Information science and transparency

Almost 2 months have passed since I first wrote to Minevation Ltd and I have had no reply. I have therefore decided to share my communications [see below]:

Subject: Please might you answer these questions about Minervation Ltd and ‘The Mental Elf’

Tuesday 23rd July 2019.

Dear André,
I sent this e-mail (see below) to your business partner two weeks ago and have had no reply as yet. Perhaps Douglas is on holiday?

I would be grateful if either you or Douglas would answer these questions about your business. To be clear I fully support business but follow GMC and Royal College Guidance that science and medical education requires transparency and, if there is any doubt about any potential financial conflicts of interest, to err on disclosing all: openly and fully. Unfortunately my experience is that academics and doctors will often taint such necessary openness by stating that asking for such is “ad hominem”.

Can you also confirm if Minervation Ltd and The Mental Elf support sunshine legislation or not? You will be aware that the Royal College of Psychiatrists feels that this is “a matter for the Government” – a response which most people that I have spoken to find concerning.

I look forward to a response. I will be writing about this general issue on my blog whether I hear from you or not. If I do not hear from you I will outline in my blog the questions that I have asked but have had no answer to.

Kindest wishes

Peter Gordon
Bridge of Allan

Subject: Minervation Ltd

9th July 2019

Hi Douglas,
I do hope you are well.

I noticed this tweet by you is being widely shared on social media:
“As you may know, @Mental_Elf does live streaming from research conferences, so that people who can’t go can still follow. YouTube’s rule change means he needs 1k followers on YT to keep it free. Please follow him on YouTube. Only 53 more needed! Thanks.”

I do hope that you reach the 1000.

Not everybody might be clear of the link with Minervation Ltd and that you are Co-Director. Can you please confirm that Minervation Ltd makes no profit whatsoever from this live-streaming venture – either directly or indirectly?

Can you please confirm if the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has approved Minervation/Mental Elf’s strapline:


I ask these questions as I share Minervation’s determination to do all that we can to ensure evidence-based science. To do this we all need to encourage full transparency. Given that Minervation Ltd does not support Sunshine legislation, and for a number of other ethical and scientific reasons, it is my view that your business strapline is misleading.

I look forward to a reply.

Hope all is well for you.

Aye Peter Gordon
Bridge of Allan

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