THREAD: Re: retraction of the @JAHA_AHA paper. I have a few thoughts.
I have seen posts implying that the retraction was due to political correctness, or because the author's views, protected by the 1st amendment, "hurt people's feelings" or were controversial. That this is
an example of "cancel culture." That is incorrect. Reputable journals (I believe @JAHA_AHA is one) do not retract because views are controversial or hurt people's feelings. The bar for retraction is high: it must be shown that the author falsified data/findings. That is
the bar. That bar was met. Let me say again, that bar was met. The rebuttal that demonstrated the falsification will be published soon. This is not "cancel culture." This is an example of editors being made aware of deliberate falsification and taking the appropriate step.
I have also seen name-calling and insults aimed at the author and the journal. I would refrain from calling the author a racist. I do not know him. I know that he is passionate about his views, some of which appear to lack understanding about racial history in the US, but
to call one a "racist" is a serious charge. Let's refrain from doing that. I believe the journal should be commended. They made a mistake. They acknowledged the mistake, apologized, retracted the article, and will publish the rebuttal that laid the foundation for the
retraction. Let us refrain from name-calling re: the journal. Do they have work to do? Yes. I believe that they, and all major journals, should have an Assoc. Editor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion tasked with scanning all submissions for signs of racism, other "isms",
and with the authority to reject research trials that do not have diverse representation among trial participants, etc. That is up to them. But their actions deserve respect. Not everybody/entity owns up and apologizes and retracts when their mistakes are called out.
So, let's stay above the fray. Diversity in medicine saves lives. Plain and simple. There is data proving this, but if his paper shows anything, it shows that we need more. So, clinician-scientists, let's get to work creating a database so large and irrefutable that it will
much easier to refute the next attack on affirmative action. And, oh, there will be another ... and another ... and another. This is a time for leadership. One last thing. This has taught me that the concept and use of the term "underrepresented in medicine minorities" may
cause anxiety, stress, or even anger to my Asian colleagues and friends. Some may perceive it as implying that Asians have not faced discrimination and overcome great obstacles to be physicians. That is not what I intend to imply when I use the term, but I believe that
concern is partly what fueled the author to pick up his pen and write. If my Asian friends and colleagues are stressed by that term, I can certainly stop using it, and I will be thinking about that.
Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.😉
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