Scientific integrity: Another resignation from the British Psychological Society

About all manner of corporate pharmaceutical scientific misconduct and related curious incidents. If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention. Dr Aubrey Blumsohn

Scientific integrity:
Another resignation from the British Psychological Society

Correspondence published. Cole Davis and Lisa Blakemore-Brown

Another psychologist, Cole Davis has recently resigned from the British Psychological Society (BPS) over their ignoring of scientific integrity.

His resignation letter was submitted for publication to the BPS Journal (The Psychologist), but is not yet published.


Cole Davis writes:

17 March 2008
To the British Psychological Society

Further to my resignation last year, the last straw being your encouragement of the appellation 'Chartered Scientist', available to people who do not necessarily embrace scientific methods:

I no longer accept the British Psychological Society's claim to be acting in the public interest, and support the recently declared stance of another ex-member. Although I personally do not need to use the term in order to make a living, I shall call myself a psychologist and will give any support to a body which can regulate psychology in a responsible manner.

Over the years it has become apparent that the BPS is not such an organisation.

Cole Davis
formerly "Chartered Occupational Psychologist"

Davis previously wrote to the Psychologist in 2007 detailing BPS failure to uphold scientific integrity.

The BPS - value for money in the public service?
Published in The Psychologist, February 2007


The BPS regularly refers to its duty to the public when defending itself against i) accusations of failure to support its members, ii) ostentatious advertising of members under a cloud and iii) being over-expensive.

I no longer subscribe to such a defence. Three times, spread over some years, I have sought either support or guidance on ethical matters. On none of these occasions was I offered any.

In the last instance, when I told officials that I was being repeatedly and overtly pressurised to falsify research findings for a public project, I was told that 'we don't give legal advice' and that I should consult the Code of Ethics. Apart from the fact that there is little in the Code of Ethics about corruption, other than an urging of the practitioner to behave professionally, I don't see why some guidance was not forthcoming. I was in touch with members of the BPS with responsibility for regulations and ethics; if all that is necessary is already on the web site, then I think there is a certain amount of redundancy in the organisation.

In short, I don't think members' subscriptions are benefiting the public and I think reorganisation, rethinking and refunds are in order.

Yours Sincerely

Cole Davis
Chartered Occupational Psychologist, London NW2

See also the resignation of Lisa Blakemore Brown. What of the regulatory body for doctors in the UK (The General Medical Council)? Do they have much real regard for honesty and for the integrity of science upon which our patients rely? 


Lisa Blakemore-Brown Responded
March 18, 2008

Comments on: Scientific integrity: Another resignation from the British Psychological Society

I am pleased but sorry to read that others have been experiencing similar problems with The British Psychological Society.

Since my first Letter of Concern was published in The Psychologist in September 1997 on Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, I was denied a right to reply when another letter was published by the BPS, critical of me and highly supportive of the use of MSBP, by colleagues of Roy Meadow and David Southall.

The BPS went as far as to contact a cancer specialist Professor to see if the cancer medications I was taking for Grade 3 cancer could have led me to raise concerns to Ministers about the unprofessional and unscientific use of MSBP I had personally witnessed as another Expert in Court. My deep concerns were that a miscarriage of justice had happened and more could happen given the powerful "tapestry" of eminent, untouchable Professors presenting unscientific evidence in dogmatic ways. I considered that this "tapestry" of variables resulted in a process of suggestibility influencing the Court and indeed all those engaged in child protection work. The potential for disaster throughout the system was palpably clear.

it was my opinion that this was entirely the domain of Psychology and needed to be investigated.

Instead, all of the concerns were sidelined, the focus of investigation shifting to me through vexatious complaints.

During the many Hearing days (8)in this last effort, BPS Counsel have told Panels that it was not the role of the Disciplinary Department to investigate such matters. There is nothing in thousands of pages from DPA requests to show that they were remotely interested.

My published letter achieved nothing and contact with the President and the CEO achieved nothing either. I was dismissed as a "disciplinary case" whose opinions were worthless and who was attempting to go above the unaccountable Disciplinary Department and its employees.

Every comment was sent back to the Disciplinary Department to be misconstrued as paranoia. Anyone who supported me in the very many supportive letters, was seen as having been manipulated by me or as mad as me.

Al that was needed was a helpful Psychiatrist to prove the point without ever seeing me. The "prima facie" evidence of paranoia could have been dismissed if the BPS had looked professionally and ethically at what I was telling them instead of distorting my every word.

These actions were stepped up when what I had been so concerned would happen - miscarriages of justice - became public reality in cases such as that of the tragic Sally Clark.

Lisa Blakemore-Brown

For Further Information:
Freedom of Information Suppression and Police Harassment In The Internet Era, One Click and the British Psychological Society, page 5. Document updated February 2008.