From The New York Times: 'Disruptions to health systems during the Covid-19 pandemic have left more than
60 million children worldwide without a single dose of standard childhood vaccines, in turn
resulting in large outbreaks of diseases that primarily kill children. Many who missed their
shots have now aged out of routine immunization programs. Protecting them will require a costly
vaccination blitz. By the numbers: By the midpoint of this year, 47 countries were reporting serious
and deadly measles outbreaks, compared with 16 countries in June 2020. Twelve countries reported the
polio virus was circulating. Nigeria is facing a major outbreak of diphtheria, with nearly 600 deaths so far.'
From Sense About Science
'We're thrilled to announce that Nancy Olivieri, a senior scientist at Toronto General Hospital,
has been awarded the 2023 John Maddox Prize for courageously advancing public discourse with sound science,
despite challenges or hostility. The judges commended Nancy for communicating the importance of being open
with patients about medical research whilst withstanding great personal cost. The 2023 Early Career Award
goes to Chelsea Polis, a senior scientist of epidemiology at the Population Council's Center for Biomedical
Research, New York, for her courage in challenging false marketing claims made by medical device manufacturers.'
'Top science journal faced secret attacks from Covid conspiracy theory group: A conspiratorial group of
extreme Brexit lobbyists mounted an extraordinary campaign against one of the world's most prestigious
science journals - part of a series of joint investigations between Byline Times and Computer Weekly. ...
The group attempted to have Nature and its staff put under surveillance and investigated by MI5, MI6, the CIA, Mossad, and Japanese and Australian intelligence agencies. They met Cabinet minister Michael Gove and later asked him to arrange phone taps and electronic surveillance. One member of the group led intrusive investigations into the intimate personal life and background circumstances of senior Nature staff the group suspected of "extreme Sinophile views".'
'Medical-evidence giant Cochrane battles funding cuts and closures. The group that helped to revolutionize medical practice
has lost key funding and is reorganizing - moves that concern some researchers.'
The World Health Organization has held its first summit on traditional medicine, with the group saying it was seeking to
collect evidence and data to allow for the safe use of such treatments. However....'The World
Health Organisation (WHO) is meant to implore us to ignore hearsay and folklore, and to follow the
scientific evidence. So why is it now suddenly promoting the likes of herbal medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture?
Actor Leah Remini is taking her fight against the Church of Scientology
to court with a new lawsuit alleging that the
church and its current leader, David Miscavige, are behind years of "mob-style tactics"
used against her in a targeted campaign of harassment.'
Nessie: The Search to End all Searches (until the next time)
'What has been described as the biggest
search for the Loch Ness Monster since the early 1970s is due to be held later this month.
Drones fitted with infrared cameras are to be flown over the loch, and a hydrophone is to be used
to detect unusual underwater sounds. Organisers said volunteers would also look for possible signs
of a creature from safe vantage points on land. The search is to be held on 26 and 27
Medical Clinics Fake Reviews
'Consumer groups say fake reviews are a "significant and persistent problem" and have called on
internet firms to do more to remove them and fine companies. Which? has warned it could be a
serious issue if someone chooses a treatment clinic based on reading a fake review. The government
said it was toughening the law to protect consumers, while Google said it removed fake
The Berlin Lion
'Sheepish authorities in Germany have called off the hunt for a loose lioness after admitting the missing animal is actually a boar.
Authorities determined on Friday that there is "no acute danger" to people in
Kleinmachnow on the edge of Berlin where a potentially dangerous animal was spotted, saying they no
longer believe that a lioness is at large and calling off the hunt. A search turned up no sign of
such a predator and experts who analysed a video have concluded that it was likely a wild boar,
'In the US: 'A former US intelligence official told a Congress hearing on UFOs that "non-human biologics" were recovered
from crash sites. He said he prefers to use the term "non-human" rather than
'Medicine is plagued by untrustworthy clinical trials. How many studies are faked or flawed? Investigations
suggest that, in some fields, at least one-quarter of clinical trials might be problematic or even
entirely made up, warn some researchers. They urge stronger scrutiny.'
In the US, a ' long-awaited report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence put
the lie to the theory that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, leaked from a virology lab
in Wuhan, China, where the disease was first detected in humans. The lab-leak conspiracists were
certain that the report would validate their contentions, for which there has never been any valid
scientific evidence. Instead it did just the opposite.'
Antivax GP Struck Off
'A GP has been erased from the medical register after an MPTS tribunal concluded today that
her statements on vaccines amounted to misconduct. Dr Jayne Donegan, who no longer works as an NHS GP, was found by the tribunal
to have encouraged parents to mislead healthcare professionals about their children's diet or
immunisation history". The GMC brought several allegations against Dr Donegan, about
statements made between 2019 and 2020, however the determination of impaired fitness to practise
(FTP) and subsequent erasure was based solely on her suggestions to parents. The tribunal
determined that her misconduct "posed an ongoing risk to patient safety given her lack of
insight and lack of remediation" and that "public confidence would be undermined" if
such a doctor was allowed to remain in practice. … Other GMC allegations, such as Dr Donegan's
statements failing to "give balanced information on the risks and benefits of
immunisation", were proved true by the tribunal but were not determined to be serious
On May 31st, a
NASA panel held its first public meeting on its study of UFOs, or what the US government now
terms UAPs ('unidentified anomalous phenomena'). The panel was set up last year and a
report on its findings is due for release in July. Nasa define UAPs as 'observations of events
in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena from a scientific
perspective.' Its study is separate from the previous investigation by intelligence officials
at the Pentagon. The 16-member panel said that scant high-quality data and a lingering stigma pose
the greatest barriers to unravelling such mysteries.
