If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and smells like a duck, it’s probably David Gorski, M.D., PhD.
Gorski is a medical doctor and blogger who casts aspersions on the work of others by selectively choosing data and research that supports his positions, ignoring those that don’t, while simultaneously attempting to hide behind the anonymity of his screen name “Orac.” (Thanks to Pat Sullivan for showing “Orac’s” true identity.
I am not going to do a full analysis of David Gorski and his work. I do not have the time nor the desire. Do a google search of his name if you want to know more. However, I am somewhat fascinated by a recent post from Dr. Gorski’s Science Blog “Insolence” where he takes aim at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s use of Feldenkrais,® Awareness Through Movement sessions taught by Mary Beth Smith.
Dr. Gorski criticizes a claim that the Feldenkrais Method is “confirmed by neuroscience.” Here’s the crux of his argument:
Fine. Gorski could not find an article that reads: “Feldenkrais confirmed by neuroscience.” But what does that mean exactly? It means nothing. First, there are probably no neuroscientists doing research that is specifically on the Feldenkrais Method. They might be doing research on principles related to the Feldenkrais Method (whether they realize it or not). But an outcome study directly about the Feldenkrais Method? Probably not.
Note that Gorski says that the Feldenkrais Method “borders on quackery” while choosing to ignore the implications of the 30+ outcome studies that have been conducted on The Feldenkrais Method. Why? Is he too lazy to make a thorough evaluation of the research? Is he not looking for ways to improve the lives of his patients and clients? Is he so emotionally committed to one theoretical position that he is not interested in finding data that might challenge his world view? Apparently Gorski is only “scientific” when it meets his own personal agenda. This type of attitude is dangerous in a man who is employed by a medical institution.
I find it troubling that an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Wayne State University School of Medicine is not more careful in his thinking and writing and that neither Wayne State nor ScienceBlogs does a better job of monitoring their people and opinions and the information that they are spreading online.
Even more troubling is that this man specifically targets individuals in his writing, while refusing to clearly identify himself, his and his institutional affiliations. This is a breach of ethics and integrity and needs to be addressed by those who employ him.
Would you consider directly contacting the people who employ David Gorski aka Orac? A short written letter and email, would be most helpful:
Science Blogs: firstname.lastname@example.org
12 West 21st Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10010
Phone: (646) 502-7050
Fax: (646) 502-7040
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
4100 John R
Detroit, MI 48201