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 London can take it, Video of a 2006 Gresham College lecture
Posted: Jan 23 2012, 05:03 AM

Group: Members
Posts: 17
Member No.: 2,833
Joined: 2-November 10

London can take it - psychological reactions to terrorism from the blitz to Bin Laden

Thursday, 7 December 2006


Professor Simon Wessely, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London

This was the first of a series of three lectures promoting public understanding of psychiatry.

The other two lectures took place on Wednesday 14 March and Wednesday 16 May 2007

There's a fair bit of content about 7/7 in the above lecture. Simon Wessely is a very influencial figure in the the field of denying the reality of illnesses like gulf war syndrome and ME, some say on behalf of governments, the medical insurance industry and other corporations. For example, see here and here. My favourite example from the first link :-

The Camelford Drinking Water Contamination

In July 1988 20 tonnes of aluminium sulphate were accidentally pumped into the drinking water supplies of the small town of Camelford in Cornwall.  As a result, residents and visitors immediately suffered distressing symptoms; seven people died, 25,000 suffered serious health effects and 40,000 animals were affected.  An article by Bernard Dixon in the BMJ on 5th August 1995, based on the work of psychiatrists Anthony David and Simon Wessely, stated that “mass hysteria” was largely responsible for the furore.  David and Wessely had found that “anxiety” and “heightened perception of normal bodily sensations” were the cause of the long-term symptoms and that “sensational reporting” by the media had been a significant factor.  It was not until 1999 that Paul Altmann from Oxford (commissioned by lawyers acting on behalf of the Camelford plaintiffs and funded by Legal Aid, not through the Department of Health) effectively rebutted the Wessely School view that anxiety was to blame and showed conclusively that Camelford residents had objective evidence of considerable organic brain damage which was compatible with the known effects of exposure to aluminium.  Altmann demonstrated that many of those originally affected still had symptoms eleven years later.
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