Dr. Byram Bridle: 'We Need to Follow the Science of Our 'Misinformation' 'Experts' More Importantly, So Do They'
by Paul Alexander
Excellent substack by Dr. Bridle, I am currently in British Columbia speaking on stage with him and Makis and Ardis and Mallard; support Byram!
‘Over the past three years not one person who has accused me of disseminating mis/dis-information related to COVID-19 has ever offered me the courtesy of a conversation prior to doing so. Not one. That would be the respectful thing to do. It would be the professional thing to do. Historically, it has been a pillar of scientific ethics; to be willing to have open discussions with people that have differing viewpoints. Nor have any of these people been willing to discuss the scientific rationales underpinning my messages, even after they have publicly defamed me. Not a single person.
Nothing can help resolve disagreements or facilitate the ‘agree to disagree’ principle like a real-time conversation. Our own justice system would say that it is not acceptable to accuse another person in the absence of: 1. transparently presented evidence to back it up and, more importantly, 2. an opportunity for the accused to defend themselves.
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I have tried to engage those who accuse me of disseminating mis/dis-information countless times. Many other people have tried to facilitate these conversations on my behalf. The universal response is that a public discussion of COVID-19 science with a so-called ‘science denier’ like myself would cause harm; specifically, it would provide a platform that could risk further spreading mis/dis-information.
A great example of this is Canada’s eminent leader in the field of ‘misinformation’ ‘science’, Prof. Timothy Caulfield at the University of Alberta, who recently received the prestigious Order of Canada for his efforts in rooting out misinformation about COVID-19. He has consistently refused to engage in discussions with experts that he has deemed to be spreaders of ‘misinformation’. This has included me. I learned from members of the public that Mr. Caulfield and his publicly funded group of ‘misinformation’ ‘experts’ within ScienceUpFirst have been defaming me for a very long time. This surprised me because most of these people don’t know me (I certainly didn’t know them) and they never talked to me. Some have openly accused me of spreading disinformation, which implies ill-intent. But how can they know my intents when they don’t even know me on a personal level.
Since learning of this, I have invited Mr. Caulfield to have public chats about the science that he is accusing me of misunderstanding. After all, if public accusations are being made, it only seems fair to prove their validity in a public setting or resolve it publicly so some of the wrongful and massive harm can be undone. Private resolution of public harm doesn’t cut it.
A great example of Prof. Mr. Timothy Caulfield failing to engage in public discussions with those against whom he has made public accusations can be found in this article. Here are a couple of quotes from Prof. Mr. Caulfield taken from this story…
I have heard this over and over again for the past three years. Public discussions can apparently backfire by providing a platform for further spreading of ‘misinformation’ or appearing to legitimize scientific falsehoods. What can a scientist or medical professional do if this is true? Not much, to be honest.
However, this is not true. The problem for the ‘misinformation’ ‘experts’ is that these excuses they use are pure misinformation that they have been spreading widely in public forums.
Because I like to genuinely follow the science, I decided to do a deep-dive into the world of ‘misinformation’ ‘science’. I am not an expert in this area, so I though it best to listen to the real experts; people such as Timothy Caulfield. What I discovered is a growing set of science-based principles that I could whole-heartedly embrace. They would genuinely be able to separate scientific truths from untruths. They are fabulous. But, this is the kicker. I learned that the people who are accusing me of disseminating ‘misinformation’ to the public are, hypocritically, are not following their own science! They are enthusiastic to ‘talk the talk’ when teaching people how to debunk untruths but then completely fail to ‘walk the walk’ when it comes to putting their own well-researched principles into practice. I have been so shocked by what I have learned that I feel it is essential that the whole world be made aware of the published peer-reviewed science that Prof. Caulfield indirectly taught me about.
Most importantly, Prof. Mr. Caulfield indirectly led me to a peer-reviewed paper published in a prestigious journal that covers the topic of ‘misinformation’. He has openly declared his love of this paper when teaching the masses about ideal, science-backed strategies to debunk scientific myths. He presented this in a talk given remotely to attendees at Columbia University in the USA early in the declared COVID-19 pandemic. You really should watch the entire video. Among what I am going to share with you here, it shows how Prof. Mr. Caulfield loves to defame entire groups of people and pull up pictures of people and literally label them and accuse them in the absence of any original data to back it up. Interestingly, if you watch the Q&A period at the end, you will see how much Prof. Mr. Caulfield offended some members of the audience through his love of labeling people with derogatory terms. He thought it was really funny and entertaining to repeatedly label people as ‘conspiracy theorists’. He seemed to be clueless to the fact that this term has substantial negative connotations among the black community in the USA (and likely many other places). He got his wrist slapped publicly and emphatically by two attendees. As per his Twitter feed, he has failed to be more sensitive as he suggested he would be when he was embarrassed after his talk.
Here is the paper that Prof. Mr. Caulfield, a world leader in tackling ‘misinformation’ loves…
Schmid, P., Betsch, C. Effective strategies for rebutting science denialism in public discussions. Nat Hum Behav 3, 931–939 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-019-0632-4
Here he is presenting the paper and highlighting a key conclusion…
Note the title and note the second set of text that he expanded and underlined. Can you believe it?!? When teaching how to debunk ‘misinformation’ it is abundantly clear that there is NO HARM in rebutting ‘science denialists’ in public. In fact, providing facts about the topic in PUBLIC discussions “had positive effects”! This matches what was intuitively common sense to me.
