Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Lancet: much, much worse

(Continued from prior post:  The politicalization of two major medical journals: bad and much, much worse)

In contrast to the NEJM, the Lancet has long evidenced obvious biases. This has done much to severely damage its credibility. The Journal is run for Elsevier by Jon Horton, who seems to be a man of the European left. His editorial judgments have landed the journal in trouble before. For example, he published two politically-motivated studies from a group at Hopkins purporting to look at deaths in Iraq attributable to US military actions. These studies were later found to be seriously flawed and biased by politically-motivated funding.

Worse, though, is Horton's turning what should be a prestigious journal of clinical medicine into a platform for obnoxious anti-Israel propaganda. Recently, as just one example, he discredited himself and his journal by publishing a letter in the middle of the most recent Gaza war authored by a group of viciously anti-Israel activists. Among others, the authors included two who have worked with the former Ku Klux Klan member and current neo-Nazi David Duke and also a maoist, pro-Hamas, strident anti-Israel activist. Later, as the antisemitism underlying the letter became more evident, Horton claimed to be sorry for publishing it. He has yet to remove it from the Lancet's website.

The Lancet reflects poorly on Elsevier and, arguably, on the British medical establishment. Elsevier needs to rethink its staffing of the journal.

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