Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ryan Pollard: Address his criticism!

I wrote a post on Thomas Kehoe's arguments against a chapter on Speech Easy: here. The response of Ryan Pollard, one of the authors, (I assume it's him who left a comment and not someone else.) is a prime example of what is wrong about the debate on research into stuttering: there is none.

If Ryan Pollard were a true scientist, he would address Thomas' arguments one by one, and either agree or disagree with a counterargument. He could take pride in showing where Thomas went wrong.

Let's see what he has actually done.

To those who have supported or want to support Mr. Weidig’s supposedly altruistic “mission” on behalf of those who stutter, please read the following.

Doesn't address Thomas' arguments.

Mr. Weidig, I’m going to keep this short because I’ve already published work on the SpeechEasy and defended it in peer-reviewed journals; I have no desire to do so again at length on someone’s blog.

Doesn't address Thomas' arguments. And, his comment appears to be as long as an actual refutation or acceptance of critical comments.

As another post already pointed out, the chapter in question was not written by Dr. Guitar, but rather by Ramig, Ellis, and Pollard.

Doesn't invalidate Thomas' arguments. Still, Guitar as editor has the duty to ensure quality and avoid or declare conflict of interests.

The chapter appears in a clinician-directed text book with chapters written by experts on numerous interventions. The PCI approach is written by people from the Palin Centre, the Camperdown and Lidcombe Program chapters are written by the developers of those methods, etc. We were asked to write the SpeechEasy chapter because we have experience with providing and researching the device.

Does this address Thomas' arguments? No.

Actually, I should have a look at the other chapters, too. They have a conflict of interest, too.

Any self-styled arbiter of good science and voice of the unheard minority, let alone any decent investigative journalist, would have bothered to read the chapter himself before providing a venue for Mr. Kehoe to vent his spleen.

Thomas' arguments are no invalidated or confirmed by whether I have read the chapter or not. I am not giving judgement on the chapter at all. I am just talking about my experiences on past work by Guitar and Thomas, and my prediction that Thomas' arguments are reasonable.

I am providing the opportunity for Thomas to voice his arguments to a wider audience.

Apparently you failed to do so. I might also suggest that you read my longitudinal study on the device ( and my letter to the editor in the current issue of JSLHR ( Strangely, I couldn’t find either of those papers on your “Published Articles” link. It’s quite puzzling and slightly amusing to me that one camp has accused us of praising the SpeechEasy too much, while another camp feels that we’ve been too critical of the device. C'est la vie.

Again, does not address Thomas' arguments.

For anyone who would like to judge for him/herself whether my colleagues and I write “misleading,” “disingenuous” “advertisements” praising the SpeechEasy as a cure-all, please also see this post on the AIS website:

Again, does not address Thomas' arguments.

Incidentally, Tom: putting a question mark at the end of a denigrating headline is reminiscent of a tactic used by Fox News. I suspect your level of journalistic integrity, so to speak, is on par with theirs.

Again, does not address Thomas' arguments. What ever I do and whoever I am does not invalidate or confirm Thomas' arguments.

Dr. Ryan Pollard

Again, does not address Thomas' arguments. And a Dr. does not validate or refute an argument.


Anonymous said...

you and Thomas Kehoe are friends, right?

(not saying you two are sleeping together)....

But it is hard to believe that you are 100% impartial.

also, notice that Dr. Pollard addressed you as Mr. Weidig....perhaps he thinks your PhD is worthless (and it was worthless!)

Why don't you question Kehoe's device, this $2500 worthless device.

Anonymous said...

Arjun Lal's "Killyourstutter" = Pollard, Ramig & Ellis "SpeechEasy"

Same as it ever was.