016 9:44 p.m. ISSUED: 20.APR. 2016 3:25 p.m.
Strong patient groups must not be allowed to force through unilateral research.


In ignorance writes Nina Kristiansen, Kristian Gundersen, Øyvind Østerud and Simen Gaure every week about what they consider inadequate research, embarrassed dissemination, ignorant politics or plain cheating.
Patient participation is a slogan in healthcare. In the treatment of the individual patient, this is obviously important from a human rights and consumer perspective. But patients should have special rights in assessing the causes of disease and treatment studies?

Top journal British Medical Journal has introduced a scheme that patients participating in the peer review, ie without being peers. Such a practice can be problematic for diseases where patients and their organizations have very strong opinions that conflict with scientific assessments.

worthless method
Two retired professors at the University of Oslo got big headlines when they in 2013 claimed they found Borrelia bacteria through microscopy of blood in ME patients. This gave many patients with Lars Monsen spearheaded finally a biological explanation for their illness: They were not mentally ill.

The conclusion was strongly desired and support for pensioners was massive.


Kristian Gundersen
Many scientists believed, however, that these studies were academically meaningless. Nevertheless pressured then-Health Minister Jonas Gahr Støre Public Health to further research method.

The publication came 15 February this year and conclude that the method is worthless, and the editor of the journal writes in a comment that you had had at least 1,000 times more bacteria in the blood than is reasonable to expect if the method should have been even theoretically possible.

Let's hope the patients act more seriously ahead of the Norwegian Research Council recently decided that ME-patients themselves now will be involved in deciding what it should do research on this field.

PACE study
It has also been turbulence around a study called PACE which is the largest made in ME. The British study was originally published in the top journal Lancet, concluded that treatment with physical exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy is beneficial for ME patients.

This fits well with the hypothesis that ME has psychological causes.

Criticism has been massive, and 7 March was published 11,000 signatures demanding the extradition of the raw data underlying the study. The researchers say that this is in conflict with confidentiality and that data already made available to independent researchers.

The case is pending now in the British legal system.

The demand for access to data is legitimate and should in one way or another way complied, but one can wonder if such massive campaigns really motivated in the pursuit of truth. It is known that tobacco industry and skeptics have used endless transparency requirements for harassing researchers.

personal attacks
The editor of the Lancet says he has never experienced such a reaction on a publication, "An orchestrated attempt to undermine the credibility of the study and researchers from patient groups." Even some of the more serous critique of PACE study is mixed with personal attacks.

PACE researchers themselves responding well to scientifically speaking, but wound inexorably into a hostile discussion about its own integrity.

If there are strong populations want society to accept almost anything of lousy research supporting hypotheses they like (oslo pensioners), while requiring the perfect of researchers concludes differently (PACE), will get a distorted picture of reality.

It is not the purpose of scientific debate.

Edit: Adding link
 
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Snow Leopard

Hibernating
Messages
5,902
Location
South Australia
personal attacks
The editor of the Lancet says he has never experienced such a reaction on a publication, "An orchestrated attempt to undermine the credibility of the study and researchers from patient groups." Even some of the more serous critique of PACE study is mixed with personal attacks.

What bullshit. There have been many reactions like this with Lancet publications. One of those reactions, Richard Horton himself posted a personal attack of one of the researchers on Twitter!
 

Chrisb

Senior Member
Messages
1,051
What bullshit. There have been many reactions like this with Lancet publications. One of those reactions, Richard Horton himself posted a personal attack of one of the researchers on Twitter!

It is hard to know what those who express this view expect.

They refuse to comply with the rules of the game, which would suggest that criticism of scientific method be met with open discussion of the merit of the method, and that doubt with regard to empirical data be met with release of information to enable error, on either side, to be corrected.

An ad hominem attack is entirely justified against those who refuse to participate appropriately in an ad rem discussion.
 

user9876

Senior Member
Messages
4,556
I find it strange that there is a very consistent story with all these articles. It always looks like they have the same underlying story which is clearly told to the authors. What I find surprising is that the authors who claim to be authorities don't do any basic checking of the correctness of what they are saying. They misrepresent the reasons for requests for PACE data and patients opposition. They miss the independent scientists have raised concerns.

This is perhaps a symptom showing that science is broken or not very self correcting.
 

worldbackwards

Senior Member
Messages
2,051
Even some of the more serous critique of PACE study is mixed with personal attacks.
It is questionable whether questions about the conduct of scientists when doing science or disseminating results should be characterised as personal attacks; they have to take responsibility for what they do.

But, given that people do keep attacking the good faith of the scientists, might it not be true that, far from this being an unprofessional attempt to discredit them, they are in fact a bunch of bastards?
 

deleder2k

Senior Member
Messages
1,129
Too bad that this is written by a man who is Professor of Physiology which also is a contributor to the newspaper "Aftenposten". He is mostly respected for his work. Gundersen has also worked at Harvard University for some time.

He writes about pseudoscience every now and then. Aftenposten is the largest newspaper in Norway by daily circulation (around 250,000/day, which is more than The Guardian for instance).

