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I dont know about anyone else but I dont have another 49 yearsGreat moments in science reportage
On January 13th, 1920, The New York Times ran a front page editorial ridiculing and misunderstanding the theories of Dr. Robert Goddard, the scientific acumen of Jules Verne and, for good measure, Newtons Third Law of Motion.
[Oh, and they took a swipe at Albert Einstein and his colleagues, too.]
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After the rocket quits our air and really starts on its long journey its flight would neither be accelerated nor maintained by the proposed explosion of the charges. To claim that it would be is to deny a fundamental law of dynamics, and only Dr. Einstein and his chosen dozen, so few and fit, are licensed do that.
That Dr. Goddard, with his chair in Clark College and the countenancing of The Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action and reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react to say that would be absurd. Of course, he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.
As, it happens, Jules Verne, who also knew a thing or two in assorted sciences, deliberately seemed to make the same mistake that Professor Goddard seems to make. For the Frenchman, having to get his travelers to or toward the moon into the desperate fix of riding a tiny satellite to the satellite, saved them from circling it forever by means of explosion, rocket fashion, where an explosion would not have had in the slightest degree the effect of releasing them from their dreadful slavery. This was one of Vernes few scientific slips, or else it was a deliberate step aside from scientific accuracy, pardonable enough in him as a romancer, but its like is not so easily explained when made by a savant who isnt writing a novel of adventure.
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The New York Times retracted the editorial on July 17th 1969, as Apollo 11 was heading for the moon.
If XMRV is validated as a cause of CFS and the whole epidemic becomes public knowledge, how we are treated will depend on how the media decide to tell it.
Any input from the scientists involved will be swamped by how the papers choose to tell the story.
In the past, the media have decided to portray us as "yuppy flu" and neurotic women - "middle aged women with psychosexual problems" one newspaper editor called us. If they had decided to see us as victims of an uncaring medical profession we might have done better.
What perplexed me the most was that Coffin's about-face. We need more information about how and why his thinking has changed. I would not presume that this is due to fear of a single scientist from a small research institute. Mikovits has played in the big sand box before, they know her well enough. I think this shift goes deeper and there are things not being told to us yet.
And ulcers: Remember this? In 1982, when H. pylori was discovered by Dr Marshall and Dr Warren, stress and lifestyle were considered the major causes of stomach and intestinal ulcers. And notice these unorthodox methods: Dr Marshall proved that H. pylori caused gastic inflammation by deliberately infecting himself with the bacterium. The Nobel citation praises the doctors for their tenacity, and willingness to challenge prevailing dogmas.
i'm concerned, i have a watch & wait attitude over all this - but when & if XMRV turns out to be it, statements like "we will be like HIV Africa only worse" dont' really seem to be what i'd call helpful. please understand my concern, i'm pro Mikovits. but that is a pretty outrageous statement, isn't it? i really dont' want to be sent to leper island, & i can't see how a statement like that is good PR for us. hurry science along yes, but cause public chaos no. please.
so i'm worried, this worries me. she must be very tired. i am grateful to this lady, but is she losing perspective / control?
please understand this is a question, i am one of those who believe in my bones XMRV is sensible, i feel it - but... the worse epidemic we have ever seen? how can that be? how can i be that dangerous? no one i know has this.
if someone could explain, these claims seem over the top a bit? no?
i understand they are linking XMRV to lots of things & that she is sayin IF nothing is done but it still seems to be some very strong statements.
help! i dont' get it.
thanks Alex, & all who answered. i've been reluctant to voice my fears because i dont' want to scare anyone - but let me talk for a moment about our worst case scenario. maybe i'm paranoid, but do you really think this society has come so far that we are past things like lynchings, hate crimes, holocausts, witch burnings, scarlet A's, stonings? i'm not so sure. i haven't encountered a lot of compassion. people dont' like sick people, they dont' like to deal with them & they certainly don't like the idea that they could get it. it would be nice to be treated as the victims we are, but will that happen? or will we be dragged from our homes & families to be quarantined?
ok, i said it all out loud. those are my fears. i'd love for someone to help me not feel that way, but something tells me we need to be a little careful here. the general public in my opinion are not nice, they certainly haven't been nice to us so far so i dont' know why anyone would think that would get any better once they find out they actually have something to fear from us.
Mikovits isn't helping her case any by sounding so hysterical about "epidemics" and AIDS, imo. Saying she "has no recourse" but to "play the autism card," and then try to imply there is some kind of sexist gender-based bias going on among researchers also just makes her sound a little bit crazy.
There is a recourse: have someone replicate the findings. It's called science. Presenting unverified information at an autism conference along with that discredited autism doc doesn't sound like the course of action someone takes who is sure of their findings. It sounds like a last move of desperation to push a pet theory that no one can yet verify.
walking into a doc's office can be pretty tough, but it isn't the same as being beaten possibly to death. not one hate crime is ok with me, so i am going to watch what language i use when i speak to people about this. being atagonistic doesn't seem the way to go to me.