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Why the IRFU’s transgender policy is an example of the ecological fallacy

The Irish men’s rugby team is currently number one in the world. We might therefore expect its governing body, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), to be a proficient and effective organisation, capable of meeting its own aims while setting examples for others to follow. Unfortunately, however, when it comes […]

Of course there is no monster in Loch Ness (despite what the university’s Press Office might want you to believe)

Yesterday, we had lots of news headlines concerning the Loch Ness monster, proving that the silly season is still a thing. (After all, it’s not as though there is actually anything important going on in the world right now.) Virtually all the headlines focused on the same catchy notion: It […]

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Why are transphobes so transphobic?

As a straight, white, middle-aged, college-educated, settled-community, cisgender man, I know that I benefit from more than my fair share of privilege. So if I have found Pride Month somewhat stressful, I can only imagine how others must have felt. Pride Month just isn’t what it used to be. What […]

Medical haste, COVID-19, and the mythology of “Medically Unexplained Symptoms”

Here is an extract from a lecture I gave last year for my colleagues at the Psychiatric Association of Turkey. It concerns the issue of so-called “Medically Unexplained Symptoms”: I attempt to show how the primacy effect — a reliance on first impressions — serves to distort medical reasoning. For […]

‘Cancel culture’ paranoia and other right-wing hysterics reveal medical conservatism’s true colours

Historian David Olusoga has been speaking about the ironies of ‘cancel culture’: Olusoga, whose work has explored black Britishness and the legacy of empire and slavery, said that people “feel perfectly comfortable making these comments about me without being able to point to a single reference or footnote in my […]