Our actions in response to Imperial College XMRV work


I'm feeling that we need to respond vigoorously to this "research" (although I'm anything but vigourous at the moment).

My beginning thoughts are:

1. I posted on the CAA page thanking Dr Vernon for her great and timely response to the Imperial paper, XMRV Negative Results Emphasize Need for Robust Replication StudyShare.

I also asked what they are doing about getting it into the main stream media.

2. To that end, I thought we could

a) clobber together a draft or parts of a letter we can all send off to the BBC and any other media that published articles.
BBC - you've been conned? Wessely and McClure put Careers on Line with Bad Science? ok ok silly again
And also to media that didn't pick up the story originally. I'm sure they love a chance to bash the opposition! It really helps me when I'm tired to have most of it laid out for me. As gracenote always helpfully reminds us - one clear concise page is good.

Talking points to be filled in:

i) the CAA response of possible reasons for results

ii) Science vs PLos ONE -
most respected journal / unknown internet journal
submit, most rejected / pay $1350
Time from submission to accepted xxxxmonths / 3 days
reviewed by xxxxxxxxxxxxx / plos info

iii)credibility of study basically nothing. McClure's statements totally unwarranted, unsupported absurd claims

iv) research to watch in future: joint study vernon refers to, WPI live-stream Mikovits Jan 22 10

b) get a list of possible media addresses to email to (we should probably have one on hand anyways)

c) I think maybe don't reply at all to this unknown pay-to-publish service as we don't want them getting any hits. IGNORE THEM.

What do you think?


All shall be well . . .
Santa Rosa, CA
also posted on THE thread

I'm thinking that Denise Grady from the New York Times needs all this great info that you all are uncovering ASAP. I'm off to bed, too. Just a thought for someone else to follow up on. :Retro smile:


I wrote this on the Fight is On thread, might be helpful.

Katie said:
I'm only up to page 21 but I wanted to write this about the media in the UK. A fantastic journalist called Nick Davies wrote a book called Flat Earth News, here's the general scoop.

The UK media is a skeletal shell of what it used to be. The numbers of journalists are pruned each financial years and the amount of content for supplements, the web, print and podcasts goes up and up. Journalists are also in a race against each other to get stories up, there's no time and a pressure to produce multiple stories. This is called Churnalism. They read news stories on the wire, add one opinion for balance and put it up. Nothing gets investigated. In our case, they replicate McClure's words, add in Shepards and that's it, the BBC is first, they win. This is how PR stories or rueters or Associated Content make it into the "news".

This could also work in our favour. Deliver a journalist a juicy, loud and clear prepackaged response to Wessely where they have to dedicate very little time to it and it's got important names in it (Dr, prof, MP etc) and give them some numbers to ring round if they need extra comments and boom, you're in the news. It's easy, feed the machine. Not too long either, look at the length of BBC Online articles, they are all similar sizes, it's got to fit in there.

The ME Association could be doing this, any ME group could be doing this, official or not, just get the right sounding names in it, like Vernon, like Mikovits, or even Shephard.

I'm going back to read the rest of this thread. But don't expect anyone in the mainstream media, not even quality papers, to do anything but the most superficial glance. It's not the journalists fault, but the bottom line drives information and investigation. They don't function as a check and balance anymore, they are a tool of the government, PR companies and capitalism. Read Flat Earth News for a moderate, passionate and evidence based account of the state of the media in this country.


Imperial College - write to the media

Here are the UK media articles about the Imperial College study results, with the addresses if you want to write to each paper etc concerned. A full postal address and telephone number must be supplied before publication is considered.

The Daily Mail:


article here:


(on this page you will find a poll to vote whether M.E. is 'real' or not. It can be voted on more than once)

The Independent:


article here:


The Guardian:


article here:


The BBC:

Today (BBC Radio 4 morning news)


PM (BBC Radio 4 evening news)

other UK newspaper addresses for letters to editors are here:


Many thanks to all outside the UK for your support.