Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Editor's Choice

A tough nut to crack

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 27 January 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:0-h

Rapid Response:

Judgment is reserved, for now.

Dear Sir,

Those of us who have watched the BMJ for a long time, saw the hand of
a Richard Smith, who is no longer, as the stabilizing force. Or perhaps,
as you might have it.. the nutcracker.

Recent changes of both nutcracker and policies, have caused a minor
hiccup in my breathing.

I can no longer say with surity, that the BMJ will continue to be a
hard nut to crack. How do I know that the new broom isn't some cheaper
version that might occasionally crack at the handle base, on a
particularly difficult, and troublesome task.

Pharmaceuticals may have been right, that the BMJ was once upon a
time, a hard nut to crack, but the odds are back to zero/zero once again.
Trust is earned, not handed down as a legacy.

Only history will tell, if the new editors have the intestinal
fortitude of the past editors.

Already, regarding one study you mention (the Copenhagen study), I
have growing doubts. People who know epidemiology flaws better than I do,
are huddled in furious discussion. So, its a bit early to state that
papers in this issue, or any future issue, will turn out to be as
exemplary as you would have us think.

Reputation is only built on what went before, under different

Lets just wait and see, on all points, shall we?

Hilary Butler.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

28 January 2005
Hilary Butler
freelance jounalist
home, 1892, New Zealand.