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forwarded messages from Mel Siff

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  • forwarded messages from Mel Siff

    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

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