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Podcast interview [Everything Hertz] with James Heathers about problems in research, how he prioritises what he looks at, etc.

Discussion in 'Research methodology news and research' started by Esther12, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    He's done some work with Nick Brown, and that lot. He's already aware of PACE, but seems to view it as something others are dealing with. Here he's the guest on his own podcast.

    It's not really concise, and may not be ideal for people looking for a nice, clear listen when exhausted. I'm mainly posting this here because there's a section which fitted with my cynical sense of how things can work (I'd hoped I was wrong), and it really reminded me of some pseudo-sophisticated ideas around CFS seemed to spread in the 90s:

    He later found it funny that an attempted insult for him was "accuracy fetishist" and that reminded me of QMUL complaining about PACE critics having an "obsessional attention to detail".

    There were some other interesting bits revealing his views on the culture to be found in academia, that could help explain some of the problems around PACE/CFS. It didn't point me to any easy solutions on how to move forward.

    Heathers spoke about how getting bad science into the media was useful for moving the discussion about bad science forwarded in academia, and PACE should be useful for that. It's been disappointing how few of the people like Heathers have taken PACE on. I suspect that the heated and political nature of parts of the disputes put some people off. And in the UK, personal connections are often a problem too. I think that PACE is much 'bigger' that the things I've seen challenged by Heathers and colleagues.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  2. Sean

    Sean Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, all that due diligence stuff. Such a drag on imposing one's grand delusions plan upon the rest of the world.

    Besides, obsessional attention to detail seems a core requirement in a good scientist. Theories and even whole fields of science can live or die on small details. See Lamb Shift.

    Maybe they are laying the technical and political ground work via more modest targets, in order to be able to take down bigger and more powerful targets later on.

    It's a nice thought.
  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I get the impression that they're going more for evidence of data fabrication/sloppiness, where there's less room for dispute.

    Academia's disinterest in details could explain why so many seem to let PACE get away with such BS arguments, and why White et al. think it is in their interest to make them.

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