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RE: st: New rules

From   "Kieran McCaul" <>
To   <>
Subject   RE: st: New rules
Date   Thu, 4 Feb 2010 07:11:13 +0800


I don't see a problem with having some sort of screening process for new
subscribers, but I think what we saw over the past few months was not
just an example of bad behaviour.

I have no doubt that Roy's belief that his work had been plagiarised was
a genuine belief and I have no doubt that he believed that the evidence
that he provided proved this.  He was not at all deterred by the fact
that no one on else seemed to believe him or find his evidence
compelling.  Instead, as we saw in the more recent posts, he interpreted
this as a conspiracy against him.

When Roy's posts about plagiarism first started to appear a few months
ago, I suspected that what I was seeing was someone with a mental health
problem.  I tried to find out where exactly he was working, but I could
not track this down definitively.  I wanted to be absolutely confident
that I knew where he was working because I was going to contact his head
of department and suggest, discretely, that they see if he was OK.

I don't know if this was a good idea or not, nor do I know exactly how I
would have worded the email to his head of department.  Mental health
problems are difficult to deal with in the workplace and, in general, no
one wants to deal with them, so it's a difficult problem to drop in
someone's lap.  And I also realised that I was going to be sending an
email to someone I didn't know about someone I didn't know, implying
that the latter had a mental health problem.  Not really an ideal

But if I'm right, then Roy is not going to get better by himself and
instead he is going to follow a fairly predictable pathway that will
eventually lead to long-term unemployment.

Removing Roy from the Statalist has solved our problem and his mental
health problems (if they exist) are not our responsibility, but I would
like to think that there is someone on the here who might want to make a
few discrete inquiries.

Anyway, Roy appears to be at UCLA, but I'm not sure.  

Kieran McCaul MPH PhD
WA Centre for Health & Ageing (M573)
University of Western Australia
Level 6, Ainslie House
48 Murray St
Perth 6000
Phone: (08) 9224-2701
Fax: (08) 9224 8009

Epidemiology is so beautiful and provides such an important perspective
on human life and death,
but an incredible amount of rubbish is published.  Richard Peto

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