'A "very concerning" rise in the number of people catching measles in the UK
has been reported by health officials. The virus spreads incredibly easily and a fall in
vaccination rates is leaving more children vulnerable to infection. There were 54 cases of measles
in the whole of last year. However, there have already been 49 in the first four months of 2023.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is encouraging parents to ensure their children's
vaccinations are up to date.'
Virgin on the Ridiculous
'The Catholic Church has set up a task force to tackle a growing number of gurus who claim they communicate
with the Virgin Mary. One even says she can magic up mystic pizzas on demand. A woman in Rome
claims her statue of the saint can spirit up slices of pizza and has hundreds of followers. But
Vatican chiefs say she is one of thousands who claim to have a private relationship with the
Madonna, reports the Daily Star. The clampdown is being led by Father Stefano Cecchin, head of the
Mariana Internationalis pontifical academy, as the church believes the claims cause confusion,
promote apocalyptic scenarios and even make accusations against the Pope and the church.'
'A leading NHS consultant psychiatrist has met me in person and concluded I don't have
ADHD - attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Yet, after shorter assessments online, three private clinics have told me
I do - and offered me powerful medication.'
Traditional Chinese Medicine
'Foetuses exposed totraditional Chinese medicine have an increased risk of congenital malformations
compared to those without exposure.'
'A former Dragons' Den star is locked in a battle with angry locals after helping to
create a community farm in the heart of the Peak District. Based in Cressbrook Dale. The
project has drawn criticism from locals who claim the group is some form of "cult"
believing in a "food apocalypse" and the "Great Reset". Ex-Dragons' Den
star Rachel Elnaugh has posted videos previously to her YouTube channel discussing what she
described as "the great resolution to dissolve the Global Masterplan". The Bakewell
native has an interest in astrology and tarot, has described the Covid pandemic as a "mass
fear event" containing lots of "ridiculous new variants" of coronavirus, and has
speculated that a fake alien invasion produced by Hollywood could be used to trigger a "global
'Vaccination rates have fallen among schoolchildren in England since the start
of the Covid-19 pandemic, health officials have said, amid a global crisis of confidence in
vaccines. Fears have been expressed in recent months that thousands of children are at risk of
catching deadly diseases, such as meningitis and blood poisoning, with significant outbreaks likely
due to reduced vaccination rates.'
Update on Madeline McCann
(See earlier posting below) 'A Polish woman who claimed she was Madeleine McCann appears to have ended her search for proof
after receiving the results of a DNA test. Julia Faustyna, 21, made headlines earlier this year
after posting a video to Instagram in which she claimed to be the British girl who disappeared,
aged three, on a family holiday in Portugal.'
Another Conspiracy Theorist Sued
'Survivors of the Manchester Arena bombing have launched a legal action against a conspiracy theorist who has falsely claimed the attack
was faked. Martin Hibbert and his daughter Eve were severely injured in the terror attack at an
Ariana Grande concert in 2017 that left 22 people dead. The family have accused Richard D Hall of
defamation and harassment after he promoted the theory that the attack never took place, and
reportedly tracked them down and admitted spying on them. Last Friday, they sought an injunction
and damages, having initially signalled their intention to bring legal action in October
Sense about Science is [once again] hosting Evidence Week in Parliament at
Westminster on 3-7 July 2023, in partnership with the Parliamentary Office of Science and
Technology (POST), the House of Commons Library, the House of Lords Library, Ipsos and the UK
Statistics Authority (UKSA). We will be joined by researchers from across the UK offering
quick-fire policy briefings on hot topics to MPs and Peers. Evidence Week opens online with
questions from the public about how Parliament uses and reviews evidence, with responses from
constituency MPs, chairs of select committees and national experts. There will also be an in-person
reception, with lively discussion on the need to create space in public life for politicians to be
frank about trade-offs in policymaking. There is also a daily programme of evidence training for
parliamentary staff from national experts, covering statistics, access to resources, constituency
data and more.'
UK Clinical Trials
From TranspariMED: 'The UK is first country worldwide to commit to ensuring that all
clinical trials are registered and all their results made public within one year of trial
completion, as set out in the national Make it Public strategy. Today's transparency report of the Health Research Authority (HRA) - an official body
that oversees all medical ethics committees in the country - provides a snapshot of the progress
made so far.'
Traditional Mexican Medicine
'Health authorities in Mexico said Tuesday they will use more traditional medicine and more Cuban doctors in the country's woefully
under-equipped public hospital system. Zoe Robledo, the head of Mexico's largest public
hospital network, said at a news conference that the system will hire 753 practitioners of
traditional massage and herbal treatments. The Social Security Institute will also employ
"curanderos," who are non-licensed healers who use bundles of herbs, smoke, alcohol and
eggs to "draw" sickness out of the bodies of their patients.'
In 2007 Madeleine McCann, aged 3, went missing while on a family holiday on Portugal.
She has not been found since. 'A private investigator and psychic says a woman who claims she
could be Madeleine McCann is "happy she is getting the truth". Julia Wendell went viral
after uploading a video online to an Instagram called "I am Madeleine McCann", saying
that she thinks she could be the missing girl who vanished in 2007 at the age of three. Now, after
receiving "a number of death threats", Julia was taken to California by Dr Fia Johansson,
a self professed physic and has said she is investigating the case.'