AW: AW: [ RadSafe ] Significant results in abstracts

Rainer.Facius at Rainer.Facius at
Fri Oct 6 15:14:59 CDT 2006

Dear John:

Indeed, the process of peer review apparently is no failsafe barrier against sloppy work getting published. In all fairness, I must admit that scrutinizing a manuscript that is not 100% your speciality is a taxing job. So, I don't want to blame referees who did not invest the effort for thoroughly criticizing a manuscript, order and read all the references which they are not familiar with ... . How often is an important argument backed by a reference which you not happen to have on your shelf! My impression is that editors - where they get paid - should exercise more own judicious judgment and not just transmit the comments of the referees. If that would slow down the process of publishing - all the better!

Regarding one of your favourite incriminations, cherry-picking: It was the BEIR VII committee which did the picking of those epidemiological studies which at face value supported their view the best and to which they assigned outstanding importance. I just took their(!) cherries.

Regarding the body of relevant work - ATB survivors and nearly all therapeutic exposures are not relevant for assessing chronic exposures - I know of NO SINGLE paper which does support the LNT postulate (being compatible with is quite a different matter) but several ones who are incompatible with LNT.

Kind regards, Rainer


Von: radsafe-bounces at im Auftrag von John Jacobus
Gesendet: Fr 06.10.2006 21:29
An: radsafe at
Betreff: Re: AW: [ RadSafe ] Significant results in abstracts

I was partly poking fun at you.  Of course, there is
no way to determine if the radioepidemiology papers
you refer to were included in this PubMed sampling. 

It appears that you are presenting two different
issues here.  I am sure that you can find this effect,
e.g., abstracts that do not support the findings given
in the paper, even in your field of study. 

As a separate issue, you, as a scientist, should
appreciate that one or two papers may not establish
the principal bases of a conclusion.  It is the body
of work that counts.  If you cherry-pick the data from
a few papers, you may miss the broad conclusions that
a greater number of studies support.  As you noted in
the past, the Taiwanese study is not good one to base
the benefits or harm of radiation. 

If the abstract does not reflect the content of the
study, then there is a problem with the peer review
process.  And that is not a new issue either. See

--- Rainer.Facius at wrote:

> Not really, John:
> Of course I did read the paper including 9 papers
> quoted by Gotzsche to make sure I grasp the context.
> Only afterwards did I post.
> In doing so, I was thinking of the BEIR VII-2
> committee which at least in 4 cases quoted
> (approvingly) 'momentous' radioepidemiological
> studies apparently only from reading the abstracts,
> where the text and/or the data do not sustain or
> rather contradict the claim made in the abstract.
> Furthermore, ALL radioepidemiological studies are
> covered by Pubmed.
> BTW: Regarding one of these studies, a member of the
> ICRP main commission remarked in a recent
> controversial 'public' discussion to me: "Forget
> about this study" (one which supported BEIR-VII and
> hence was distinctively endorsed by them) and
> regarding a more recent one (even more 'momentous'):
> "This one is even worse".
> So, I have every reason to allege that the finding
> of Gotzsche pertains to radioepidemiological studies
> too - including those claiming to uphold the LNT
> postulate.
> Kind regards, Rainer
> Dr. Rainer Facius
> German Aerospace Center
> Institute of Aerospace Medicine
> Linder Hoehe
> 51147 Koeln
> Voice: +49 2203 601 3147 or 3150
> FAX:   +49 2203 61970
> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: radsafe-bounces at
> [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] Im Auftrag von
> John Jacobus
> Gesendet: Freitag, 6. Oktober 2006 17:33
> An: radsafe
> Betreff: Re: [ RadSafe ] Significant results in
> abstracts
> Rainer,
> Thanks for point this article out.  However, the
> list or database that the author cited, PubMeb, is
> primarily medical articles, not radiation biology.
> I assume that you would have understood this if you
> had read the article and not just the absract.
> As I had posted in the past:
> +++++++++++++++++++
> >From an article about physicians doing clinical
> studies:
> "It was just before an early morning meeting, and I
> was really trying to get to the bagels, but I
> couldn't help overhearing a conversation between one
> of my statistical colleagues and a surgeon.
> Statistician: "Oh, so you have already calculated
> the P value?"
> Surgeon: "Yes, I used multinomial logistic
> regression."
> Statistician: "Really? How did you come up with
> that?"
> Surgeon: "Well, I tried each analysis on the SPSS
> drop-down menus, and that was the one that gave the
> smallest P value"."
> --- Rainer.Facius at wrote:

May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.
Dwight D. Eisenhower 

-- John
John Jacobus, MS
Certified Health Physicist
e-mail:  crispy_bird at

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