Science of Eating Disorders (SEDs) is dedicated to critically evaluating peer-reviewed eating disorder research and making it more accessible to the public. SEDs is also dedicated to ending the myths that surround eating disorders and those affected by them. SEDs’ goal is more than just a one-way dissemination of research.What makes SEDs unique is that all posts are written by individuals with a history of eating disorders and a science/social science background. This means that posts often include personal thoughts on living with an eating disorder and recovery. The goal is to foster an interaction between bloggers, researchers, clinicians, families, patients, and interested readers. The idea is to foster meaningful conversations that ultimately enrich the content of the website.
Science of Eating Disorders (SEDs) is dedicated to making peer-reviewed eating disorder research more accessible to the public.
At the present time, the specific goals include:
- To provide accurate and easy to understand critical analysis of the findings in eating disorder research
- To provide first-person adult perspectives on the experience of struggling with and recovering from an eating disorder in the context of the research discussed
- To provide a platform for contributors to write about peer-reviewed literature of interest to them
- To enable readers to provide meaningful feedback, ask questions or seek clarification, share their own experiences
Along with what SEDs is about, it is also important to state what you WILL NOT find:
- endorsement or promotion of any specific treatment, a particular way to recover, or what recovery means:
- SEDs writers will critically analyse treatment studies because it is important to know what doesn’t work, what is more likely to work and for what subset of patients (i.e., evidence-based medicine), but no study will ever show 100% efficacy and no treatment will work for everyone. Treatment studies can’t look in-depth into family dynamics, relationships, friendships, life history and circumstances, and so on. SEDs is about critical and thoughtful translation and dissemination of research findings. What SEDs bloggers will discount is pseudoscience that doesn’t work because it can’t work given the laws of physics and chemistry: homeopathy, reflexology, faith healing and so on…
- discounting ideas/hypotheses because they have yet to be empirically supported:
- Just because it hasn’t been tested doesn’t mean it is invalid, and just because someone didn’t find grant money to fund a particular study doesn’t mean it is untenable. All SEDs bloggers have personal experiences with eating disorders and naturally, we have lots of ideas and hypotheses based on personal experiences. Conversely, SEDs won’t blindly accept something as fact just because it is published: peer-review is good but it is not perfect, not even close. And scientific research is a process, not a bunch of facts.
- discounting findings that don’t support our biases or what we wish to be true:
- Never, ever, ever. Indeed, our goal is the exact opposite: to identify and evaluate inconsistent and contradictory evidence. Science does not and cannot move forward without critical thinking and criticism.
Please keep in mind that I try to give as much freedom as possible to contributors to write about whatever interests them. That means that we don’t all necessary agree; there is no joint agenda. My primary reason for wanting blog contributors is to broaden the content and vary the writing styles. And perhaps more importantly, to negate the individual biases we all bring to the table. What we share in common is our desire to understand, summarize, and disseminate peer-reviewed eating disorder literature.
I did not do research in the field of eating disorders, human genetics, brain imaging , or most of what I write about. I studied synaptic development, neuronal polarity, and locomotor circuitry in C. elegans during my MSc and hippocampal memory formation in mice during my BSc. That means I’ll probably get stuff wrong (or not quite right). While I do have a degree in neuroscience and have taken many courses in cellular, molecular, and behavioural neuroscience, as well as some molecular biology and genetics, I may misinterpret results, miss obvious flaws in the methodology, and so on. If I make a mistake, please leave a comment or email me.