By David Tuller, DrPH
Today is the official “hard launch” of Berkeley’s month of crowdfunding. The â€œsoft launchâ€ phase began last Wednesday, when the site actually went live. I posted the Trial By Error page that day on Facebook. As of this posting, I’ve already reached 27% of my goal, with almost $26,000 in donations!
Things started with a burst and have of course slowed down. So far there are 225 donations, with 92 from the UK and 38 from the US. (Two of the US donors share my last name, so those people had no choice but to donate; I assume there are more than 36 non-Tuller Americans who support my work!). Norway and Australia come next, with 29 and 15 donors, respectively. In the last two years, there were around 1000 donations each time. It would be great to overshoot that total this year. Every donation helps, and I think it is important to demonstrate strength in numbers.
Last year, Professor Sharpe gave a great boost to my efforts when he whined on twitter about what researchers like him have to put up with and then linked to a blog endorsing my crowdfunding. That blog of course included a link to the crowdfunding site, so my donations shot up in the next few days. Many thanked Professor Sharpe profusely on twitter for reminding them it was time to donate. I myself thanked him publicly, although he did not respond.
In a similar vein, my new crowdfunding campaign is basking in some timely buzz from last monthâ€™s Reuters slam piece on horrible patients and horrible me (and horrible Dr Myhill). Although the story was undoubtedly convincing to many unacquainted with the facts, it was larded throughout with bias, propaganda and nonsense. The reporter tried to discredit my work, falsely portraying me as a rogue actor with no apparent current academic affiliation or professional status. Luckily, while a big Reuters article can do some damage, it wonâ€™t save the reputation of the PACE trial, nor will it save the CBT/GET treatment paradigm.
The reaction of the patient and advocacy to the Reuters piece is certainly one reason why my current crowdfunding took off quickly. The anger and dismay triggered by this unfair portrayal of the patient community and me is likely to continue to fuel the effort through the month of April. Perhaps the reporter will help me out even more and write a follow-up before the 30th!
But whether she does or not, hereâ€™s where you can help fund me for another year of work on Trial By Error: