Hi ME Agenda,
Quite so, and thanks for finding Martin Robbins's site for me, that is other than the BS (a.k.a. Bad Science) site.
I've been on the Bad Science site before (because I am a philosopher of science among other things), not in relation to ME, but it was far too much like undergraduates stuff.
Finally, as to Martin Robbins' "you guys" phrase (used 3 times in a brief piece of prose):
I agree with Koan, and as one of the doubly academically titled seniors on this forum, I should like to point out to Mr Robbins that I am 60 in two weeks, and that I am like many members of the forum in being a senior and in being higher educated than the vast majority of journalists, while also I should say that I happen to be a psychologist with the best possible degree, 32 years of illness, and no help whatsoever. (Also, I am no believer in human equality, while I tend to be polite also to people I don't respect, also when they are even older and possibly more learned than I am.)
This is another reason why people like Ben Goldacre, who seems to thrive on needling people (and with some considerable justice also where chiropractice, homeopathy, and pseudoscience are concerned, for my money), will find it easy to provoke negative comments from people like me who are in pain for decades without help.
But by my standards needling genuinely ill people (or genuinely crazy ones, if he were to insist) is a very cheap way of stimulating oneself to - try to - use the same bag of tricks on a group of ill patients or on their doctors.
Finally for Martin Robbins:
Sir, you entered this forum with some rather strong claims, e.g. about Dr. Myhills opinions on vaccinations (quote: "the stuff on vaccines is a bit whacky") and with a brief reference to knowing someone with ME/CFS: "I had a girlfriend with CFS and I certainly understand the frustration, etc. "
I haven't seen anything on your own site that I dislike, but haven't seen much and am genuinely ill and in pain and so, before engaging in cooperating or disagreeing with 'you guys' from The Guardian, or just leaving you alone in your phishing exploits:
(1) What are your academic degrees and qualifications - e.g. to pronounce confidently on dr. Myhill's shortcomings, professor Wessely's seeming to be "very genuinely concerned about CFS" or indeed about ME or the kind of psychiatry taught at KCL?
(2) Do you think your former girlfriend with CFS was physically ill, mentally ill or both? I ask because according to your countrymen professors Wessely, White, Sharpe and Chalder she'd almost certainly been (primarily or solely) a mental case, quite possibly fit for sectioning, and because I know, after 32 years of being an invalid, that being an invalid, especially one with ME/CFS is REALLY hard to understand for someone who is not an invalid and/or for someone who doesn't know people with ME/CFS at least fairly well and fairly intimately.
Before engaging with you cooperatively or otherwise, I'd like to know your answers to these questions, because - having seen Goldacre's BS before - I'd like to spend my time sensibly, and not with feeding trolls from BS, or journalists who may mean well but are just not clued up on ME/CFS (which is no particular shortcoming outside this forum, for a healthy journalist).
Drs. Maarten Maartensz
P.S. Before getting a dose of Goldacrish Heroism: I've been removed three times from the University of Amsterdam, because I protested postmodernism, quasi-science, pseudo-science and other rot since being a first-year student there in 1977. It was made intentionally impossible by the Board of Directors of the UvA for me to take the M.A. in philosophy; it was made intentionally impossible by the mayor and aldermen of Amsterdam that I could take the Ph.D. in psychology, in all cases - I quote the Board of Directors of the UvA
"because of your publicly outspoken opinions about the level of education and quality of staff of this university" ... "in spite of your serious illnes"
for I already then had ME and in fact did all my studying and degreetaking with ME.
The reason to mention this is that it seems to me that Goldacre and some of the folks on BS seem to conceive of themselves as some kinds of heroes, like Alan Sokal or Norman Levitt, no less. Well.... as I indicated: It seems undergraduates stuff overthere at BS, to this senior psychologist, also if I agree in principle, while nearly everyone I read there seemed to be not really interested in science, but quite interested in clobbering whoever does not agree with them on what they - say they - believe science to be.
Fine with me, incidentally, but not fine as a recipe to extend to really ill people who try to defend their own human integrity and their human rights, and who almost all, on this forum, believe the solution for their problems lies in a real bio-medical causal clarification of ME/CFS and getting help and support that is proportional to the seriousness of their illness and that conforms to such help as others with serious illnesses are entitled to (until these too are taken away and snipped to Bonzai-size by the efforts of professor Wessely and other health-workers concerned with the financial health of insurers and the state).
Also, I really have seen no moral heroes, no really capable academics, and no good writing at your colleagues BS, I am quite sorry to say, for personally I am a pro-science pro-rational thinking person - but indeed the undergraduatish shortcomings of BS that I saw when I briefly looked at (before Dr Myhill was being defamed there) are not, so far as I know, Mr. Robbins doings.