July 5, 2006
Accreditation versus Membership versus It's A Nice Thing To Have On Your Website
Ben Goldacre has a typically fun-to-read piece on his efforts to pull back the curtain of an "registry" of nutritionists, some of whom are peddling nonsense.
A plaintiffs' expert in a case I was tangentially involved in featured fairly prominently on his CV his membership in some group relating to forensic pathology -- I don't remember which one. And, as expected, he noted that in his direct testimony, suggesting without quite saying that it was rather an honor.
On cross, the lead defense lawyer (apparently quite effectively) showed him the membership certificates that several members of the defense team had obtained -- without any relevant training -- by simply paying the membership fee.
Remember: the pretty initials after a name sometimes just mean that they've written a check.
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