Robert Bartholomew

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Robert Bartholomew
Born (1958-08-17) August 17, 1958 (age 60)
United States
ResidenceAuckland, New Zealand
Alma mater
OccupationMedical sociologist, writer, teacher
Years active1984–present
EmployerBotany Downs Secondary College, Auckland, New Zealand
Home townWhitehall, New York
Websiterobertebartholomew.com

Robert Bartholomew (born August 17, 1958) is an American medical sociologist, journalist and author living in New Zealand. He currently teaches history and social studies at Botany Downs Secondary College in Auckland, New Zealand and writes for several newspapers and journals on various sociological and fringe science topics, including Psychology Today,[1] Skeptical Inquirer,[2] and British magazines The Skeptic and Fortean Times.

He is an expert in fields such as mass hysteria and mass psychogenic illness[3] and is frequently consulted by media during current events of sociological phenomena such as incidences of suspected mass hysteria or panic.

Academic work[edit]

Bartholomew first obtained a radio broadcasting certificate studying at SUNY Adirondack in 1977 followed in 1979 by a bachelor degree in communications at Plattsburgh. By 1984 he had been awarded a masters degree in American sociology at SUNY.[4] In 1992 he gained a masters in Australian sociology from Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia followed by a doctorate in sociology from James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. Finally in 2001 he gained his teaching qualification from Upper Valley Teachers Institute in social studies.[4]

Bartholomew has also lived and worked in Malaysia and in 2009 worked in sociology at International University College of Technology.[5] In April 2010 he took up his present teaching position at Botany Downs Secondary College in Auckland, New Zealand.[4]

In 2012, Bartholomew published Australia's forgotten children: The corrupt state of education in the Northern Territory: A case study of educational apartheid at an aboriginal pretend school in which he uncovered human rights abuses of indigenous Australian aboriginal children who were being exposed to harmful asbestos in the Northern Territory with the knowledge of the Northern Territory Department of Education.[6]

Bartholomew's principal area of academic contribution is in the field of mass psychogenic illness, previously known as mass hysteria, both historical and present day cases, an area he has been studying for over 25 years.[7] He has written extensively about 600 notable instances including the Salem witch trials,[8] the 2011 Le Roy illness, which Bartholomew has described as "the first case of this magnitude to occur in the U.S. during the social networking era",[7] and present-day manifestations, most of which he has said have yet to be studied in-depth by sociologists.

As we enter the 21st century, epidemic hysteria will again mirror the times, likely thriving on the fear and uncertainty from terrorist threats and environmental concerns. What new forms it will take and when these changes will appear are beyond our capacity to predict.[9]

In 2016, Bartholomew investigated the 2012 case of an outbreak of hiccups in Danvers, Massachusetts (originally Old Salem village), in which 24 young people were stricken with apparently uncontrollable hiccups. After requesting and reviewing state documents from the original investigation, he concluded the most likely explanation was a psychogenic conversion disorder affecting the (predominantly) girls involved. He publicly stated the Massachusetts Department of Public Health had "knowingly issued an inaccurate, incomplete report...They have an obligation to issue accurate diagnoses, and patients have a right to know what made them sick" and filed official complaints of malpractice.[10]

Bartholomew has also drawn attention to the role of the internet in acting as an "echo chamber" for spreading moral outrage; for example on social media, pedophile allegations used as political weapons by supporters of the far right against liberal celebrities, which mirrors earlier public outrage which took the form of the Red Scare (particularly McCarthyism) and the Lavender scare against homosexuals in US government positions.[11]

Bartholomew is frequently interviewed as an expert on topics as diverse as the "Pokémon Panic" of 1997,[12] the spread of UFO conspiracy theories,[13] the 2016 clown panic (which he suggested was a moral panic fueled by social media in response to a fear of strangers and terrorism),[14] the viral spread of online fads such as Pokémon Go,[15] and the suspected sonic attacks on embassies in Cuba and China which began in 2017,[3][16][17][18][19][20] about which he said:

I am convinced that we are dealing with an episode of mass psychogenic illness and mass suggestion. If these same symptoms were reported among a group of factory workers in New York or London, I think you would get a very different diagnosis, and there would be no consideration to a sonic weapon hypothesis.[21] There is also another possibility to consider here: government officials trying to defend their initial diagnosis.[18]

In 2017, Bartholomew was elected a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.[22]

Publications[edit]

Bartholomew has written over 60 academic papers[23][better source needed] including:

  • Protean nature of mass sociogenic illness (2002) with Simon Wessely, British Journal of Psychiatry[24]
  • A social-psychological theory of collective anxiety attacks: the "Mad Gasser" reexamined (2004) with Jeffrey S. Victor, Sociological Quarterly[25]
  • Epidemic Hysteria in Schools: an international and historical overview (2006) with Francois Sirois, Educational Studies[26]
  • How Should Mental Health Professionals Respond to Outbreaks of Mass Psychogenic Illness? (2011) with M. Chandra Sekaran Muniratnam, Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy[27]
  • Mass psychogenic illness and the social network: is it changing the pattern of outbreaks? (2012) with G. James Rubin and Simon Wessely, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine[28]
  • Science for sale: the rise of predatory journals (2014), Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine[29]

