Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Annals of Improbable Research - Dr. Michael J. Tidman of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh NHS Trust asks questions that have never been asked, at least so overtly and with such precise language. He aims to unmask poseurs of a particular type: dermatological ailments that present in such a way that a person might presume them to be something other than what they really are.

Here are three especially provocative studies Dr. Tidman and his colleagues have penned and published.

"Pemphigoid Excoriee: A Further Variant of Bullous Pemphigoid?" S.J.R. Allan and M.J. Tidman, British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 141, no. 3, 1999, pp. 585–86, DOI:10.1046/j.1365-2133.1999.03072.x. This is one of the few medical studies that uses the term "acnestis", which, according to the 1906 edition of Lippincott's Medical Dictionary (by Ryland W. Greene and Joseph Thomas, published by Lippincott), means "that part of the back which one cannot readily scratch; the upper part of the back."

"Factitious Panniculitis Masquerading as Pyoderma Gangrenosum," C.C.Y. Oh, D.B. McKenna, K.M. McLaren and M.J. Tidman, Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, vol. 30, no. 3, May 2005, pp. 253–5.

"Primary Cutaneous Mucormycosis Masquerading as Pyoderma Gangrenosum," O.A. Kerr, C. Bong, C. Wallis and M.J. Tidman, British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 150, no. 6, June 2004, pp. 1212–3.


At November 21, 2008 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no idea what the point of that article is, or in what way the examples given are exemplary.

If the idea is that too many researchers write in Obfuscese, why not say so without obfuscating?


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