What really concerned me was how Biederman discussed his critics in the Globe article:
Biederman dismisses most critics, saying that they cannot match his scientific credentials as co author of 30 scientific papers a year and director of a major research program at the psychiatry department that is top-ranked in the "US News & World Report" ratings.I really hope he was taken out of context and that he didn't get all braggy about his 30 papers per year and about the US News rating of his department. Just because you've published 30 papers per year does not mean you're right about child bipolar. Indeed, despite publishing a mountain of research, some questions still loom large...
"The critics 'are not on the same level. We are not debating as to whether [a critic] likes brownies and I like hot dogs. In medicine and science, not all opinions are created equal,' said Biederman, a native of Czechoslovakia who came to Mass. General in 1979 after medical training in Argentina and Israel. He now lives in Brookline.
1. Does child bipolar really exist in substantial quantity?
2. Does treatment help kids with this "disorder"?
3. Why would a leading "expert" in child "bipolar disorder" say that up to 75% of children who are "bipolar" become suicidal without citing any supporting evidence?
True, all opinions are not created equal in science -- but the idea that child bipolar is a hugely underdiagnosed and undermedicated condition is not backed by consistent data. It would seem that Biederman is confusing quantity (e.g., publishes a boatload of papers) with quality of evidence. Again, please see my above questions. If they can be answered sufficiently, then I'll be glad to jump on the child bipolar bandwagon.
Now, does this mean I'm "not on his level" because I have the audacity to ask questions and point out gaping holes in the so-called evidence base regarding this purported disorder? I suppose his opinion is more valid because he has published more articles than his critics? I'm really hoping that Biederman was quoted out of context, but if he was not, he looks pretty arrogant.