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#1 of 22 Old 08-12-2017, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Censoring scientists

Posting this as an example of what happens when special interest groups try to censor scientists.

Quote:
"Academic integrity, it turns out, is really important to professionals in scientific agencies of the federal government. The scientific community deeply values transparency, freedom, unbiased facts and evidence-based decision-making. Only through scientific research can we advance knowledge, so scientists tend to resist attempts to silence them. Science embraces critical thinking, but there is no place for ?alternative facts? in science. Scientists do not like to be censored. "
Full article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/ampht...1cc_story.html

As you see it's not going well for them.

A coverup on the scale needed to fake the benefits of vaccines or hide serious and frequent side effects wouldn't work either.
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#2 of 22 Old 08-12-2017, 09:36 AM
 
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I wish I could believe that. I really do. But it's hard to do so when the former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine and a Harvard molecular biologist both have a different take on the matter. http://fullmeasure.news/news/cover-s...nce-08-06-2017

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The makers of an experimental AIDS vaccine threatened to sue Dr. James Kahn, their lead researcher at the University of California San Francisco for $7 million, to keep him from publishing study results showing the vaccine didn't work.
Framing the issue as vaccine critics thinking that researchers "fake the benefits of vaccines" sounds awfully strawman-esque. But exaggerating these benefits certainly isn't far fetched, is it? It certainly worked for those AIDS vaccine makers, didn't it?

I certainly think that scientists with integrity don't appreciate being censored. Do 100% of scientists have integrity? Do all have the ability to withstand threats of lawsuits and professional censure?

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.” - Marcia Angell, M.D., former NEJM Editor
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#3 of 22 Old 08-12-2017, 11:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sciencemum View Post

A coverup on the scale needed to fake the benefits of vaccines or hide serious and frequent side effects wouldn't work either.
Of course scientists don't like censorship. Most people don't.

I am a front line worker at a library. Recently, library branch closure were an issues. I was indeed forbidden to discuss the topic with the public - I was to stick to some talking points or refer them to a specific person for concerns. Is that censorship? My husband works for the government - once again, he is not at liberty to discuss many things. Is that censorship? It is quite ironic - while on one hand employers like to talk about transparency and accessibility, they also like to talk about confidentiality and security clearances. I don't really know anyone who is exempt from censorship on some level, and I doubt scientists are exempt from this. Many people love their jobs and want to keep them: having to hold your tongue on an issue (which sometimes has its own merits - such as not scaring the public) is palpable if you get to keep a job you need/want/love.

I don't think it is common to accuse pro-vaxxers of faking the benefits of vaccination. Shrug. Many non-vaxxers will admit that some vaccines work with a certain degree of efficacy for some period of time. I don't think scientists hide how common side effects are - but the mechanism for counting side effects is lousy on the whole. That may come down to who commissions the studies more than scientists, however.
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#4 of 22 Old 08-12-2017, 11:23 AM
 
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I scanned the article.

I cannot help but think that the scientists are pushing back against "censorship" because the push for it has come from Trump - a man many despise. It is also possible Trump pushed too hard.

Had the request for censoring of language been more subtle or had come directly from their employer, I wonder if there would be any pushback except from a minority.

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#5 of 22 Old 08-12-2017, 06:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sciencemum View Post
Posting this as an example of what happens when special interest groups try to censor scientists.



Full article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/ampht...1cc_story.html

As you see it's not going well for them.

A coverup on the scale needed to fake the benefits of vaccines or hide serious and frequent side effects wouldn't work either.
Interesting article. I applaud their courage in speaking up. It may cost them big time.

I wonder though about the constant claims of a large scale cover-up on vaccine issues.

I suppose you are picturing something like this:

The graduating class of a medical school is gathered in a dark room where a professor stands up and says "we are going to let you in a major, world-wide conspiracy. Vaccines are fairly dangerous, side-effects are not uncommon, and we expect you to keep up your end of the medicine show by lying to your patients and staff whenever someone has a bad reaction. Following my brief statement, there will be a slide show on how to deny various types of vaccine reactions and how to continue to push vaccines on adults, teens, children and babies despite their experiencing dangerous reactions."

