Leading UK medical journal facing reaction of scientists and doctors for publication series of articles created by members of self-proclaimed independent SAGE group.
british medical journal one of in the world’s most prestigious publications, but has been accused of be biased, stir up a culture war, and drive a wedge into scientific community.
Throughout the pandemic group held regular briefings on YouTube, often seen on television and has gained a cult followinglike next of inveterate fans on social media how result of their tough stance.
For past two and half years they defended for various interference and criticized many policy decisions remove Covid restrictions. AT one time zero-The Covid protection group, they are now widely seen as mask supporters and are too ready to reintroduce lockdowns.like restrictions.
But just how public and wider scientific community are moving in post-COVID-19 worldunfollowing outspoken scientists on Twitter and scrolling past many graphs, the largest medical journal in earth has thrown its sufficient weight behind in group.
Scientific and medical journals strive to be the top of scientific world. A publication that embodies the scientific process and sustainable quest for answers and truth, or at least try to form a scientific consensus by keeping the health debate alive.
But there were allegations against BMJ. of only representing one side of in story and neglecting give other parties of Argument.
“Disappointing but not surprising”
Dr. Jake Dunning, infectious disease expert at the university of Oxford and UKHSA consultant, claimed BMJ affiliation with Independent Sage was “disappointing but not surprising”.
“BMJ has its own agenda and favorites; like iSage is not really independent or impartial and that is long before Covid. way,” he added.
“Always felt like it was suffering from an identity crisis, not knowing if it was a scientific journal or a medical paper.”
critics of The BMJ say reaching scientific consensus will never be an easy feat, but by bringing together the most outspoken members of one side of unanswered debate only fuels what already deeply rooted divisions.
Kamran Abbasi, editor of BMJ, wrote an article where he said that the newly commissioned batch of editorials will “explore how information misused, abused and manipulated to fuel an ideologically motivated “infodemic”.
In it he writes that series will describe both successes and failures of UK response, but says his conclusion clear.
UK response should were much better … While the debate continues about how best compare stability of national health care systems to shocks such as pandemics, there is no doubt that the UK’s response has been far from adequate. of its potential,” the article says.
Reaction to the editorial decision of the magazine was brutal.
Dr. Michael Absud, Consultant in children neurodeficiency at London’s Evelyn Children’s Hospital told The Telegraph: “It’s a shame that BMJ is exacerbating our hostile political system with articles dressed up up as science”.
On Twitter he added that he feels “alarmed” that the BMJ is “choosing to stir up an unnecessary culture war”.
‘Wait to waste of possibility for Objective assessment’
Professor Tim Colborne, professor of global Health Systems, Epidemiology and Evaluation at UCL, said: “[It is] probably not possible, given the entrenched sides, but it would good for science if the journal tried to unite scientists with different opinions on important topics like is to try move towards scientific consensus in products to order.
He also wondered if BMJ and his editor would publish “articles in collaboration with people with publicly differing views.
AT one of editorial board, eight members of Independent sage writes “analysis” on how Covid-19 policy affected children and schools.
group pushed for schools in remain closed in 2020 until Covid was eradicated, but has since moved away from that quirky point of view.
In their article, they claim that the UK was international outlier, a return to school in September 2020 “could have accelerated community spread” and they blame the government of relying on evidence that downplays the seriousness of coronavirus.
Dr. Alasdair Munro, expert in pediatric infectious diseases at the university of Southampton, called one-sidedness of BMJ’s publications true wasting of possibility for objective and unbiased assessment. He also asked why on influence article on childrenpediatricians were not involved.
“I am more than disappointed that BMJ, whom I have long respected, has tasked members of political activist group do this series,” he said.
‘littered with mistakes
He added what content of the analysis itself was erroneous and “littered”. with mistakes.”
representative for BMJ told The Telegraph: “It’s completely normal for people Disagree with articles who take strong view. I wouldn’t call it a negative reaction. We want people study with arguments.
“We are not closing off debate by publishing these articles. Number of the authors in in series work with Independent sage. nothing out of the ordinary in what. They are respected scientists and they have written for us before. Other authors in in series not work with Independent sage. we are not rule people in or out on the foundation of their association with Independent sage.
“We also glad to consider full applications for articles from authors who take another view to anything we post and those submissions are reviewed as part of our normal process of editorial and collegiate review. The discussion will continue – and we want this is”.
How is publishing series of well thought out and reasoned pieces on the main issues fueling the culture war? We don’t expect everyone to agree with views and arguments of authors we publish.
Other authors in in series not work with Independent sage.