I am pleased to announce the establishment of the World Certifying Body for the Certification of Certified Healthologists, or WCBCCH. We’re seeking to recognise the rise of public interest in all things healthological, evidenced by cutting-edge media reporting of health-related science over the past few years. Consider these amazing breakthroughs:
- Parents are losing their ability to parent because they like using mobile phones so much. We know this because we saw it with our own two eyes (and got the paper published — sweet!)
- Being bitten by a cat causes depression. It just does. This is in no way linked to the higher base-rate of cat ownership among people at risk for depression (because we didn’t think of that)
- Our new “smart bra” detects whether you are in love because, you know, heart stuff (see below for details on joining the WCBCCH Division of Heartology)
- Internet overuse causes brain damage (ditto for details on our Division of Brainology)
- Eating vegetables makes you more likely to want to eat vegetables (more or less. They’re definitely correlated)
- Media coverage of negative news events makes you fat (by which we mean: seeing the word “adversity” on a poster makes you eat an extra M&M)
- Looking at cute animals makes you violent (by which we mean: it makes you pop bubble-wrap faster. Don’t underestimate the danger posed by young bubble-wrap poppers running amok)
- The energy transferred to human tissue by non-ionizing radiation, such as that emitted by WiFi, is sufficient to elevate the risk of carcinogenesis (according to our survey of parents)
- But our survey finding raises no real matter for concern, because actually radiation is good for you
- Sex makes you live longer (because old people have sex)
- Stuffing your face with chocolate makes you thin, but comfort eating makes you want comfort. So there’s a bit of a conflict there
- Flossing your teeth makes you pregnant (so long as you have sex too)
- And smoking is less dangerous than sitting on a chair (yep, we really said exactly that)
And so on. We know all these things because the media reported them. And in each case we had experts willing to explain why the claims had merit, unshackled by such affectations as rigour, evidence, or plausibility. Yeah, for sure there are always some scientists who claim that methodology is important. But that’s just their opinion; and it’s only some scientists. We say: never let the data get in the way of a juicy claim, unless of course there happen to be some flimsy stuff doing the rounds that we can use as debating-points. That’s the core principle of healthology.
Maybe you meet the criteria to become a Certified Healthologist. Here they are:
- You must be willing to express opinions about health stories in the media
- You must be able to generate such opinions at short notice, possibly while the phone is ringing
- You must be a “both/and” rather than an “either/or” type of person. Or not
- You must be able to compare your current attributes against a list of criteria, like this one
- You must be willing to be a Certified Healthologist
- Failing the above, you must otherwise satisfy the WCBCCH as to your suitability to be a Certified Healthologist (we’re a listening organisation)
If you meet other criteria, you could join one of our Divisions. Essentially, the criteria for Division membership are: (a) You must be willing to be a Division Member; (b) You must be alive (or dead). After that, we’ll require you to sign up to a Specialist Register, after which you can maintain your membership by engaging in our rigorous programme of Continuing Professional Development. We’ll need you to send us stuff every five years so that we can confirm your engagement in CPD.
Here’s how CPD works. You’ll get CPD points for every time you think about your Division. Once you amass more than zero points, you’re good for Registration for another five years.
Here’s the list of WCBCCH Divisions:
- Division of the History and Philosophy of Healthology (DHPH)
- Division of Heartology (DoH)
- Division of Brainology (DoB)
- Division of Statistical Numbers (DSN)
- Division of Numerical Statistics (DNS)
- Division of Applied Healthology (DAH)
- Division of Public Healthology (DPH)
- Division of Early Career Healthologists (DECH)
- Division of Healthologist Retirees (DHR)
- Division of Teachers and Researchers in Healthology (DTRH)
- Division for the Promotion of Diversity in Healthology (DPDH)
- Division of Healthology in the Public Interest (DHPI)
- Division of Experimental Neuro-healthology (DEN)
- Division of the Defence of Healthology on Religious Grounds (DDHRG)
- Division of the Multiplication of Divisions (DMD)
You can even set up your own Division. Knock yourself out. (Note: original acronym essential).
So why establish a World Certifying Body for the Certification of Certified Healthologists? And why now? Well that should be obvious. It’s because of all the uncertified healthologists out there abusing their privileges. It’s like when the International Catholic Association of Exorcists complained about Skype exorcisms, warning people not to be taken in by them. You can’t do exorcisms via Skype, they said. It’s a bit like that.
You can’t control the quality of healthology when there is no Certifying Body. People could just say anything. But we won’t.
If you meet the above criteria, all you need to do now is print out your certificate. After that, you can put “Cert. Healthol.” after your name. It’s that simple. [In fact, if you’re currently a member of a professional body that gives you letters after your name just for turning up, then why not resign from them? It would free up space for your lovely “Cert. Healthol.” monicker.]
So, if you’re ready, just go ahead and print this out:
Finally, check out our merchandise section. We’ve got some really cool stuff…
I have other plans too: a vision statement, a code of practice, an advertising campaign, an archive of press releases, a Google Plus community, lots of stuff really. But they’ll have to wait for another day. The above is about as much riffing as I can get out of this thing for now.
Suggestions welcome. I’ll need form a committee next…