So, why are all those who are publicly accusing experts holding alternative science-backed opinions about COVID-19 of disseminating misinformation but then refusing any public discussions with them?
Why aren’t the ‘misinformation’ ‘experts’ following their own science?
I find this particularly disturbing because public discussions can only have positive effects even when interacting with science denialists. I and my like-minded colleagues are anything but science denialists. Unlike Caulfield, I am an actual scientist. My CV, publication record, and work history clearly demonstrate that I have genuine, deep and broad scientific expertise. I was sought after by national mainstream media outlets to address questions that they had early in the declared pandemic; prior to people defaming me in the absence of discussions. I was a recognized expert in vaccine science. Moreover, I am more than happy to engage in very professional, respectful, independently moderated public discussions. So, being anything but a science denier means the benefits to the public of public exchanges of ideas would only be that much greater, especially in the context of COVID-19 science for which there is a bewildering amount of information for the public to sort through.
Why should the world be very concerned that ‘misinformation’ ‘experts’ are not following their own science?
See this article in the Toronto Star. Here is an answer from Prof. Mr. Caulfield to a question posed by an audience member who attended the presentation that was covered in this article…
Did you catch that?…
“But I absolutely think we need to think of [fining people for misinformation]” - Timothy Caulfield -
Folks, this hypocritical field of ‘misinformation’ ‘science’ that fails to follow its own data is becoming VERY dangerous. A big question now looms in front of us…
Who is going to be the arbiter of truth when public discussions among dissenting experts is not allowed?!?
I don’t care what your stance is on COVID-19 science and policies. Don’t think that the establishment of penalties for ‘misinformation’ can’t come knocking on your door in the context of any number of other topics.
So, I am going to reiterate something that I have been actively promoting to keep this dangerous field of ‘misinformation’ ‘science’ in check…
The golden rule for the new ‘science’ of ‘misinformation’:
“No person shall accuse another to have disseminated misinformation until a public, respectful, moderated debate has definitively proven that the accused is wrong.” Byram W. Bridle
And its corollary:
“No person can legitimately be accused of disseminating misinformation If the accuser is unwilling to debate them in public.” Byram W. Bridle
So, what needs to happen?
Members of the public need to encourage professionals (especially those that are publicly funded) who are accusing truth-tellers of spreading ‘misinformation’ to follow the science and engage in public discussions that can only yield positive effects for the public. In other words, public discussions among dissenting professionals captures the very essence of the Hippocratic oath. There can only be a benefit to the public with no risk of causing harm. The science proves this. Show the people who are claiming it is harmful to hold public discussions the research I have shared here and the links so they can hear and see it being supported by one of the world leaders in ‘misinformation’ ‘science’.
Now, knowing their science, I only see two ways that the ‘misinformation’ ‘experts’ who have been publicly labeling people like me as spreaders of mis/dis-information can save face:
Put up! This means, step up to the table, follow your own science, bring your original data and let’s talk.
Shut up! But, only after publicly acknowledging that you were wrong.
I predict that many of my accusers will choose a third option, which should, by all rights, cause the public to lose faith in them: continue to disallow those they are accusing the courtesy of a public discussion. An inconvenient truth is that real-time conversations are the best way to establish expertise. In a public setting, a discussion between equally yoked experts will quickly turn into an incredibly productive sharing of information that helps hone the science and results in everybody learning something, including the experts. However, if unevenly yoked, the lesser expert will rapidly be exposed in such an exchange. Is the latter possibility the real reason why so many ‘misinformation’ ‘experts’ are failing to ‘walk the walk’ that their own scientific data promotes?
Getting back to Caulfield and all the accusations that he and his ScienceUpFirst organization have levied against me…
Prof. Caulfield, I am willing to follow your science. Will you? Are you willing to use your effective strategies to rebut my ‘science denialism’ in a public discussion?
If you fail to do so, your own field of ‘science’ will, by definition, have labeled you as both a hypocrite and coward. It would be a form of self-defamation. Such an egregious action could only be interpreted by the public as a self-admission of you having wrongfully labeled me.
If it helps, I am willing to entertain your wish and impose a fine upon myself should you be be able to publicly demonstrate that I am a spreader of ‘misinformation’. Let’s go back to the roots, when you first labeled me; lets publicly chat about the risk-benefit analysis of COVID-19 shots in children. If you can publicly demonstrate that my concerns have no substantial scientific basis or that my concerns about things like the following had no merit based on the weight of the evidence…
Myocarditis could potentially be linked to mRNA-based COVID-19 shots.
mRNA shots and their derivative (spike) get distributed widely throughout the body.
Spike proteins have multiple potential mechanisms of harm (i.e., toxicities) if they get distributed throughout the body either freely or expressed on cells, thereby rendering these cells targets of the ensuing immune response.
…then I will pay a $5,000 ‘fine’ to ScienceUpFirst.
Will you be the type of leader who not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk? A leader who fails to do so would be lacking the most important leadership quality and would risk having people lose faith in ‘misinformation’ ‘science’. I don’t want to see that happen, do you?
I am willing to subject myself to your own scientific principles.
What say you, Prof. Caulfield?’