Slap in the face to ME/CFS patients (Weasel wins award)

Tammie

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There is so much unbelievably wrong with this I am not even going to attempt to comment, except to say the words: "trusted", "accurate, evidence-based", "scientist" and "warm, receptive" are about as inaccurate and offensive in this context as the man himself.......ugh!

Press Office
Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London
De Crespigny Park
London United Kingdom
SE5 8AF

email iop-pr@kcl.ac.uk

Professor Simon Wessely was presented with the King's Award for Media Personality of the Year 2010 last night at a reception in the Weston Room, Maughan Library, Strand Campus.

For the fourth year, members of the College community gathered to celebrate the excellence and contributions of staff and students. Adam Boulton, Sky News Political Editor and member of College Council, reprised the role of Master of Ceremonies while the Principal Professor Rick Trainor presented the 20 King's Award winners with their awards and paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of all staff, students and alumni. Professor Wessely's award was for the academic who had secured exceptional positive media coverage for the College over the previous year.

Professor Wessely said: "I am pleased and touched by this recognition from King's. It is very important for scientists to engage with the media - to ensure the public has access to accurate, evidence-based scientific information, to keep us ever present in the minds of policy makers and funders, and to inform public debate. Also, I can honestly say, it's a lot of fun!"

Professor Simon Wessely is a trusted port-of-call for journalists who need an honest and reliable source of information delivered in a way which is meaningful for their audience. He is committed to science communication and sits on the Science Advisory Panel of the Science Media Centre an independent organisation dedicated to facilitating scientists to engage with the media and improve public access to accurate, evidence-based scientific information. He will always make time for the media and has been known to give interviews on the telephone en-route to Paris during his annual cycle ride to raise money for ex-service men and women in need.

Professor Wessely trained at the Maudsley Hospital in 1984 and moved over to the IoP in 1989, where he has remained ever since. Shortly after starting at the IoP he penned a column on science and health for The Times, which was his introduction to journalism and the media. He has carved a reputation for being warm, receptive and at the forefront of research within his field; a persona which translates through the range of media platforms. He has taken part in media training the next generation of science communicators at the IoP and encourages his team to engage with the media.

His research interests have included epidemiology, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychological debriefing, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), history, chronic pain, somatisation, Gulf War illness, military health and terrorism. Most recently, however, he has focused on military health and is Honorary Civilian Consultant Advisor in Psychiatry to the Army.

As Professor of Psychological Medicine at the IoP and Director of the Kings Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR), Professor Wessely recently led positive media coverage on complex research results which contradicted expectations that PTSD in the UK Armed Forces was increasing but highlighted that alcohol misuse was rising, as well as showing some of the benefits of military service on mental and social functioning. Amongst other interviews this year, too numerous to mention, one of the highlights was a Q&A interview with Nature magazine.

Prof Wessely is an asset to Kings in its endeavour to disseminate cutting-edge science to the wider public.

For further details of the King's Awards and details of the other winners: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/about/structure/admin/extrel/staff/depts/pr/ic/kings-awards-2010/
 

HowToEscape?

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Perhaps his research interest in drinking aluminum sulfate should be noted. Twenty tons of that added to a small water supply is no matter, provided it is someone else's water (Camelford).
 

xrayspex

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I have a theory that CFS/ME patients get PTSD from people like Wessley not admitting they are sick and invalidating people, its pretty nervewracking when its institutionalized like by the cdc and straus going around telling docs to treat cfs peeps like nutters in the early 90s.
 
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Perhaps his research interest in drinking aluminum sulfate should be noted. Twenty tons of that added to a small water supply is no matter, provided it is someone else's water (Camelford).
In 2006 a post-mortem inquest into the death of Carol Cross at age 58, who was exposed to the contaminated drinking water aged 44, showed that her brain contained 23 micrograms of aluminium per gram of brain, compared to the normal brain levels of 0–2 micrograms per gram.
Wessely was right, it really was all in the poor woman's head!

Victims have also reported:

* fatigue
* fibromyalgia
* premature ageing
* loss of short-term memory
* multiple chemical sensitivity

Seven months after the contamination, one victim underwent a bone biopsy which "found a ring of aluminium like the rings you see in trees" that could not have resulted from normal aluminium absorption
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camelford_water_pollution_incident

Wessely is equally dismissive of the Camelford drinking water contamination, where in July 1988 twenty tonnes of aluminium sulphate were pumped into the drinking water supplies of the Cornish town, resulting in the death of seven people, with 25,000 people suffering serious health effects and with 40,000 animals affected (The Ecologist 1999:20:6:228-233). The death toll has since risen – see The Daily Telegraph, 20th April 2006: “Alzheimer’s fear grips poisoned water town” by Medical Editor Celia Hall. Bone biopsies carried out over six months later showed stainable aluminium. Although noting that some peoples’ hair, skin and nails turned blue, in their paper in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research (The Legend of Camelford: 1995:39:1:1-9) Wessely and his co-author Anthony David were not to be moved: they claimed that it was all mass hysteria (BMJ 1995:311:395) and that the “somatic” symptoms were the result of heightened perception of normal and benign symptoms and irresponsible reporting by the press, though they have not explained by what mechanism hysteria affects animals.
http://www.investinme.org/Article-130 Williams Hooper Wesselys Ways.htm


We know what he deserves, and it's not an award.
 

paddygirl

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I hold that man personnally responsible for all the slights and ill treatment I have received in my search for the most basic human need, decent health care. I hear stories all the time from other people with ME of similiar stories to my own. He puts the stamp of approval on the most appalling discrimination and marginalization. Neighbours giving me the NICE documents and doctors laughing in my face. My young friend crying with sadness and frustration when she hasn't got the energy to play or care for her children. It all goes back to him. Will her ever have to answer? May he rot.
 

eric_s

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Ok. I'm not a UK citizen and don't live there, but i have a simple idea.
Today is the day where i read that the UK has banned blood donations by people with ME/CFS (to protect us :D).
Now, let's wait until the retroviral connection (and "hopefully" causation) is established in the mainstream and then we make him give this award back!
This man with his track record can not get an award at this point in time. Period. Once the facts are out there, i'm sure the UK people will understand this.
 

eric_s

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If the XMRV connection pans out, we should demand that these things be made right.
People have made big mistakes (in this case, which looks quite likely), deliberately or not, which is not even that important, that have led to a lot of suffering and discrimination and this will have to be acknowledged and the people responsible will have to apologize.
We are so many. Seriously, if i was a UK citizen i would walk up to Buckingham palace with 50'000 PWCs (as soon as we feel well enough). Then, let's see if she publicly gives the Weasel a slap :tongue: