Talk:Bastyr University

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17 Aug 2005: I changed "Juanita" to "Inglewood/Finn Hill" as the name of the Kenmore neighbourhood referenced in this article. Juanita is the neighbourhood in Kirkland at the southern foot of Finn Hill. Inglewood/Finn Hill is the name used by the U.S. Census Bureau for the sizable unincorporated area of Finn Hill. Although Bastyr University lies barely within the city limits of Kenmore, it is still locally considered a part of this neighbourhood.

Bastyr + Wiki can be friends[edit]

Discussion happens between Bastyr people and students and the Wikipedia community from time to time. Sourcing can be improved but for alternative medicine Bastyr is a leading institution which teaches more evidence-based medicine than almost any other alternative medicine school anywhere. Wikipedia's rules are paramount and everyone has to follow the rules, so the usual rule of "only add information backed by published reliable sources" always applies. Beyond the rules and thinking about social relationships, my own opinion is that Bastyr has the potential to be a leading light in how alternative medicine standards are kept high in Wikipedia. I know that the wiki community gets exhausted from dealing with cranks, paid-alt-med product promoters, and aggressive people who refuse to follow wiki rules, but please give Bastyr people a chance. It is hostile to say things like "fringe, pseudoscientific university". I know how difficult it is dealing with pseudoscience in Wikipedia, but if Wikipedia were to attract a partner in this space, it might be Bastyr. They have had light discussions with WikiProject Medicine members over the years and at least some people there have WP:MEDRS-compliant information to share. Many or most people in the world use some form of alternative medicine. "Fringe" is not the right word for many forms of alt-med, because alt med is everywhere as part of culture. I would like for wiki to have reputable friends in this space, and Bastyr is among the most likely candidates for a sane and beneficial partnership. They have smart staff, students who study very hard, and are grounded with a physical campus location and regulation from many stakeholders who oversee their conservative instruction. If anyone needs support please ask at WikiProject Medicine for guidance. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:57, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

  • Can you please cite the reliable sources that support the way you characterized Bastyr? Delta13C (talk) 18:53, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
the campus
Delta13C I am unwilling to try to do that at this time. It is a bit inappropriate for you to say "For pseudoscientific topics, such as this institution", because name-calling and driving the discussion into negativity does not advance the conversation. This is a school which encourages critical thinking and especially among alt med learning institutions, their willingness to incorporate traditional science is admirable. I am sharing an image here to demonstrate that they have many stakeholders funding their nonprofit mission and have been able to navigate criticism with campuses in cities with high educational standards. It is unusual for a school like this to have a campus, much less such a nice one. I would like to keep this talk page friendly and open to discussion. You might have seen that the criticism section in this article is mostly without reliable sources that talk about the school, so if you would like to cite reliable sources to support the way you characterize the school, then you could if you felt that would help. I just want a more positive environment here, and I would love for Wikipedia to eventually attract an alt med scholar to participate in WikiProject Medicine. There has never been one. Blue Rasberry (talk) 01:13, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
I am sorry, but it should seem completely obvious to anyone who supports actual science that naturopathy is pseudoscience. If Bastyr adopted the scientific method, then it would stop teaching naturopathy, and begin teaching evidence based medicine instead. Stating the consensus of reliable sources is not hostile. It is precisely what we do as encyclopedists. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 07:23, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
I understand the hostility because of all the years of hundreds of alt med disagreements on wiki. I am not saying that anyone should hold Bastyr to a lower standard than other orgs on wiki. I am asking to back off on the aggression of telling others about what is "completely obvious" and what is "pseudoscience". This wiki talk page is not the place to have discussions, so I want to be mindful of the need to wrap up this side conversation even though I am still writing.
The US Federal Government has an alt med division in NIH and they say 30 percent of adults use alt med. The popularity of alt med and the government support it has is evidence that alt med is not marginal practice, even if it includes less-robust science. Wiki needs allies in this space that will share evidence-based scientific medical information. One defense of naturopathy and alt med generally is that it teaches fair scepticism of the medical industry. Conventional medicine embraces pseudoscientific beliefs that direct-to-consumer advertising and pharmaceutical marketing to health care providers do not cause unnecessary health care. They do; and the relationship between corporate sales and conventional medicine in the United States is anti-scientific and results in outcomes which other countries would not tolerate. Bastyr is in the United States where such issues are a problem. When evidence-based medicine recommends lifestyle changes, naturopaths more successfully place patients into treatments like diet and exercise when conventional doctors experience pressure to sell industry-marketed products and services.
I would like to keep this talk page a friendly place to attract anyone from Bastyr to come to wiki. Everyone has to follow wiki rules, and I know there are historical tensions about alt med, but somehow wiki needs friends from this space to serve the needs of the many people who read wiki. Among alt med institutions, Bastyr is one of the more likely to share evidence-based health information. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:52, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Blue Rasberry, You should take a look at how the NCCIH's definition of CAM causes it to overestimate the prevalence of alt-med. Regardless, the prevalence of CAM has nothing to do with this article on Bastyr, naturopathic medicine, or that alt-med is quackery. How do you know what you are saying about Bastyr being a bastion of science? I also want to point out that "direct to consumer advertising" or "pharmaceutical marketing" is not an issue of pseudoscience or being anti-science. These are business strategies that have problems and are controversial. Delta13C (talk) 15:53, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

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Information Box[edit]

Hello. I am an agent for Bastyr and would like to make the following minor edits.

