From The Sunday Times Magazine, 5 May 2013.
Leading scientists such as Sir Simon Wessely are facing a sustained terror campaign – just for researching the causes of M.E. Death threats and abusive emails are commonplace, and some scientists are now under police protection. By Michael Hanlon
Professor Sir Simon Wessely lives on the front line of science. He does not deal with dangerous nuclear materials; nor does he risk his life meddling with lethal microbes. Yet this affable, chatty psychiatrist, who works at the Maudsley hospital in south London and was knighted for his work earlier this year, receives regular security briefings, has his mail checked and x-rayed by security staff and has had panic buttons installed in his office and home. He has been subjected to abuse and death threats, and one person rang him up and threatened to castrate him. He has done a lot of work for the military, helping to treat traumatised war veterans, but they are not the problem. Nor does he engage in animal experimentation. No, Professor Wessely’s misfortune is to have entered the bewildering world of myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME — initials that strike fear into the hearts of doctors.
The story of ME activism is probably not one you will have heard much about, even though it is just as controversial as vivisection….
More at the Sunday Times magazine website (article behind a paywall).