I'd very much like someone with a PhD to answer to this BS. I am pretty sure he doesn't know a lot about the PACE trial at all. If @Jonathan Edwards or anyone else is up to the task I, or possibly someone in the Norwegian ME association can translate an answer to Norwegian.
 
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SilverbladeTE

Senior Member
Messages
3,043
Location
Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
Science is knowledge
Knowledge is power
Medical research is incredibly lucrative
Having people's lives in your hand by owning drug treatment they need is better than having Gulags and the NKVD

ERGO
The corrupt conspiracies we see, of which this f'''stick is another willing mouth piece
 

Marky90

Science breeds knowledge, opinion breeds ignorance
Messages
1,253
I will never in the slightest respect people who are more concerned with shining in the spotlight, than actually being right.

Disturbing.

Are anybody here in contact with Tuller? To have him or Edwards write a response would be ideal, if they got the time. If not I`ll do it myself.
 

Jonathan Edwards

"Gibberish"
Messages
5,256
Too bad that this is written by a man who is Professor of Physiology which also is a contributor to the newspaper "Aftenposten". He is mostly respected for his work. Gundersen has also worked at Harvard University for some time.

He writes about pseudoscience every now and then. Aftenposten is the largest newspaper in Norway by daily circulation (around 250,000/day, which is more than The Guardian for instance).

I'd very much like someone with a PhD to answer to this BS. I am pretty sure he doesn't know a lot about the PACE trial at all. If @Jonathan Edwards or anyone else is up to the task I, or possibly someone in the Norwegian ME association can translate an answer to Norwegian.

If there is a channel of communication open I would like to write to this physiologist. He clearly is either ignorant of or does not understand the issues around PACE. If I draw up a letter, can you translate, @deleder2k ?
 

Jonathan Edwards

"Gibberish"
Messages
5,256
I will never in the slightest respect people who are more concerned with shining in the spotlight, than actually being right.

Disturbing.

Are anybody here in contact with Tuller? To have him or Edwards write a response would be ideal, if they got the time. If not I`ll do it myself.

David is tied up with the FOI hearing at present. And for this particular case I might have the advantage in getting this guy to see that he does not represent the critical scientific community.
 

Kalliope

Senior Member
Messages
367
Location
Norway
If there is a channel of communication open I would like to write to this physiologist. He clearly is either ignorant of or does not understand the issues around PACE

You can write directly to him. Would have wonderful if you did!
Edit: If you want to write a public reply (even better) the mail address for debate-articles to the newspaper is debatt@aftenposten.no (I am sure they can provide a translation)
 

deleder2k

Senior Member
Messages
1,129
If there is a channel of communication open I would like to write to this physiologist. He clearly is either ignorant of or does not understand the issues around PACE. If I draw up a letter, can you translate, @deleder2k ?

Absolutely. You could either write it in private or as a reply to his chronicle. If you want to contact him in person I am sure it doesn't need to be translated (he has been a lecturer at Harvard University). If you want to write a reply in the paper please do tell.

I don't think the newspaper can guarantee that a reply will be published, but I am pretty sure that they'll do it. Not very often that an English professor tries to stop psychobabble from a Norwegian professor who is a self proclaimed skeptic.

A paradox: One of his main goals in life is to crush homeopathy. He has written a book about it. I think he has to reevaluate his chronicle about PACE.
 

Marky90

Science breeds knowledge, opinion breeds ignorance
Messages
1,253
David is tied up with the FOI hearing at present. And for this particular case I might have the advantage in getting this guy to see that he does not represent the critical scientific community.

Absolutely wonderful prof.

I contacted the paper, and they were interested in publishing responses. You can send a piece to debatt@aftenposten.no, and it must be between 600 and 3000 words.
 
Messages
13,774
Top journal British Medical Journal has introduced a scheme that patients participating in the peer review, ie without being peers. Such a practice can be problematic for diseases where patients and their organizations have very strong opinions that conflict with scientific assessments.

If you can't spot the problems with PACE, we're not your peers, we're your superiors.
 

Jonathan Edwards

"Gibberish"
Messages
5,256
Absolutely wonderful prof.

I contacted the paper, and they were interested in publishing responses. You can send a piece to debatt@aftenposten.no, and it must be between 600 and 3000 words.
His contact details are also available in English: http://www.mn.uio.no/ibv/english/people/aca/kgunder/index.html


University of Oslo, Department of Biosciences. The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Kristian Gundersen
Professor - Section for Physiology and Cell Biology


OK, I will draft a short personal letter to Gundersen and the a response for the newspaper. I guess the letter may as well be in English but a translation for the paper might help.
 

chipmunk1

Senior Member
Messages
765
A paradox: One of his main goals in life is to crush homeopathy. He has written a book about it. I think he has to reevaluate his chronicle about PACE.

Why does he have a problem with homeopathy when he thinks mind over matter stuff like the lightening process are valid therapies?

How is this better than homeopathy?