'Problems with PACE' now part of the UK ME/CFS media narrative?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS news' started by Sasha, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Sasha

    Sasha Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    A positive article was published in the Daily Mail online site yesterday about the Newcastle cellular biogenetics research:


    Interestingly, it included a sidebar devoted entirely to the PACE controversy:

    The study findings come after angry scientists threw cheap insults at each other regarding the 'flawed' results of a landmark £5 million British study on chronic fatigue syndrome.

    One medical journal dedicated its entire August edition to ripping apart the 'unreliable' PACE trial, which was funded by taxpayers.

    In response, three editors at the Journal of Health Psychology, who are all scientists, have resigned. One said the journal displayed 'unacceptable one-sidedness'.

    An upset co-editor of the journal hit back and told him to 'f*** off' for his 'attempted bullying', leaked emails obtained by The Times show.

    He also called him a 'disgusting old fart neoliberal hypocrite' - despite once considering him a 'hero' and referring to him as a 'Trotskyite' in his younger days. ​

    I wondered if this indicates a turn in the tide in terms of UK media coverage - that instead of loads of articles in which PACE is presented unquestioningly, now every story about ME/CFS will include a PACE-kicking section whether the research relates to PACE or not.
  2. Cheshire

    Cheshire Moderator Staff Member

    I was wondering the same thing after reading a Canadian article. https://www.s4me.info/index.php?thr...re-interesting-than-its-title.858/#post-14486

    It seems more and more people are aware of the problems around ME. The well-oiled narrative set up by BPS proponents is loosing ground and is progressively replaced by a new story revealing the dust hidden under the carpet.
  3. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    London, UK
    I had lunch with a couple of enlightened journalists who write health articles for major dailies yesterday.
    I think the flawed nature of PACE is now recognised at least by those taking a serious interest. Also the mention of SMC produced guffaws of an encouraging kind. They were not aware of Unrest or the SMILE debacle but we discussed those and the problem of method quality in psychiatric research. We also got on to issues of corruption - not suggested by me.

    It is a pity that the BBC seems to have stalled in terms of doing any sort of commentary on PACE. I think it may be problematic that some of the heads to roll are rather high up.
  4. guest001

    guest001 Guest

    Hasn't stopped them with Westminster Sexual Harassment claims.
  5. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    London, UK
    Ah, but I think the harassment claims were fed to them on purpose. I gather that Leadsome came up with the bit against the defence secretary because he had arranged to have her sacked. It's all a bit like The Death of Stalin.
    Luther Blissett, Trish and Estherbot like this.
  6. guest001

    guest001 Guest

    Maybe we could take a leaf out of her book? ;)
  7. Hoopoe

    Hoopoe Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    How do you end up having lunch with journalists?

    What is the, ahem, strategy?
  8. Estherbot

    Estherbot Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I will have to send a copy of the sidebar to Imperial Lord Wessely via social media.

    James Coyne will pleased the press has adopted his epithet of George Davey-Smith.
  9. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

    Its nice to see the mud that the BPSers raked up over the JHP special issue is now kind of sticking to them.

    Otherwise, I don't see a whole lot to be grateful for there. Its just gossip and doesn't even explain what the PACE trial was about, let alone what the concerns are about it.
  10. Solstice

    Solstice Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Doubt it matters much to the general public. Pace-controversy+biological findings is double win imo. When it comes to convincing professionals we have to come up with more facts, but those are available in abundance.
    Inara, Luther Blissett, Sean and 3 others like this.
  11. TiredSam

    TiredSam Committee Member

    What I find encouraging is who gets to be called the scientists.

    Until recently it was portrayed as PACE scientists against anti-science protesters.

    In the Daily Mail article it is now portrayed as ME research scientists against dismissive skeptics who think it's psychological.

    So the BPS brigade have lost the "scientist" label to the real scientists, they are now just skeptics. That's about half-way to what they should really be called.
    Inara, inox, Indigophoton and 17 others like this.
  12. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Even if it's not the sort of detailed analysis we'd ideally like, a side bar like that is still a number of steps forward from where we were a few years ago. I think that even if not many journalists are willing to dig into all the details themselves, more and more of them must be noticing that the PACE people don't look comfortable trying to defend their own work.
    Inara, inox, Sean and 8 others like this.
  13. guest001

    guest001 Guest

    Well noticed!

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