Bartleby has an unerring ability to detect the nonsense emanating from HR (July 13th). At my job operating a drawbridge I am expected to set performance goals relating to “core competencies.” These include building relationships, oriented outcomes, creativity and innovation. Curiously, they do not include safely operating the 900-tonne piece of mechanical infrastructure entrusted to my care. At my annual review, learning agility is defined in terms of “an awareness of changing workplace trends”. That such skills are valued more highly than not crushing pedestrians says something. KRISTIAN WILLIAMS Portland, Oregon
In the Brexit committee Michael Gove has just finished answering a series of questions about how Dover would cope with lorry arrivals in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Hilary Benn, the committee chair, did not sound hugely reassured, and he concluded by asking Gove to admit that no one actually knows what will happen in the event of no deal. Gove did not contest this, but replied:
“The future is known only to the Almighty.”
But of course, there is problem with that:
Benn said unfortunately the Almighty would not be appearing as a witness.
I mean, really.
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In other news, here is a quick lesson in how news reporting works in the UK:
The full title of my presentation is Off the PACE and not NICE: Challenges with Evidence in ME/CFS.
(I tweaked that subtitle a couple of times. For reasons.)
I plan to look at the nature of research error as it affects medical and healthcare research more broadly, and — of course — research into ME/chronic fatigue syndrome more specifically. Let’s just say that there is plenty of material to discuss.
Other speakers at the event include Caroline Kingdon of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and David Systrom of Brigham & Womens Hospital, Boston, and Harvard Medical School, who is the keynote.