He is also the author of several popular science and skeptical non-fiction books including:

  • Ufos & Alien Contact: Two Centuries of Mystery (1998) with George S. Howard[30]
  • Exotic Deviance: Medicalizing Cultural Idioms (2000)[31]
  • Little Green Men, Meowing Nuns and Head-Hunting Panics: A Study of Mass Psychogenic Illness and Social Delusion (2001)[32]
  • Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias: Why We Need Critical Thinking (2003) with Benjamin Radford[33]
  • Panic Attacks (2004) with Hilary Evans[34]
  • Bigfoot Encounters in New York & New England: Documented Evidence Stranger Than Fiction (2008) with Paul B. Bartholomew[35]
  • Outbreak! The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior (2009) with Hilary Evans[36]
  • The Martians Have Landed!: A History of Media-Driven Panics and Hoaxes (2011) with Benjamin Radford[37]
  • Australia's Forgotten Children: The Corrupt State of Education in the Northern Territory (2012)[38]
  • The Untold Story of Champ: A Social History of America's Loch Ness Monster (2012)[39]
  • Mass Hysteria in Schools: A Worldwide History Since 1566 (2014) with Bob Rickard[40]
  • A Colorful History of Popular Delusions (2015) with Peter Hassall[41]
  • American Hauntings: The True Stories behind Hollywood's Scariest Movies―from The Exorcist to The Conjuring (2015) with Joe Nickell[42]

In addition Bartholomew contributes to several newspapers and journals on various sociological and fringe science topics, including Psychology Today,[1] Skeptical Inquirer,[2] and British magazines The Skeptic and Fortean Times.

