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The royal society of medicine: medical stories and the public (with Stephen Fry & Simon Wessely)

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Kalliope, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. Kalliope

    Kalliope Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Don't know if ME will be a theme, but might be of interest nevertheless for some to be aware of:

    Medical stories and the public
    12 November 2018
    at Royal Society of Medicine, London

    For this special event, Stephen Fry, esteemed comedian, actor, writer, presenter, activist and expert storyteller visits the RSM to sit with our President Sir Simon Wessely to discuss medical stories and the public, including special interviews with best selling authors Dr Henry Marsh and Dr Rachel Clarke.

    Dr Marsh is a leading neurosurgeon and a pioneer of neurosurgical advances in Ukraine. He wrote the very candid and highly acclaimed memoirs Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain, and Admissions: A life in brain surgery.

    Dr Rachel Clarke is an physician specialising in palliative care for the NHS, former war journalist, activist, and author of Your Life in My Hands: A Junior Doctor's Story.

    Don't miss your opportunity to learn from the experts about crafting medical stories for the public and how to effectively and meaningfully capture audience attention

    MSEsperanza, Inara, TiredSam and 7 others like this.
  2. Sarah

    Sarah Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    November 2013:

    Linking the Kickstarter page for Unrest (then Canary in a Coal Mine.)
  3. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Well what does one make of that??

    Stephen Fry could make mincemeat of Wessely if he wanted.

    TigerLilea, MeSci, Sly Saint and 24 others like this.
  4. Sarah

    Sarah Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    In another time, I would like to have seen Simon Wessely and perhaps Trudie Chalder for, and Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens against, in debate of the motion 'The biopsychosocial model is a force for good in the world.'
    Inara, TiredSam, andypants and 10 others like this.
  5. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    On CFS? I can't remember seeing Fry critically engaging with science issues previously, and Wessely is a smooth talker (or at least, who knows how to appeal to those likely to be in attendance).
    Inara, Skycloud and Trish like this.
  6. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    A fan of Fry, particularly his narration. But I fear he will prove a lost cause on this stuff. Like most with genuine mental health issues, he tends to swallow the whole line and proselytise. For example, he thinks the placebo is a very powerful force. (It really isn't, Mr Fry.)

    Happy to be proven wrong. But don't expect to be. :(

    This is just another example of Wessely's slimy propaganda tactics. Co-opt, compromise, corrupt.

    I fully expect him to run his usual lines about harassment and intimidation, and an ungrateful minority of bastard patients stuffing it up for the vast majority of nice good compliant patients. He won't let an opportunity like this go past.

    This man is toxic to sane decent society.
    Ben McNevis, Inara, TiredSam and 11 others like this.
  7. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Stanford, CA
    One of my favorite skits of his mocks those who use logical fallacies. My favorite one is a Frye and Laurie sketch where the pair of them skewer credulous patients who believe whatever a doctor says. He's a very clever man, so I have hopes.
    Tia, NelliePledge, janice and 13 others like this.
  8. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

    And with a date of November for this event, there is some time for people to have a chat with Stephen Fry. That tweet in @Sarah's post above is certainly encouraging.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
    MSEsperanza, JaimeS, MEMarge and 8 others like this.
  9. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I think the clue is in the last paragraph of the flier " don' t miss your opportunity..."
    Controlling narratives is key.
    MSEsperanza, Inara, Skycloud and 3 others like this.
  10. Three Chord Monty

    Three Chord Monty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I was/am a big/huge fan of Christopher Hitchens. I never had much confidence that he couldn't be talked into seeing things Wessely's way. A couple of things he wrote here or there about his friendship with Francis Collins might've had something to do with it, I got the sense that when it came to medicine and other topics that were outside of his field of expertise, that he tended to side with 'experts' without diving in as he might've with geopolitics/foreign policy.
    Inara, MeSci, Sarah and 1 other person like this.
  11. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I am not so much thinking of Fry engaging critically, although he is no way stupid and probably could.
    I am thinking in terms of this being, if Fry wanted it to be, a standoff between two people who like to, and can, make other people hang on their every word. The question is who would appear credible if the other one said 'you're bullshitting'. Fry would be way ahead on that because he can hold his nerve when being poked fun at. I doubt Wessely has ever had to do that live.

    Presumably Wessely has established in advance that this is not going to happen. What was the context of the Fry tweet quoted above I wonder. Maybe Fry assumes ME is a mental health problem like his.
    Inara, Tia, MEMarge and 8 others like this.
  12. adambeyoncelowe

    adambeyoncelowe Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Stephen would be good to have on-side. Maybe @JenB has communicated with him before, since he endorsed Unrest? It would require a tremendous amount of tact to broach the issue, however.
  13. Guest 102

    Guest 102 Guest

    I already commented on this on Twitter.

    Inara, JaimeS, Tia and 9 others like this.
  14. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Somebody really ought to get on to Fry and see what he thinks his role is at this session.
    Surely somebody here mixes with the theatre set?
    MSEsperanza, Inara, JaimeS and 9 others like this.
  15. Guest 102

    Guest 102 Guest

    Fry’s role will be bonhomie and intelligent banter with the great and the good - and Wessely will perform his usual charming and jokey self that he projects effortlessly and perfectly to his captive audience.
    MSEsperanza, Inara, Tia and 7 others like this.
  16. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    Sadly, I think you're right, @Nasim Marie Jafry . Stephen Fry is very polite in settings where he has been invited as host - I can't see him using it as an opportunity to skewer Wessely, much as we might want him to.
    MSEsperanza, Inara, JaimeS and 6 others like this.
  17. adambeyoncelowe

    adambeyoncelowe Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I know some people who know him. I'll try to persuade them.
    MSEsperanza, Inara, JaimeS and 16 others like this.
  18. Guest 102

    Guest 102 Guest

    I respect and admire Stephen Fry hugely, but think you underestimate the chumminess of Wessely with high profile performers such as Stephen. Wessely is a slick operator, expedient as the most expedient politician, and has PR to make you weep. Also, he and Fry have recent history:

  19. Guest 102

    Guest 102 Guest

    It will all be terribly cosy - and maybe a wee bit radical - I love Dr Henry Marsh and his writing - but chances of Wessely being revealed to be the toxic player he is are zilch. Everyone will have a lovely time and Simon will be the star performer, as usual. I did just try and tweet RSM, including Stephen Fry in tweet, but I imagine anything anti-Wessely is pointless in this context - water off a duck’s back.

    Sly Saint, Inara, JaimeS and 8 others like this.
  20. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    SW's version of ME reality is steadily being exposed as propagandist rubbish, so I would really hope Stephen Fry does some homework to ensure history doesn't show him being taken in by the same glib harmful charm.

    It's especially tricky because SW (knowing full well the person he is talking to) will likely employ the tactic that PwME (or at least the 'activists' among them!) are slighting people with mental health problems, when they say their problem is not a mental health issue. Important Stephen Fry understands that PwME only object because it is a flawed diagnosis, and as with any flawed diagnosis therefore get offered incorrect and potentially harmful treatments. Akin to telling a cancer patient to ignore their symptoms, and the best treatment is to progressively exercise themselves back to health.

    Private Eye did a thing on ME some while back, Ian Hislop being its editor. Ian Hislop and Stephen Fry have worked together.
    MSEsperanza, Inara, Hutan and 12 others like this.

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