I have to agree with you. It probably wouldn't work.

On the other hand, how is it that when a parent calls a doctor and says that their baby has been screaming for 3 or 4 hours, a truly awful, high-pitched scream, that they can't be comforted, that this started shortly after they received their two month vaccines, the doctor will say: "that is normal." Without even looking up which vaccines the baby got. Without looking at the list of possible reactions. If a parent called describing a severe problem in a child who had recently been put on a new drug, would the doctor dismiss it in the same off-hand way?

So why do doctors respond in this odd way to problems following vaccinations? Is there something in their education or experience that encourages them to assume that if it happens after a vaccine it is probably okay, with the exception of anaphylactic shock?

This response doesn't actually have good results for the vaccine program, so if it is the result of a conspiracy it is a half-assed one. I've heard from a lot of unhappy parents over the years, and one of the triggers that moves them towards an anti-vaccine position is the "doctor's shrug" when something comes up after vaccines are given.

On the other hand, when someone does raise a concern about vaccine efficacy or safety, they don't seem to get applause or pats on the back or career boosts. Consider the mumps whistleblowers for example. They have had their veracity questioned, Merck tried to blame them for the mumps outbreaks (took them too long to sue Merck), they have gone through years of unemployment or hidden employment and their story has only been discussed by the business news.

Doctors who speak up find themselves under relentless attack. I wonder why?

Their must be a bit of conspiring going on somewhere. As I've demonstrated in that huge thread on the subject of dirty dealing (not just vaccines), large corporations and regulatory agencies can get away with all sorts of evil behavior and either not get caught at all or get away with stuff for many many years. Given that track record, it doesn't really seem that odd that a few huge pharma corporations working with moderately supine regulatory agencies might be able to get away with covering up problems with vaccines. Nor does it seem likely that doctors who have based their careers on the general wonderfulness of modern medicine would question one of the pillars thereof. Especially if they suspect that questions can make life very unpleasant for them. I think that the majority of doctors and nurses and pharmacists may have some niggling discomfort at this point with the size of the vaccine schedule and the pressure they are under to vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate, but it takes a lot of courage to even bring up the problem.

Actually, given some of the books I read as a librarian, there are a number of excellent doctors who have extreme worries about the entire edifice of modern medicine in the US. But they don't seem to see any way out of the mess. A few adjustments here and there aren't likely to fix the problems, alas.
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#6 of 22 Old 08-12-2017, 09:23 PM
 
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In reality it seems that the other side is being censored, i.e. not those promoting global warming alarmism, but those who dare question the global warming/climate change purported 'consensus':
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/pe...r-8449307.html
http://fridayoffcuts.com/pix/Global-...%20Bellamy.pdf

It is curious how they pick on the innocent light bulb while ignoring real energy guzzlers such as the North American clothes dryers that use almost double the energy that European style clothes dryers use. They also cause more damage to the clothes because they are basically blasting the clothes with hot air necessitating dryer sheets to try reduce the static. I didn't need dryer sheets at all before coming to Canada. Hadn't even heard of them - they probably weren't even available where I lived because they were not necessary.

The light bulbs that have been forced upon us are actually worse for the environment as well as effecting our health.

The so-called clean energy such as wind turbines kill birds etc. Solar panels also kill birds.

Wildlife is also impacted when a dam is built. Seismic activity increases after area behind the dam is flooded:
http://www.edwardgoldsmith.org/1020/...d-earthquakes/
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The Hoover Dam (originally called The Boulder Dam) is 142 metres high and the reservoir impounded by it contains a maximum of 35 Gm3 of water. Filling began in 1935.
The first shocks were felt in September, 1936. In the following year, as the water height of the lake reached 120 metres, 100 shocks were felt. In 1938, seismological stations set up in the area recorded several thousand shocks that would not otherwise be perceptible by man. On May 4th, 1939 – some 10 months after the reservoir had risen to a height of 145 metres, and when the water volume had reached its normal capacity of 35 Gm3 – a serious shock (with a magnitude of 5) occurred. Seismic activity further increased in the following years.
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The Kariba dam is 125m high, and the reservoir impounded by it covers an area of 6,649 square kilometres and contains 175 Gm3 of water.

