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London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine - LSHTM 120 keynote lecture: Alumni on the frontline of innovation 2019

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Sly Saint, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    full details here:
    https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/newsevents/events/lshtm-120-keynote-lecture-alumni-frontline-innovation

    now on Youtube:


    oh the irony
     
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  2. Cinders66

    Cinders66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Does he, Horton, realise he has a microphone on?
    Wow wessely the little swine is still smearing the community behind closed doors to medics isn’t he, he talks about CFS specifically but he doesn’t take opportunity to convey it as serious and physical, just quotes his research that showed it wasn’t confined to yuppies.


    He then starts lumping “Cf” as an “illness of modernity” with GWS & MCS, , that’s just expanding on his newspaper articles where he called it a phenomenon of our age.
    He then talks about fear and anxiety in unknown syndromes which anyone listening would include the CF, GWS and MCS he’s lumped in just before (we all know MCS was another areas wessely patronisingly set out to put in its place as group think, hysteria etc)

    Transcript

    “so I was working on things like Chronic fatigue, GWS & CS, a Themes
    was emerging of that point of my career about what we would go on to call Illnesses of modernity. Those Unexplained symptoms and syndromes that seem to accompany every new piece of technology in our lives, from wireless telegraphy. to video screens and ofcourse the mobile phone. “....

    so he then goes on to suggest that he “ofcourse” “disproved” ideas of mobile phone & WiFi harm. The conclusion by WHO of this research was “less research is needed”.

    He says
    “However that is not really true because if the GsM wasn’t the cause of people’s illnesses, the point was these people are ill, so what is it, and really what we are talking about here is the role of Fear and anxiety , this fear of modernity is what we see in all sorts of different syndromes and illnesses, this fear of the unknown and uncertainty of the modern”

    and its important .... because He says you can go onto YouTube and see children convulsing after an HPV vaccine etc, or insisting sicknesses caused by wind farms. So basically he’s argued the widespread problem of psychosomatic modern illness

    Oh yes he ended saying “ he had told a dr “I’m a psychiatrist, I’m interested in subjective outcomes and I’m interested in Chronic fatigue, sadness and fear ” make of that...

    And Richard Horton sympatically asks him basically how scientists can step up in an age of skepticism to engage in the public and political given that when he had “it had been tough” (obviously CFS)
    Simon Wessely said that being in psychiatry was tough , the fear and stigma etc and in his early years in controversial areas,( obviously CFS ) he repeated what he has said elsewhere that he thought publishing in good journals like lancet was enough (creep) but that was a mistake, he didn’t make enough effort in the early years speaking to people who didn’t agree with him.i took that to mean he didn’t make enough effort to educate the ignorant rather than he should have listened to them. I haven’t noticed Simon Wessely speaking with his critics on CFS.

    Lesson In life, be wary of any one who persists in referring to your illness as unexplained symptoms and syndromes because this is how medics are explaining it. Whilst he was vague and this wasn’t a lecture on CFS , by how this was ordered , lumped, I would see if I was a student GWS & CFS as one of these syndromes driven by fear and hysteria
    Given he was introduced by Horton as essentially a champion for GWS having GWS called an illness of modernity and connecting it to psychological illnesses associated with fear , I think that is Deeply insulting to veterans.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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  3. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    Wessely is on from 41 to 56 minutes. I agree with @Cinders66. He makes it very clear he lumps CFS in with 'illnesses of modernity' caused by fear and anxiety.

    He promotes his book about randomised controlled trials in clinical psychiatry, and of course talks about Richard Horton publishing them.

    I feel sick.
     
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  4. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Wessely thinks he is dispelling harmful myths about illness. He is adding to the confusion with his own harmful myths.
     
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  5. adambeyoncelowe

    adambeyoncelowe Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Well it's good to know these are his recent thoughts on the matter.
     
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  6. large donner

    large donner Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Oh the irony when one can go on YouTube and witness such as his own illness of modernity....

    It kind of shines a light on his own demented reasoning and inner fears. Or perhaps his illness is straight up and down narcissism which he feels the need to perform on stage.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  7. feeb

    feeb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Bizarre. Why set up the ME/CFS biobank in the first place if you're going to invite experts along to tell everyone that it's pointless because ME is caused by fear of smartphones?

    I guess they'd better shut that project down pronto since less research is needed rather than more?
     
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  8. Cinders66

    Cinders66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I was surprised initially because I thought he would not mention his early years whicH afaic were not fruitful and he would just talk about his supposed wonderful career in military mental health but what was shocking was how in this age to a medical audience of wide range of ages and expertise he was still very happy to lump in both GWS and Cf & CFS seemingly openly with illness he claimed be categorically proven to be psychosomatic.

    He still seems concerned about preserving a certain narrative about his early work. Which means resistance to our progress and liberation. He hasn’t changed position and has a friend in Richard Horton who is never going to retract PACE. As said it’s a shame people from the ME biobank at LSTMH weren’t there.

    and I think that shows where we are at and the key thing for me, in the context of discussion elsewhere on nice guidelines, was that he specifically said that the patients ARE genuinely experiencing symptoms, they are sick but it is psychologically driven. His narrative is we are genuine in our experience it is not made up, it’s he wasn’t saying it’s is malingering either but equally it is not a valid physical illness with a physical causes in the way that arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, dementia, diabetes are, which is sadly however what ME is.

