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Unknown PACE-trial advocate tries to block JHP issue dedicated to the trial

Solstice

Senior Member
Messages
641
It’s been a wild 72 hours. Publication of the special issue of Journal of Health Psychology is going forward as planned on Monday. PLOS Mind the Brain is dead, long live Mind the Brain.

My colleagues and I came under heavy attack on two fronts.

There was a last ditch attempt to block publication of the special issue by a powerful but unknown #PACEtrial advocate and it was finally foiled this morning. A weaselly coward suggested papers weren't properly peer reviewed and that the special issue should therefore be published. That of course was nonsense. There were some threats made to Sage Press, the publisher of Journal of Health Psychology, which expressed a reluctance to go forward as planned. As these things are done, we weren’t told the identity of the complainant, but it was clear that whoever s/he was a huge quite powerful

A decision was made that I would take responsibility for unilaterally breaking the embargo on the press release and post a blog about it. If necessary, I would explain that I did it without permission.

I prepared the blog, but waited till 7 AM in hope that Sage would relent. They had not by that hour, and so I posted the blog. The strategy was that we would get very visible and create a great deal of embarrassment for Sage if they did not let us go forward. Actually, all of the papers were available Early Release except Editor David Marks’ great accompanying introductory editorial. We were prepared to move that to a public repository, and if necessary the other articles from the special issue. A few hours later, Sage agreed to go forward and published the special issue on Monday morning.

On another front, PLOS blog Mind the Brain died in a struggle, with me being blocked from uploading any further posts. Some of us have been agitating for PLOS to lift the ban on me speaking in the blog about the PACE trial controversy.

A conference call had been scheduled for Friday morning, but it simply became an announcement that the blog was being shut down because PLOS did not have sufficient staff to fact check my posts in a timely fashion. PLOS management asked that we issue a joint statement in social media about amicable separation, with us praising five years of working together.

I refused and I indicated that PLOS was caving to the PACE investigators by not retracting the paper for which data had been promised to be release, but was not. PLOS indicated they had done all they could with the Expression of Concern.

I disagreed, and I said they had a public relations disaster on their hands. We arrived at a decision that early next week, the dead PLOS blog Mind the Brain would be revived on CoyneoftheRealm.com free of any censorship and control of my talking about the PACE controversy. A zip folder of the past five years of post would be transferred on Tuesday. I am telling of these events on Facebook here, but I’m can refrain from talking on Twitter until what PLOS comes up with. PLOS had explained, that the decision had nothing to do with my pressuring them to lift the censorship about PACE, but only that my muckraking about conflicts of interest of institutions and individuals had caused alarm. I challenge them to indicate any factually untrue statements that I had made, and they said they could not.

I strongly believe that someone was pulling the strings and the huge PLOS organization had become risk adverse after long months of negotiation with the PACE investigators. I’m free to say more about this once the separation has been arranged.

https://www.facebook.com/james.c.coyne/posts/10214635365384655


Took the liberty to create an own thread for this piece of information. Pretty shocking yet not surprising how far people are willing to go to save their own asses.
 

Daisymay

Senior Member
Messages
754
Well done Solstice, definitely needs it's own thread!

Yes shocked yet not shocked as we've had to live with decades of such abuses of power. Sincere thanks to David Marks, JHP, James Coyne for having the b...s and integrity to stand up for us!

I hope others will finally stand up against this concerted abuse of seriously ill patients.
 

Skippa

Anti-BS
Messages
841
Just seems to comfirm why noone has *yet* touched PACE with a barge pole (apart from a handful of brave individuals) because someone or something powerful is prepared to make life pretty difficult for any that do.

It's what we're up against.

Congrats for pressing ahead!
 

snowathlete

Senior Member
Messages
5,374
Location
UK
Pretty interesting. The fact pro-PACE people are trying to get things censored behind the scenes is quite disgusting, and I wonder how many years this sort of thing has gone on for, and who exactly is doing this? It obviously has to be someone high up and influential.

I hope we hear more and that others have the moral courage to come forward and at least speak factually about such approaches they've experienced behind the scenes. Such things belong in the light not hidden away.
 

Jonathan Edwards

"Gibberish"
Messages
5,256
It has gone on for a long time and I see no reason to think that it involves anyone other than Simon Wessely. He contacts people directly in a wheedling sort of way, or perhaps he contacts someone indirectly.