When the lake was eventually filled in 1963, a series of particularly strong shocks occurred. Ten epicentres were calculated by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey: all were situated in the deepest part of the lake, the strongest having a magnitude of 6.1, and one of its after-shocks having a magnitude of 6.
We all know how those who question vaccine safety and efficacy are vilified and have their careers ruined, such as Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

Those who question Darwinian evolution are also vilified and have their careers ruined:
http://blog.godreports.com/2017/08/u...inosaur-bones/
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#7 of 22 Old 08-12-2017, 11:11 PM
 
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An example of censorship motivated by profiteering Big Pharma:

What is going on with holistic doctors being bumped off:
https://www.healthnutnews.com/famous...-suicide-note/
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#8 of 22 Old 08-13-2017, 08:02 PM
 
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@Turquesa , thought you might find this Forbes article interesting.

Marcia Angell's Attacks on Pharma Have Lost all Credibility

It points out that her criticisms have not kept up with time, that she doesn't consider the many changes that have occurred over the years.

Quote:
Angell’s critique of clinical trial design is just not true any longer. First of all, the FDA reviews all clinical programs and if a company doesn’t follow the guidance, it risks spending hundreds of millions of dollars for results that the FDA will deem “unapprovable”. But the biggest impact that has occurred in the last few years has been that of payers. Why should a new drug be reimbursed by health plans or governments if it hasn’t been shown that the new agent is superior to existing therapies, particularly if generic drugs already exist for that disease indication?
Then they quote this statement from her "One of the things that the drug companies have done through the experts that are on their payrolls is to change the standard as to what constitutes high cholesterol. For a while it was anything over 280; then it was anything over 240; then it was over 200. And each time you drop the threshold you have increased the market by millions of Americans." They respond:

Quote:
But the attack that I find to be particularly offensive is that on health standards. Angell implies that medical experts are being paid off by pharmaceutical companies to influence national health guidelines to favor the greater use of drugs. Thirty years ago, it was thought that total cholesterol levels of 280 were “normal”. However, decades of clinical studies, studies that have cost literally BILLIONS of dollars have shown that lowering cholesterol to under 200 does, in fact, reduce heart attacks and strokes. That is medical science. For Angell to imply otherwise is irresponsible.

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#9 of 22 Old 08-14-2017, 05:17 AM
 
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Forbes is ultimately a business magazine. It is hardly surprising a business magazine is defending the pharmaceutical industry. I don't find the source compelling.

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#10 of 22 Old 08-14-2017, 05:23 AM
 
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Also...the bio on the author of the Forbes article:

"Iwas the president of Pfizer Global Research and Development in 2007 where I managed more than 13,000 scientists and professionals in the United States, Europe, and Asia. I've received numerous awards including an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of New Hampshire. I am also the author of "Drug Truths: Dispelling The Myths Of R&D" and the recently published Devalued And Distrusted: Can The Pharmaceutical Industry Restore Its Broken Image?" I am also a senior partner at PureTech Ventures."

Hardly unbiased.
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#11 of 22 Old 08-14-2017, 07:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
Also...the bio on the author of the Forbes article:

"Iwas the president of Pfizer Global Research and Development in 2007 where I managed more than 13,000 scientists and professionals in the United States, Europe, and Asia. I've received numerous awards including an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of New Hampshire. I am also the author of "Drug Truths: Dispelling The Myths Of R&D" and the recently published Devalued And Distrusted: Can The Pharmaceutical Industry Restore Its Broken Image?" I am also a senior partner at PureTech Ventures."

Hardly unbiased.
Was the president - past tense. 10 years ago. He has expertise in the area, which makes him more qualified than most to discuss the issue. I notice you haven't actually shown where what he's said is factually incorrect.

