Note added 6/30/2021: A more detailed description of the editors’ thought process that led to the decision to retract this book review has been posted here. Consequently, we are closing the comments on this post. If you still wish to comment on this issue, please go to the new article.
After careful review, the editors of SBM decided to retract this book review. Because we allow trusted authors to publish without prior review for the sake of efficiency and timeliness, occasionally corrections need to be made post-publication. In this case we felt there were too many issues with the treatment of the relevant science, and leaving the article up would not be appropriate given the standards of SBM.
Already there are false accusations that this move was motivated by pressure from readers. This is not the case. SBM had and never will cave to outside pressure. We have endured a great extent of such pressure, including the threat of lawsuits and actual litigation.
Our review of the article in question and the decision to retract was entirely internally generated by the editors.
Further, any attempts at portraying this retraction as censorship are also false. This has nothing to do with silencing opinions or perspectives, but rather is entirely a matter of quality control. SBM is first and foremost about high quality scientific evidence and reasoning to inform medical issues, and we felt the article in question was below the minimal acceptable standard for SBM.
Further, the original article has already been republished in full on another website, and anyone interested can easily find it there. [Note added: The original review was published on Michael Shermer’s Skeptic website, while a revised version of the review was published on Dr. Hall’s Skepdoc website on July 13. While somewhat improved, it still has most of the same major problems.]
We will leave the comments open for now and encourage full, open, and respectful discussion of the topic by anyone interested.
Steven Novella, MD, Founding Editor
David Gorski, MD, PhD, Managing Editor