PDA

View Full Version : forwarded messages from Mel Siff



Ton Van Den Bogert
05-23-2002, 06:07 AM
Dear subscribers,

Below you find two messages that were posted to Biomch-L by Mel Siff in
response to last week's posting by Jim Martin. These postings were submitted
Saturday, but I was out of town and did not see them until today.

I was responsible for approving Jim Martin's posting for distribution, and in
hindsight, I know I should not have done so. We try to be an open forum, but
this was about the person rather than about the content of Dr. Siff's posting.
This is not how discussions on Biomch-L should take place. As moderator, I
apologize for this error in judgement. I hope Dr. Siff will continue to post
his contributions to Biomch-L, which are always thought provoking and well
written.

Please do not post more messages to Biomch-L on this matter, but contact me
directly if you have any comments or concerns.

On the other hand, feel free to continue the discussion about publication bias,
which I think is quite appropriate for Biomch-L.

Regards,

-- Ton van den Bogert, Biomch-L co-moderator

------ begin forwarded message -----------------------------------------

> From: Mcsiff@aol.com
> Date: Sat, 18 May 2002 12:04:06 EDT
> Subject: Easier to be a Critic
> To: BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL

Jim Martin writes:



***"Mel" Siff, incidentally. It was most surprising to read Martin's highly
subjective and spurious reply to my perfectly objective and polite letter
which simply aimed at stimulating discussion that some scientific work is
biased and shows a tendency to prove certain preconceived ideas. Whether or
not anyone has 1000 publications, a PhD or a Nobel Prize is irrelevant to
having the ability, intelligence or right to question any findings, be they
in science or elsewhere. His biased response reflected some arrogant
academic elitism and does nothing to earn science any respect - it ignored
the content of my letter entirely and failed to offer any professional
critique of its message, as any objective scientist would have done.
Marshall McLuhan wrote eruditely about this syndrome years ago and referred
to it as attacking "the messenger and not the message."

My comments on bias in science are by no means unique and have been uttered
in various forms by scientists for eons. So, in order to remove the
likelihood of any further dissatisfaction with what he may emotively think
of me, I have appended at the end of this letter a small and very incomplete
list of peer-reviewed articles on scientific bias, relying only on PubMed to
show that, even if I am expunged from the discussion and even this planet,
there are more than enough scientists who have also recognised the same prob
lem. The renowned "Sokal hoax" (see reference below) was aimed directly at
disclosing how bias can influence the acceptance of certain ideas.

His reliance on PubMed to search for anyone's publications sadly obscures
the fact that millions of scientific publications are not archived there and
that there are many branches of science and engineering outside the natural and
medically-related sciences. Had he relied on a few other methods of
accessing the international publication record, he would have noted that his
conclusion about my only having two scientific publications is entirely
incorrect and misleading. As a matter of interest, PubMed did not seem to
reveal a single publication where Martin is the sole author, though there
were something like 5 or 6 that he executed with a few co-authors. As
Martin himself wrote:



Enough said!

SOME REFERENCES ON SCIENTIFIC BIAS

J M Stern & R J Simes Publication bias: evidence of delayed publication
in
a cohort study of clinical research projects BMJ 13 Sept 1997;
315:640-645,

This study confirms the evidence of publication bias found in other studies
and identifies delay in publication as an additional important factor. The
study results support the need for prospective registration of trials to
avoid publication bias and also support restricting the selection of trials
to those started before a common date in undertaking systematic reviews.

-------------------

Moher D. Publication bias. Lancet. 1993 Oct 30; 342(8879):1116

Boissel JP, Haugh MC The iceberg phenomenon and publication bias: the
editors' fault? Clin Trials Metaanal. 1993 Nov;28(6):309-15

Reynolds T Eliminating publication bias: the effect of negative trial resul
ts. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000 May 3; 92(9): 682.

de Melker HE, Rosendaal FR, Vandenbroucke JP The importance of publication
bias in medical-scientific literature Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 1993 Oct
16;137(42):2126-30. Review. Dutch

Easterbrook PJ, Berlin JA, Gopalan R, Matthews DR. Publication bias in
clinical research. Lancet. 1991 Apr 13; 337(8746):867-72

Olson CM. Publication bias. Acad Emerg Med. 1994 May-Jun;1(3):207-9

Unalp Arida A. Time lag bias in publishing clinical trials JAMA. 1998 Jun
24; 279(24):1952

Clarke M, Stewart L. Time lag bias in publishing clinical trials JAMA.
1998 Jun 24; 279(24):1952

Werko L. Can we trust the science and its megaphones? Lakartidningen.
1996 Nov 13; 93(46): 4134. Swedish.