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#12 of 22 Old 08-14-2017, 11:14 AM
 
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Was the president - past tense. 10 years ago. He has expertise in the area, which makes him more qualified than most to discuss the issue. I notice you haven't actually shown where what he's said is factually incorrect.
Well, the Forbes article was written 5 years ago, so 5 years in the past from when the article was written. Moreover, he was a partner at Puretech (some sort of health care industry company) at the time of the article.

There is possibly some indirect COI and likely some bias going on.


Why you default to defending the pharmaceutical industry (vaccines aside) given its numerous issues is beyond me.

As per whether what he said was factually correct, that is sort of irrelevant. It is the strength of ones argument that matter. Being factually correct is a low bar and most people meet it. That does not mean they are convincing (example: I always try to be factual and often quote things like the CDC, yet you remain convinced vaccination is the way to go) The Forbes article is short and does a poor job of refuting Angell's concerns. It consists of a very few examples that could been seen multiple way (and examples do not refute a case) and basically saying "she's wrong!"

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#13 of 22 Old 08-14-2017, 07:09 PM
 
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@teacozy He is playing games around guidelines. The system hasn't been repaired, which means that it is still "rigged" or "fixed" just as the esteemed editor claimed. http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3830

Quote:
Doctors who are sceptical about the scientific basis of clinical guidelines have two choices: they can follow guidelines even though they suspect doing so will cause harm, or they can ignore them and do what they believe is right for their patients, thereby risking professional censure and possibly jeopardising their careers.1 2 3 4 This is no mere theoretical dilemma; there is evidence that even when doctors believe a guideline is likely to be harmful and compromised by bias, a substantial number follow it.5
I'm sure I could find several more examples in the scientific press, unless you think an article in Forbes is a better source.
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#14 of 22 Old 08-14-2017, 07:17 PM
 
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Come to think of it, the opioid epidemic has a lot to do with clinical guidelines, which were manipulated brilliantly around treating pain, with the result that painkillers were pushed on millions of people who either didn't need them, or only needed a little bit for a couple of days.

I'm still mind-boggled three years later that I was given a prescription for 20 Oxycontin tablets for a broken ankle that didn't hurt. My main pain was coming from my lower back, which was spasming and which was successfully treated with a couple of something that calmed down my muscles. Which made me constipated, of course, and all of that together totally sums up why medical drugs are not my first choice for treating anything.

The staff at the ER didn't even ask me if I was in pain, much less if I was in the sort of pain that was going to require a two-week supply of a strong painkiller.
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#15 of 22 Old 08-16-2017, 11:08 AM
 
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Well, the Forbes article was written 5 years ago, so 5 years in the past from when the article was written. Moreover, he was a partner at Puretech (some sort of health care industry company) at the time of the article.

There is possibly some indirect COI and likely some bias going on.


Why you default to defending the pharmaceutical industry (vaccines aside) given its numerous issues is beyond me.

As per whether what he said was factually correct, that is sort of irrelevant. It is the strength of ones argument that matter. Being factually correct is a low bar and most people meet it. That does not mean they are convincing (example: I always try to be factual and often quote things like the CDC, yet you remain convinced vaccination is the way to go) The Forbes article is short and does a poor job of refuting Angell's concerns. It consists of a very few examples that could been seen multiple way (and examples do not refute a case) and basically saying "she's wrong!"
Right, he had not been president for 5 years when he wrote that article. If he didn't have experience and expertise in the area before writing the article, it would get attacked for that reason. There is no winning. Regardless, this is a classic ad hominem fallacy. No one has actually disputed what he has said (or do you contest the point that keeping your cholesterol under 200 decreases your risk of heart attack and stroke for example?).

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Yes, I do contest it. The scare mongering regarding cholesterol is a con:
By claiming the cholestrol level needs to lower and lower they are able to expand their market, similar to Merck doubling their market for HPV vaccine by claiming that boys need it too. Meanwhile those who buy the statin kool-aid can suffer terrible side-effects including damage to muscles.