    And of course as usual he has been very Careful and clever with language and argued in a way that we can not simply quote as directly saying CFS is fear driven but the way he ordered his talk, quickly skipping from CFS to CF & Gulf War syndrome, then switching directly on to Fear and anxiety and hysteria, he is seemingly lumping it all together so what counts is the impression given to both senior and student medics. And on that I’m sure he’s feeling very pleased. H e’s often like that in the press which is why he has the title Weasley because he is manipulative, slippery and shafty.

    I’m sure the lecturers at Scottish medical schools known to educating falsely about CFS to the upcoming generations are just mini wesselys.
     
  9. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    What an ignorant statement. Modern life is so much easier than pre-industrial life. Modern life is literally defined by having less uncertainty, since we have learned so much thanks to technology and a centuries-long process of scientific understanding. Agrarian life is essentially living with maximum uncertainty about everything and as such the exact opposite would be true, this "modernity anxiety" would be more prevalent and severe in those societies.

    If any of this had any truth it would be easy to observe increases of such "syndromes" in societies marked by rejection of modernity and strongly correlated to conservatism, as well as significant increases in people with diagnosed phobias. Amish people going through rumspringa would see epidemics of these "syndromes". What a ridiculous clown of a sham scientist making nonsensical claims.

    Even as it relates to GWI it's such an ignorant claim. Most soldiers in the first Gulf war barely saw any combat. Compared to the "shell shock" of traumatizing WWI trench warfare, where shells were constantly exploding and there never was any respite, this is almost like a vacation as far as "fear" and shock are concerned. Entire units that were not even deployed in combat operations, but were exposed to burning oil wells and chemical agents, had unusually high numbers of GWI cases. Ridiculous.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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  10. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think GWS will be his undoing.
    Hopefully Klimas and others will be successful in their reset.
     
  11. large donner

    large donner Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It's more likely to get him a place in the house of Lords.
     
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  12. Wits_End

    Wits_End Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes, why is it that LSTMH is the one to be operating that? (Perhaps a question for a different thread?)
     
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  13. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    He is the one who compared it to neurasthenia. The victorians felt it was due to their version of modern life and city living but they were a long tie ago, idiot.
     
  14. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That would be "prestigious" in the original use of the word, presumably.

    VIZ "relating to, or marked by, illusion, trickery or conjuring" or "full of tricks".
     
  15. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Reputation doesn't end at death. Plenty of people died with high respect only to end up later being acknowledged as failures once people understood the difference between the mythology and the person.

    The same will happen to Wessely and his rotten bunch. They have caused massive suffering and will inevitably be recognized as such. Just a matter of time. Plenty of people will make sure the true impact of their work is understood and the facts speak for themselves.
     
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  16. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The Victorians had the benefit of ignorance, especially about history. Life in a Victorian era large city was not that different than in Roman times or any of the other large urban societies that have existed before then. They could be excused about such things back then. To argue the same today is simply a massive display of ignorance and amateurism.

    The only difference with the Victorian era taking notice of such things is the beginning of the scientific method and of people starting to take proper records of those things. It's a lot like electricity, plenty of people had observed it before but it didn't spring into existence in the late 19th century just because it's about when we started understanding what it is.
     
  17. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  18. Lucibee

    Lucibee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    For some reason, I missed this - so catching up. Chris van Tulleken's talk* is an interesting case in point methinks...

    *in terms of CoIs, overdiagnosis due to overly broad, non-specific diagnostic criteria funnelling people into a particular intervention, etc etc
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
  19. Lucibee

    Lucibee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I've now listened to Wessely's talk (and done a transcript, if anyone wants it). I found it fascinating that he modestly says his career has been marked by failure and described his talk as "a paean to the powers of failure". However, I found it disturbing that at each point he failed, he saw that as an endpoint, a reason not to do more research on that topic - "less research needed" - rather than as an incentive to dig deeper and work out why things had gone wrong. I've looked at quite a few of the studies he mentioned, and the reasons they failed were either because they were done carelessly or they were looking in the wrong places or doing the wrong things, not because they had genuinely found "evidence of absence".

    He also mentioned "wind farm syndrome", which I'd not heard of as a specific thing, so I looked it up. Simon Chapman has written about it for The Guardian and New Scientist, and his pieces contain the usual assumption about it being something to do with fear of new technology, and makes the usual psychogenic attributions that we know and love so well. However, I also found this piece by Jason Endfield, which tries to get to the bottom of what actually might be occurring - that the low-frequency vibrations they produce might actually be causing a reasonable amount of stress in those who live near them including other mammals (it also contains a bit more info on the court cases that Wessely mentioned).

    Modern life does produce public health challenges, and to dismiss them as just fear and anxiety seems very short-sighted, particularly when proper investigation may lead to innovations and improvements. Moving to renewable energy is extremely important. But if it is at the cost of our health and our wildlife, then maybe we should be paying attention and working out how to do things slightly differently?
     
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  20. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14593-wind-turbines-make-bat-lungs-explode/

    Air Pressure is a trigger for my daughter - who knows what living near a wind farm may do...
     
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