Chalmers I Publication bias Lancet. 1993 Oct 30;342(8879):1116.

Bouvenot G, Vray M. Clinical trials: find the bias! Rev Rhum Ed Fr. 1993
Jun; 60(6):412-5. French

Sutton AJ, Duval SJ, Tweedie RL, Abrams KR, Jones DR. Empirical assessment
of effect of publication bias on meta-analyses. BMJ. 2000 Jun
10;320(7249):1574-7

There are numerous other papers on this topic, but this short list should
suffice to stress that others besides myself, despite any deficiencies or
oversights on my part, have expressed concern about bias in science and "the
scientific method." Possibly Martin would now like to apply his scientific
erudition to address the content of my original letter or to offer some
useful biomechanical input to scientific problems that I have raised in the
recent past. My letter on analysing the mechanics of sprinting would be a
useful contribution to this list. Maybe then we can keep the discussion
more
exemplary of the calibre of this fine list and the scientists who belong to
it.

-----------------------------------

Dr Mel C Siff
Denver, USA

------ begin forwarded message -----------------------------------------
> From: Mcsiff@aol.com
> Date: Sat, 18 May 2002 12:21:14 EDT
> Subject: Publications by Mel Siff
> To: BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL

Jim Martin writes:



*** Here is a small selection of other publications in refereed books,
journals and proceedings just to fill in a few of the gaps in Dr Martin's
quest:

Siff M C Biomechanical Foundations of Strength and Power Training in
Zatsiorsky V (ed) Biomechanics in Sport IOC Medical Commission Publicn ,
Blackwell Science 2000

Siff M C Biomechanics as an Ergogenic Aid in Strength Training Proc of
5th Australian Conf on Mathematics and Computers in Sport 14-16 June 2000

Siff M C Biomathematical relationship between Strength and Bodymass SA
Journal for Research in Sport, Phys Ed & Recr 1988, (11) 1: 1-12

Siff M C The Relevance of Theories of Human Consciousness and
Neuropsychology in Communication Theory in D N Young (ed) Proc of 1st
National Congr on Communication Studies Univ of Cape Town, April 1979

Siff M C The Neuropsychological importance of Infraslow Electrical
Phenomena in the Central Nervous System Proc of Brain & Behaviour - 3rd National
Neuropsychology Congress, SA Brain & Behaviour Society Sept 1986

Siff M C Applications of Electrostimulation in Physical Conditioning J of
App Sports Science Res Aug 1989

Siff M C Injury Rehabilitation with Machines SA Journal of Sports Medicine
1988, (3) 2: 10

Siff M C Modern Advances in Electrostimulation Proc of 18th Congress of S
African Society of Physiotherapy, Durban 15-17 May 1989

Siff M C The Biomechanics of Pelvic Tilt SA Journal of Physiotherapy
1991, 47(3): 57-58

Siff M C Modified PNF as a system of Physical Conditioning NSCA Journal
1991, 13(4): 73-77

Siff M C Types of Muscle Contraction as Biomechanical Concepts SA Journal
of Sports Med 1991, 6(2): 16-18

Siff M C The Functional Mechanics of Abdominal Exercise SA Journal of
Sports Med 1991, 6(5): 15-19

Siff M C The Mechanics and Safety of Leg Raising Exercises SA Journal of
Sports Med 1992, 7(3): 15-18

Siff M C Prevention of Spinal Injuries through Applied Biomechanics Proc
of International Chiropractic Congress Sun City, South Africa 10-15 Oct 1993

Siff M C Violence in Sport in B McKendrick & W Hoffman (eds) People and
Violence in South Africa Oxford Univ Press Cape Town 1990: 135-161

Siff M C Physiological Principles of Physical Conditioning SA J of Sports
Med Vol 22: 14-15 Pt I