This is an excellent book regarding how to really prevent heart attacks
You can download the whole book for free, as long as it is only for personal use: http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/T.../why_book.html
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#17 of 22 Old 08-16-2017, 05:53 PM
 
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Right, he had not been president for 5 years when he wrote that article. If he didn't have experience and expertise in the area before writing the article, it would get attacked for that reason. There is no winning. Regardless, this is a classic ad hominem fallacy. No one has actually disputed what he has said (or do you contest the point that keeping your cholesterol under 200 decreases your risk of heart attack and stroke for example?).
It is not an ad hominem attack to say I am not going to unblindingly accept the words of a man with ties to the industry he is defending or to say I find his counter arguments weak.

As per cholesterol, I am refraining from comment. I have little knowledge in this area. A cursory look at the issue points to the fact he may have picked a weak example: cholesterol level and the ties to heart disease are controversial/not straightforward.

Why are you accepting what he says? Do you have knowledge on cholesterol and statins?
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#18 of 22 Old 08-16-2017, 06:24 PM
 
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BTW, regarding European versus North American dryers I thought I would mention the basic differences.

This is a review done of a European dryer by a few moms:
at 0:37 you can see inside the dryer drum.
Note the back part of the drum that has many ventilation holes unlike the North American dryer that just typically has a kidney shaped thingy that the hot air is blasted from. The European dryers seem to include more gentle air, i.e. not just blasting the clothes with heat.

You don't need to buy an actual European dryer. It seems that the North American laundry machine manufacturers, such as GE, are offering more choices nowadays:
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#19 of 22 Old 08-16-2017, 07:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teacozy View Post
Right, he had not been president for 5 years when he wrote that article. If he didn't have experience and expertise in the area before writing the article, it would get attacked for that reason. There is no winning. Regardless, this is a classic ad hominem fallacy. No one has actually disputed what he has said (or do you contest the point that keeping your cholesterol under 200 decreases your risk of heart attack and stroke for example?).
I responded by finding an example from the scientific literature discussing the problems with guidelines. I thought the main point of his article wasn't cholesterol, but the claim that guidelines are a dependable source of guidance on prescribing drugs to patients.

But that is okay. I'm used to being ignored (she whined disconsolately).
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Ahmm... I don't really get the point here. I'm confuse.

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@teacozy and @sciencemum ,

Just wanted to draw your attention to two prime examples of scientists being successfully censored...at the time you both seemed to be good with their being censored.

1) Merck mumps vaccine whistleblowers. No mention at all other than in the legal press and the business press. Since you are both totally familiar with the entire story, I won't bother with a link.

2) David Lewis https://www.independentsciencenews.o...blowers-story/ I think he did manage to get a bit of traction on some of his critiques of EPA failures, but then he spoke up about vaccines. Dead silence. Of course. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...133649563.html

Bet that story was also ignored by the mainstream press. I'm also sure that neither of you likes David Lewis. He has to be a bad and incompetent scientist...doesn't like GMOs...sees problems with vaccines...just plain evil

and...worst of all...he is going against the magical consensus on vaccines! Horrific.
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Last edited by Deborah; 08-27-2017 at 12:18 PM.
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#22 of 22 Old 08-27-2017, 02:05 PM
 
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Speaking of muzzling scientists...

I was rereading Dissolving Illusions and remembered this passage in which two respected scientists in the SV40 field (which the polio vaccine contained) are quoted regarding being censored:

Quote:
I [Michele Carbone] wanted to have a press statement . . . and to be able to talk to the media if contacted by them. I also believe that the public and the media have the right to ask us any question they wish once our work has been accepted by a peer-review journal and that scientists should not decide what the media should or should not know . . . [Dr. Levine] told me that if I, or Harvey, talked to the press, against his wishes, we would be “punished.” . . . Pass was shocked at the uproar, particularly the threat. “I didn’t think you got punished for science.”116
from - D. Bookchin and J. Schumacher, The Virus and the Vaccine, St. Martin‟s, Griffin, New York, 2004, p. 163.

The chapter about polio in Dissolving Illusions titled The "Disappearance of Polio" by Dr. Humphries and Roman Bistrianyk can be read at this link:
http://vaccineimpact.com/wp-content/...ions-Polio.pdf
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Last edited by samaxtics; 08-27-2017 at 02:08 PM.
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