Friday 30 July 2021

My time as 'an epidemiologist'

My 'career' was always unconventional, and by conventional criteria pretty unsuccessful in terms of promotions, power, prestige and financially! I spent a fair span of the middling period 'doing' epidemiology and public health - beginning in 1991, peaking in activity with three years as a lecturer in Epidemiology and Public Health (publications from 1993-7), and extending through approximately to the end of my editorship of Medical Hypotheses in 2010.

This period was very valuable in many ways - although as early as 1995 I moved towards a focus on (successively)  Evolutionary Psychology, Psychopharmacology, Systems Theory and then Intelligence and Personality.  

One thing I learnt was the increasingly monopolistic and dishonest leftism and managerialism of social science and medicine; which is now blatantly obvious with the birdemic, its response and the peck agenda. I experienced how rapidly science was moving away from truth-seeking and truth-speaking; and towards being absorbed into the administrative apparatus - driven by financial, official and careerist imperatives.  

I worked a couple of days a week in the NHS (National Health Service) - at two levels of seniority - and this was a revelation concerning how bureaucracies and managers operate; and their contrast with real science. I saw how policy flowed down from government; and was never challenged. How nothing ever was learned from experience. How discourse was dominated by coercion, bribery and propaganda. And how actual health and actual truth had no place at all in these considerations. 

As well as picking-up the foundations of basic, solid knowledge concerning infectious disease and epidemics; technically, I learned a great deal about understanding medical and health data - and distinguishing fundamental from superficial issues. 

In particular, I pursued a line of work on the nature of randomized controlled trials, and the use of very large data sets in medicine; which led me to to articulate (I think for the first time) the ineradicable problems and limitations of what was becoming (from 1994) overwhelming trend in health practice under the slogan of Evidence Based Medicine

In many way, being a professional epidemiologist/ public health physician was mostly a negatively salutary experience: certainly I was left with a very low opinion of the field and of its practitioners - especially of the most famous, influential and highly-regarded leaders and opinion-formers - especially in the UK (a horrible bunch of mediocrities, craven fools, psychopaths and political Quislings). 

All of which was excellent preparation for seeing-through the fakery of the birdemic, its response and 'the peck' and its programme; the reality of which was extremely obvious from an early stage and without any difficulty. 

I presume this extreme bogosity was also evident to many thousands of others with similar, or much greater, experience and knowledge of basic, solid epidemiology and public health than myself... 

Or rather; it would have been obvious had they not, long since, discarded personal responsibility; eagerly accepted the Big Lies of Leftism; embraced the expedient dictates of external authority; and consequently become unable and unwilling to think and reason coherently. 


whitney said...

Did you know John Brignell? He wrote The Epidemiologist: Have They Got Scares For You! and Sorry, Wrong Number! exposing statistical and medical malfeasance by the medical/media industry. Fantastic books. They were in the bibliography of the rise and fall of modern medicine which is also well worth a read. Both of Brignell's books are out of print but you can still get them. One of the good things about today's age is pretty much all the books are available for buying. Anyway I've never been able to find out what happened to him and I was wondering if you knew.

Bruce Charlton said...

@w - No, I didn't come across him. The critique I developed while active in the field was more fundamental than almost all other epidemiological skeptics - it hinged on the problem of averaging - and what happens when an average is used; which is something not many epidemiologists or statisticians Or scientists generally) even recognize as a problem, although the critique goes back to Claude Bernard.

Truth to Life said...

Though I don't work in a scientific field, I have seen all of these things on the humanities side of academia as well. "Head girl" types and radical leftists are the norm...and ever since the birdemic, good luck trying to publish anything that isn't about "systemic racism" or "white privilege." The humanities have been on the decline for years, but now they are nothing more than a propaganda department for the left.

Joe said...

The title of this reference in your "scope and nature of epidemiology paper" caught my eye:

23. Skrabanek P. The death of humane medicine and the rise of coercive healthism. Social Affairs Unit, London, 1994.

Yeah buddy, just wait till 2020! I guess the way had been paved for a while already.