William Gibson in Mother Jones described Outbreak! The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior as "Essential reading for the era of Trump"[43] while Véronique Campion-Vincent described it as "exceptional in its scope...an indispensable working tool for researchers".[44] Michael Bywater in The Daily Telegraph described Panic Attacks as "a revealing historical corrective to the tempting view that media manipulation is a late-20th-century invention."[45]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Robert Bartholomew Ph.D." Psychology Today. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Robert E. Bartholomew". Skeptical Inquirer. Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b Bures, Frank (February 2018). "Cuba's Sonic Attacks Show Us Just How Susceptible Our Brains Are to Mass Hysteria". Slate. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Curriculum vitae". academia.edu. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  5. ^ Jacobs, Andrew (2009-07-29). "Chinese Workers Say Illness Is Real, Not Hysteria". New York Times. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Australia's Forgotten Children: The Corrupt State of Education in the Northern Territory". Teachers With Integrity. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  7. ^ a b Dimon, Laura (2013-09-11). "What Witchcraft Is Facebook?". The Atlantic. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  8. ^ DeCosta-Klipa, Nik. "The theory that may explain what was tormenting the afflicted in Salem's witch trials". Boston Globe. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  9. ^ Boissoneault, Lorraine. "How a Soap Opera Virus Felled Hundreds of Students in Portugal". Smithsonian. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  10. ^ Vergano, Dan. "The Hiccuping Girls Of Old Salem". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  11. ^ Tait, Amelia. "How the alt-right wields and weaponises accusations of paedophilia". New Statesman. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  12. ^ Radford, Benjamin. "The Pokémon Panic of 1997". CSICOP.org. CFI. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  13. ^ Gilbert, Samuel. "Aliens on the mind: Roswell and the UFO phenomenon". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  14. ^ Teague, Matthew (2016-10-08). "Clown sightings: the day the craze began". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  15. ^ Tsukayama, Hayley. "Pokémon Go and the lifespan of fads in the Internet age". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  16. ^ Borger, Julian; Jaekl, Philip (2017-10-12). "Mass hysteria may explain 'sonic attacks' in Cuba, say top neurologists". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  17. ^ Bartholomew, Robert E. (10 January 2018). ""Sonic Attack" Not Mass Hysteria, Says Top Doc—He's Wrong! (I'll stake my career on it)". Psychologytoday.com. Psychology Today. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  18. ^ a b Bartholomew, Robert E. (16 January 2018). "Sonic Attack Claims Are Unjustified: Just Follow the Facts". Csicop.org. CFI. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  19. ^ Bartholomew, Robert E. (2017-10-24). "THE "SONIC ATTACK" ON U.S. DIPLOMATS IN CUBA: Why the State Department's Claims Don't Add Up". Skeptic.com. Skeptic Magazine. Archived from the original on 25 October 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  20. ^ Hignett, Katherine (2017-12-16). "Mass Hysteria or Microwave Weapon—What's Behind the 'Sonic Attacks' on U.S. Diplomats in Cuba?". Newsweek. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  21. ^ Da Silva, Chantal (2018-01-11). "AS U.S. ACCUSES CUBA OF SONIC ATTACKS, CANADA KEEPS DIPLOMATS IN COUNTRY DESPITE MYSTERY ILLNESSES". Newsweek. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  22. ^ Fidalgo, Paul. "Committee for Skeptical Inquiry Elects Six New Fellows". Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  23. ^ "About me". RobertEBartholomew.com. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  24. ^ Bartholomew, Robert; Wessely, Simon (December 2001). "Protean nature of mass sociogenic illness" (PDF). British Journal of Psychiatry. 180: 300–306. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  25. ^ Bartholomew, Robert; Victor, Jeffrey S. (2004). "A social-psychological theory of collective anxiety attacks: the "Mad Gasser" reexamined". Sociological Quarterly. 45 (2): 229–248. doi:10.1111/j.1533-8525.2004.tb00011.x.
  26. ^ Bartholomew, Robert; Sirois, Francois (2006). "Epidemic Hysteria in Schools: an international and historical overview". Educational Studies. 22 (3): 285–311. doi:10.1080/0305569960220301.
  27. ^ Bartholomew, Robert; Muniratnam, M. Chandra Sekaran (2011). "How Should Mental Health Professionals Respond to Outbreaks of Mass Psychogenic Illness?". Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy. 25 (4): 235–239. doi:10.1891/0889-8391.25.4.235. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  28. ^ Bartholomew, Robert; Rubin, G. James; Wessely, Simon (2012). "Mass psychogenic illness and the social network: is it changing the pattern of outbreaks?". Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 105 (12): 509–512. doi:10.1258/jrsm.2012.120053. PMC 3536509. PMID 23288084.
  29. ^ Bartholomew, Robert E. (2014). "Science for sale: the rise of predatory journals". Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 107 (10): 384–385. doi:10.1177/0141076814548526. PMC 4206639. PMID 25271271.
  30. ^ Bartholomew, Robert; Howard, George S. (1998). Ufos & Alien Contact: Two Centuries of Mystery. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1573922005.
  31. ^ Bartholomew, Robert (2000). Exotic Deviance: Medicalizing Cultural Idioms. University Press of Colorado. ISBN 978-0870815973.
  32. ^ Bartholomew, Robert (2001). Little Green Men, Meowing Nuns and Head-Hunting Panics: A Study of Mass Psychogenic Illness and Social Delusion. McFarland and company. ISBN 978-0786409976.
  33. ^ Bartholomew, Robert; Radford, Benjamin (2003). Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias: Why We Need Critical Thinking. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1591020486.
  34. ^ Bartholomew, Robert; Evans, Hilary (2004). Panic Attacks. History Press. ISBN 978-0750937856.
  35. ^ Bartholomew, Paul B.; Bartholomew, Robert (2008-02-04). Bigfoot Encounters in New York & New England: Documented Evidence Stranger Than Fiction. Hancock House. ISBN 978-0888396525.
  36. ^ Bartholomew, Robert; Evans, Hilary (2009). Outbreak! The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior. Anomalist. ISBN 978-1933665252.
  37. ^ Bartholomew, Robert; Radford, Benjamin (2012). The Martians Have Landed!: A History of Media-Driven Panics and Hoaxes. McFarland and company. ISBN 978-0786464982.
  38. ^ Bartholomew, Robert (2012). Australia's forgotten children : the corrupt state of education in the Northern Territory : a case study of educational apartheid at an aboriginal pretend school. New Zealand: self published. ISBN 978-0473214470. OCLC 801060640.
  39. ^ Bartholomew, Robert (2012). The Untold Story of Champ: A Social History of America's Loch Ness Monster. Excelsior / State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-1438444840.
  40. ^ Bartholomew, Robert; Rickard, Bob (2014). Mass hysteria in schools: A worldwide history since 1566. McFarland and Company. ISBN 978-0786478880.
  41. ^ Bartholomew, Robert; Hassall, Peter (2015). A Colorful History of Popular Delusions. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1633881228.
  42. ^ Bartholomew, Robert; Nickell, Joe (2015). American Hauntings: The True Stories behind Hollywood's Scariest Movies―from The Exorcist to The Conjuring. Praeger: Greenwood Publishing. ISBN 978-1440839689.
  43. ^ Gibson, William. "William Gibson's Resistance Reading". Mother Jones. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  44. ^ Campion-Vincent, Véronique (2009). "Compte-Rendu de Outbreak! Hilary Evans et Robert Bartholomew 2009". Sociétés - Revue des Sciences Sociales et Humaines. 108 (2): 136–138. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  45. ^ Bywater, Michael (2005-07-31). "We are all actors now". The Telegraph. Retrieved 27 February 2018.