Siff M C Physiological Principles of Physical Conditioning SA J of Sports
Med Vol 23: 12-14 Pt II

Siff M C Neuropsychological Factors in Sport SA J of Sports Med 1983, 21:
8-11

Siff M C Force Plate techniques for analyzing Mechanical Characteristics of

Human Soft Tissues Proc of Annual Congress of SA Physiol Soc Durban 12-14
Oct 1983

Siff M C Biomechanical and Physiological Analysis of Load-raising
Manoeuvres by the Human Body Proc of Annual Congress of SA Physiol Soc. Durban 12 -
14 Oct 1983

Siff M C A Biomechanical Technique for evaluating Muscle Tone Proc of
Annual Congress of SA Physiol Soc Durban 12 - 14 Oct 1983

Siff M C Flexibility in Sport SA J of Sports Med July 1983, Vol 19: 2-6

Siff M C Electric Fields and Healing Processes The Leech, J of Medical
School, University of Witwatersrand July 1983

Siff M C Thinking, Education and the Brain Lateralisation hypothesis
Perspectives in Education, Faculty of Education, Wits University July 1983:
2-6

Siff M C Connections between Art, Mathematical Physics, Neurophysiology and

Linguistic Theory Proc of 19th Annual Congr of Linguistic Soc of Southern
Africa Bloemfontein 30 June - 1 July 1983

Siff M C A Bionic Model of Society in J van Zyl & K Tomaselli (eds) Media
and Change McGraw-Hill 1977: 78-109

Siff M C The Infraslow and Steady Potentials of the Brain The Leech, J of
Medical School, Univ of Witwatersrand 1982

Siff M C Neuroglia and the Neuron Doctrine The Leech, J of Medical School ,
Univ of Witwatersrand 1981, Vol 50, 3: 62-64

Siff M C Physiological and Biophysical aspects of Strength Training Proc
of 19th Congr of SA Assoc for Sports Science, Phys Ed & Recr Pretoria, 6-8
Oct 1982

Siff M C Physiological and Biophysical Analysis of Overtraining and
Overtraining Injuries Proc of 19th Congr of SA Assoc for Sports Science,
Phys Ed & Recr Pretoria 6-8 Oct 1982

Siff M C The Neurophysiological and Somatic Foundations of Human Symbol
Systems Proc of LVSA 82: Congr of Linguistic Soc of Southern Africa Rhodes
University, Grahamstown, 7-10 July 1982

Siff M C Biomechanical Techniques for Prevention and Management of Injury
Proc of 1st SA Sports Med Congr ess Rand Afrikaans Univ 13-16 March 1985

Siff M C A Biomechanical Method for assessing Soft Tissue Integrity Proc
of Diamond Jubilee Congr of S African Soc of Physiotherapy 15-20 Apr 85

Siff M C The Biomechanics of Lifting to prevent Lumbar Injury Proc of
Diamond Jubilee Congr of SA Assoc of Physiotherapy 15-20 Apr 1985

Siff M C The Biomechanics of Flexibility and Stretching Proc of Annual Conf

of SA Soc of Physiotherapy University of Cape Town Medical Centre 7-9
April 1987

Siff M C The Interrelation between Strength, Power and Bodymass Proc of 3rd

International Symposium on Research in Sport & Recr Durban, 26-29 June
1983

Siff M C Kinesiological Techniques for preventing Lumbar Spinal Injury
Proc of 1st S African Sports Medicine Congress Rand Afrikaans University 13-16
March 1985

Siff M C & Isaacs H Application of Catastrophe Theory in analysing Joint
Stability Proc of Annual Congr of SA Physiol Soc Bloemfontein, 13-15 Oct
1982

Siff M C & Isaacs H A Ballistic Technique for analysis of Knee Stability
Proc of Annual Congr of SA Physiol Soc Bloemfontein, 13-15 Oct 1982

Siff M C & Isaacs H The Relationship between Human Strength and Bodymass
Proc of Annual Congr of SA Physiol Soc Bloemfontein, 13-15 Oct 1982

-----------------

Dr Mel C Siff
Denver, USA

---------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe send SIGNOFF BIOMCH-L to LISTSERV@nic.surfnet.nl
For information and archives: http://isb.ri.ccf.org/biomch-l
---------------------------------------------------------------