Thursday, 23 February 2012

Mike King on My Take on the Sexism Accusation re. Criticism of New AJOB Management.

Mike King of the Bioethics Centre at the University of Otago, New Zealand, has provided an interesting comment to my latest post on the issue of a severe conflicts of interest within the new management of the American Journal of Biotehics.

Mike points out that, apparently, some of the leaning on AJOB and the McGee's around the net may have been read as a slanderous rant about Summer Johnson McGee not being qualified for the job of editor in chief, but getting it only because of her marriage to Glenn McGee, the resigning editor in chief, or – alternatively – that Johnson McGee, as a woman, would be unable to think for herself in relation to her husband.

I agree wholeheartedly with Mike King that if this was all there was to the criticism against AJOB, this criticism would indeed be nothing more than a dirty piece of sexist garbage. However, arguments of the sort alluded to have certainly not been what I have been set forth as the basis of my criticism (see my former posts, starting with last one linked to above). Neither is it to be found in the critical messages of Howard Brody or John Lantos. And, frankly, I cannot see how anyone could read that into either of our critical contributions on this matter.

So, just to be crystal. crystal clear: my claim is based on the fact that the link of marriage between the old and the new editor in chief preserves the vested conflicts of interest created by the former signing on as full time consultant for a dodgy, private stem cell therapy company. This since marriage by default makes the financial interests of spouse intertwined.

That's all there is to it.


  1. Hi Christian, thanks for mentioning and responding to my post. I share your bewilderment that Johnson McGee or others could have taken the criticisms from you, Brody or Lantos as being based on sexist reasoning. If her response calling criticism sexist was directed at any of you, then it is indeed the voice of desperation. It may be so even if (as I claim) her statement was directed at those who may think she was simply 'put in the job by her husband' or whatever. These would be pathetic criticisms and hardly worth responding to. If this is what she was doing, the choice to address these rather than the substantive criticisms you, Lantos, Brody, Elliott, Turner and others have presented seems either desperate or devious.

  2. I think that there is a problem here created by the apparent fact that the McGee's in pair or by themselves have - for some reason or another - aroused a type of resentment among certain people in the american bioethics community that seems to lie partly on the very personal level. This also seems to connect to some outright envy and jealousy re. the success of AJOB. This is what I referred to in the opening of my first post on this matter. In other words: there is a pattern of ill-tempered hostility in the general area of the McGee's and AJOB that may breed a semi-paranoid response-matrix among the involved - unfortunately clouding the reral issues and reasons to consider.