The recently inaugurated President of the Royal Society of Medicine seems to be damaging the credibility of UK academic medicine in his first week. Or at least that is the way things look. The Royal Society of Medicine has never been of much importance but UK academic medicine deserves better.

The whole thing is remarkably reminiscent of the Trump circus.
 
Messages
2,125
Pretty interesting. The fact pro-PACE people are trying to get things censored behind the scenes is quite disgusting, and I wonder how many years this sort of thing has gone on for, and who exactly is doing this? It obviously has to be someone high up and influential.

I hope we hear more and that others have the moral courage to come forward and at least speak factually about such approaches they've experienced behind the scenes. Such things belong in the light not hidden away.

The next real test will be if the media do anything (or are able to do anything) with it. Wessely will be pulling out all the stops to prevent it.
 

lilpink

Senior Member
Messages
988
Location
UK

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lilpink

Senior Member
Messages
988
Location
UK
It has gone on for a long time and I see no reason to think that it involves anyone other than Simon Wessely. He contacts people directly in a wheedling sort of way, or perhaps he contacts someone indirectly.

The recently inaugurated President of the Royal Society of Medicine seems to be damaging the credibility of UK academic medicine in his first week. Or at least that is the way things look. The Royal Society of Medicine has never been of much importance but UK academic medicine deserves better.

The whole thing is remarkably reminiscent of the Trump circus.

Are we being teased with this 'clue' I wonder? ;) "A weaselly coward " ......
 

Cheshire

Senior Member
Messages
1,129
What is reassuring is that, lately, their attempts to block dissident voices have all been complete failures and they've all been made public. It doens't work as it used to....

Nonetheless, there doesn't seem to be an outcry of disagreement, but maybe opprobrium is growing behind the scene.

How long can they go on with such despicable behavior?
 

Solstice

Senior Member
Messages
641
What is reassuring is that, lately, their attempts to block dissident voices have all been complete failures and they've all been made public. It doens't work as it used to....

Nonetheless, there doesn't seem to be an outcry of disagreement, but maybe opprobrium is growing behind the scene.

How long can they go on with such despicable behavior?

Well, for as far as we now offcourse. There's no telling what they did manage to block, cause it doesn't see the light.
 

TiredSam

The wise nematode hibernates
Messages
2,677
Location
Germany
Sage Publishing in not being cowed seem to be living up to their motto as per their Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/SAGEPublications/ ). Long may it continue.
Sounds like they nearly were cowed. SAGE was a donor to the SMC in 2012 and 2013, so the Weasel probably thought he could pull a few strings. I think we've been very lucky that JHP doesn't have a small UK publisher.

The next real test will be if the media do anything (or are able to do anything) with it. Wessely will be pulling out all the stops to prevent it.

Yep, good luck with the UK press. SMC currently has Metro, Nature, Financial Times, The Times, and the BBC on the board, and no doubt links to many other media outlets and "journalists". Best case scenario is that one of them breaks ranks then all the others follow, if a sick man may be permitted to dream for a moment ...

upload_2017-7-30_12-19-15.png


http://powerbase.info/index.php/Science_Media_Centre
 
Messages
2,391
Location
UK
This sentence ...
A weaselly coward suggested papers weren't properly peer reviewed and that the special issue should therefore be published.
... needs a "not" before the word "therefore" surely?

Edit: I did try to message him on FB about it, but not sure it got through. It should be corrected before tomorrow morning really. Anybody have contact with James Coyne?

Edit 2: He's sorted it! :)
 
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user9876

Senior Member
Messages
4,556
What is reassuring is that, lately, their attempts to block dissident voices have all been complete failures and they've all been made public. It doens't work as it used to....

As the dissenting voices are international it becomes harder for the UK establishment to use to old boys network to shut things up. Although we could end up with a situation where doctors are fed a line in the UK which is ridiculed in the rest of the world.
 
Messages
2,158
Although we could end up with a situation where doctors are fed a line in the UK which is ridiculed in the rest of the world.

They already are. We need to go on fighting for some time to come, I suspect. I plan to buy a copy of this JHP issue to give to my doctor, and print off a couple of the articles to hand to any other doctors I see who display ignorance. Medical training is a big issue too.