Lancet Letter – City Magazine’s take.
Some Chicago Boyz know each other from student days at the University of Chicago. Others are Chicago boys in spirit. The blog name is also intended as a good-humored gesture of admiration for distinguished Chicago School economists and fellow travelers.
5 thoughts on “Old Source, Old Complaint, New Op”
For Leftists, everything in service to The Party.
It’s astonishing how long this has been going on, particularly with how much information is available on the actual facts. I remember listening to people talk about the poor Palestinians forty years ago at the ultra-lefty church we attended as kids. I recently googled some of those folks. Those still alive continue on with the cause, and I was disappointed to read that they refer to Israel as “Palestine” on their web page. Not really surprised, but really disappointed. My naiveté did not allow me to see that an openly anti-Semitic administration would come to prominence in the U.S. or anywhere again.
The Lancet lost all credibility with me years ago. First was their publication of inflated Iraq civilian deaths after the 2003 invasion .
To add to the controversy, the Lancet writers have consistently refused to let others know what their confidence interval would be if it included Fallujah. The sharing of data is a common practice in academic work so that others can re-create, test, and critique research. In the case of the two Lancet surveys, the authors have only partially released their data, and only to specific people upon request rather than making it all public. One Lancet researcher, Dr. Les Roberts even said that he never wanted to share his work with anyone, and was censured by the American Association for Public Opinion Research in 2009 for only giving partial answers about the studies. That has only raised the concerns that there is something wrong with the Lancet surveys since no one has ever gained full access to it, and that the authors might be covering something up.
I wonder of these guys have any interest in global warming ? They seem to share proclivities.
The response rate is the number of people who were contacted for a survey, and then agreed to complete it. In 2004, 99.5% of the 988 households visited finished the surveys. In 2006, it was slightly lower at 98.3%. Kane of Harvard went through other surveys conducted around the world and in Iraq, and could not find any with such high response rates. For instance, a September 2006 World Public Opinion poll done in Iraq using face-to-face interviews with 1,150 adults in all 18 of Iraq’s provinces had a 67% response rate.
Lancet has more of a history of such work.
Lancet has since retracted a paper that led to the autism-vaccine hysteria world wide . The paper was shoddy work and it was amazing that it was accepted for publication unless it met a political agenda.
A British medical panel concluded last week that Dr. Wakefield had been dishonest, violated basic research ethics rules and showed a “callous disregard” for the suffering of children involved in his research. Dr. Richard Horton, editor in chief of The Lancet, said that until that decision, he had no proof that Dr. Wakefield’s 1998 paper was deceptive.
This is disingenuous as the Wakefield paper had been funded by trial lawyers and had an extremely small number of cases.
Dr. Wakefield’s paper reported on his examinations of 12 children with chronic intestinal disorders who had a history of normal development followed by severe mental regressions. He speculated that the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine may have caused some sort of chronic intestinal measles infection that in turn damaged the children’s brains. He suggested that the combined vaccine should be split into three separate shots and given over a longer period of time.
But an investigation by a British journalist found financial and scientific conflicts that Dr. Wakefield did not reveal in his paper. For instance, part of the costs of Dr. Wakefield’s research were paid by lawyers for parents seeking to sue vaccine makers for damages. Dr. Wakefield was also found to have patented in 1997 a measles vaccine that would succeed if the combined vaccine were withdrawn or discredited.
It is sad to see this corruption of a journal with major history including the original publication by Lister of his study of antisepsis which revolutionized medicine in 1867.
I do not read The Lancet anymore and would not trust anything that could be slightly controversial. The British journal is not the only one to be tarnished by politics as can be seen by gun control propaganda masquerading as research . The New England Journal is one such example.
Noting that The New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association were the main outlets for CDC-funded studies of firearms, they observed that “reports” with findings not advocating strict gun control were rarely cited. Bordura and Cowan found that “little is cited from the criminological or sociological field”, and also that the articles that are cited “are almost always by medical or public health researchers.”
All too often, they witnessed that “assumptions are presented as fact:”… that there is a causal association between gun ownership and risk of violence, that this association is consistent across all demographic categories, and that additional legislation will reduce the prevalence of firearms and consequently reduce the incidence of violence.” They concluded that “…incestuous and selective literature citations may be acceptable for political tracts, but they introduce a bias into scientific publications…Stating as fact associations which may be demonstrably false is not just unscientific, it is unprincipled.”
The gun control argument has probably done less harm than the autism hysteria since fewer pay attention but the English are not the only fools.
We had a long discussion about the Lancet’s Iraq study on this blog:
I wonder what stance these “researchers” would take vis a vis abortion on demand, since they claim that their role is to “protect, serve and speak up for life”? Leading Leftists have long spoken of the “long march through the institutions” and it’s clear that medicine is the latest victim.
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