SAGE's lead epidemiological modeller Neil Ferguson believes his work is brilliant, and anyone who dares question it, or him, are 'conspiracy theorists'. Is that how scientists behave now?
The latest narcissistic outburst from Neil Ferguson comes in response to an article written by a scientist for Lockdown Sceptics. Derek Wilton's article reports on Ferguson's original Imperial Model and its role in the UK’s Pandemic Response. Wilton focused on how accurate the model was, highlighting things such as it predicting up to half a million deaths in the UK, the lack of any peer review and the fact that, the data model didn't work as the code was faulty. These are all provable facts about the imperial model. no more, no less.
Read the entire article here: https://lockdownsceptics.org/the-imperial-model-and-its-role-in-the-uks-pandemic-response/
Ferguson himself admitted as much when he tweeted:
A reader of Lockdown Sceptics duly sent Ferguson a link to the article and Ferguson, annoyed by anyone daring to challenge his 'superior intellect', had what can only be described as 'narcissistic outburst'. He replied to the reader who'd sent him the link with the most astonishing email, now reproduced here:
I presume you sent me this because you feel upset, angry, that no-one is listening, want to hurt me or change my mind. Or all of the above.
I and my colleagues and friends (John Edmunds, Jeremy Farrar, Marc Lipsitch, Christian Drosten, Patrick Vallance, Chris Whitty,…) get so many of these sort of emails that we barely notice anymore. Most get dumped into junk mail folders automatically nowadays.
But for a change, I thought I would reply to you. Not that I really expect it to change the alternative reality you seem to have got sucked into, but occasionally I feel I should try.
To start with may [sic] want to read this: https://www.climatechangecommunication.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ConspiracyTheoryHandbook.pdf
And ask yourself if a loved one started to exhibit those behaviours, would you be worried?
As to the article you refer to, it recycles the same old, same old misinformation. You may be surprised to learn that the Telegraph and Spectator have published over a dozen corrections in response to complaints from Imperial College about inaccurate articles. For instance, no-one ran the Imperial model for Sweden (other than us).
More substantively, the government never relied on just one model. The models written by LSHTM, Warwick University and Institut Pasteur Paris all agreed with “the” Imperial model. All used different code bases. And in fact, there was never “one” Imperial model, but several. We now have 4 different COVID models, again which all agree.
Government responses were never dependent on one model. They were driven by the reality that any disease which generates epidemics which double every 3-4 days and for which over 2% of those infected require hospitalisation will overwhelm any health system that exists.
In fact, a case could be made that the U.K. government took too little notice of our (not just Imperial- all the SAGE groups) modelling. In that they basically only acted when they saw hospitalisations and deaths growing exponentially.
In Vision News' office there were several mutterings of "what a cunt" when we saw this email. The arrogance is difficult to take calmly, but this appears to be the level or the 'man'. To suggest that the author of the original article, and the reader, were both conspiracy theorists is an attempt to discredit them and dismiss their argument. But let's be clear, none of the piece had any conspiratorial elements to it. Uncomfortably for Ferguson it merely stated historical and confirmable facts and provided a reanalysis of his work.
The facts remain that his model was wildly inaccurate, was 13 years old, was created for a flu pandemic, was undocumented (that's coding 101 dickhead), and didn't work properly. Whilst the analysis that the pandemic's response was entirely disproportionate to the threat was also accurate.
We suggest that Lockdown Sceptics, or the forthcoming GB News, organise a debate with Neil Ferguson on one side and Dr Vernon Coleman or Professor Carl Heneghan on the other. This needs to be done sooner rather than later.
Let's see just how smug Ferguson is when challenged directly by people who can call his bluff.