President: Harlan Patterson (Source: President and Leadership, Provost: Dave Rule (Source: Leadership Team, Remove 'Academic Staff' information Remove 'Administrative Staff' information Students: 1,205 (Fall 2017) Use the English spelling of 'Colors' (instead of 'Colours') — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dblanton03 (talkcontribs) 20:55, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Article Neutrality & Possible Changes[edit]

Hello. I am acting as an Agent of Bastyr. We would like to begin a respectful dialogue concerning the language used in certain portions of the page. After speaking with a representative of Wikipedia, who agree that this posting does not fully advance Wikipedia's Five Pillars, we are now reaching out to the editors to discuss how we can make constructive changes to the page, while still presenting a neutral view of the school. We will address each point one by one and hope to engage editors in discussion to gain a consensus and edit the page accordingly. First, we would like to address the introduction. Not only do the propositions cited rely on blogs as credible sources, but the language is inflammatory and does not appear neutral. There is a 'Criticisms' section specifically created for this type of contribution (though credible sources are still needed, and Quackwatch is not a credible source). We propose the following change to the introduction: "Bastyr University is a natural health arts and sciences with campuses in Kenmore, Washington, and San Diego, California. Academic degree and certificate programs include naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and East Asian medicine, nutrition, herbal sciences, ayurvedic sciences, health psychology, midwifery, integrated human biology, exercise science, holistic landscape design, and public health. Each of Bastyr’s programs endeavor to improve health through prevention and self-healing processes, relying on healthy living principles, and on a therapeutic order of interventions that emphasize the basic determinants of health first. Bastyr University is the largest university for the natural health arts and sciences field in the U.S., combining a multidisciplinary curriculum with leading-edge research and clinical training to educate future leaders in these fields. The University's academic and research programs have received international recognition for pioneering work in science-based natural medicine." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dblanton03 (talkcontribs) 20:43, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

What you've done there is to confuse Wikipedia with a sales brochure. We follow reliable source and abide by WP:FRINGE when it comes to fringe content (on topics like naturopathy, acupuncture, etc.). Bottom line: Wikipedia is going to remain neutral (in the WP:NPOV sense) and will not be falling into the WP:GEVAL fallacy to promote quackery with marketing clichés as you propose. WP:PSCI policy requires us to call out nonsenses for what they are. Alexbrn (talk) 20:59, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Thank you for your feedback, Alexbrn. I understand what Wikipedia is and how it is to be used. Particularly, that under WP:Fringe, "... lack of consideration or acceptance does not necessarily imply rejection, either; ideas should not be portrayed as rejected or carry negative labels such as pseudoscience unless such claims can be documented in reliable sources." What I have stated is that the sources used to support the second and third paragraphs of the introduction are not reliable sources. If editors care to provide unbiased, neutral sources, I would love to continue this discussion. Additionally, the Wikipedia Five Pillars require that editors treat each other with respect and civility. We would appreciate your adherence to this when responding. There is no need for hostility. This is a professional discussion and our attempt to reach a amenable conclusion for Bastyr and the Wikipedia community. Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dblanton03 (talkcontribs) 21:51, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Quackwatch has repeatedly been found by the community to be a reliable source on the topic of health fraud/quackery etc. There is no requirement at all for sources to be "neutral". BTW, you need to declare your conflict of interest on your user page to avoid breaching the Terms of Use here. Also who is "we"? Alexbrn (talk) 21:57, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Hello again Alexbrn. Thank you for your response. I am again raising the topic of whether Quackwatch is a reliable source and have opened up the discussion. I believe there must be input from more than one editor on the topic. Thank you for advising me of my responsibility to declare my conflict of interest. Wikipedia advised that I need only declare my conflict within the text page, which I have done above in the first entry. "We" = agent(s) for Bastyr. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dblanton03 (talkcontribs) 23:08, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Various other sources that appear to be reliable are also used, not only QuackWatch. The latter would only be problematic if it contradicted other reliable sources on the topic. "After speaking with a representative of Wikipedia, who agree that this posting does not fully advance Wikipedia's Five Pillars, we are now reaching out to the editors to discuss how we can make constructive changes to the page, while still presenting a neutral view of the school." You are indeed at the right place to suggest improvements, but there is no indication that the article conflicts with the five pillars. —PaleoNeonate – 00:06, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
A look at multiple discussions about Quackwatch on WP will make the accuracy of Alexbrn's comment plain. PaleoNeonate has pointed out that other reliable sources support the content based on Quackwatch. I agree with both of them and ask, what in particular seems to conflict with the five pillars? MrBill3 (talk) 05:50, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
  • I challenge the claim "After speaking with a representative of Wikipedia, who agree that this posting does not fully advance Wikipedia's Five Pillars". Please post the name of this "representative of Wikipedia". Was this a question posted somewhere on Wikipedia? Was it a phone call? --Guy Macon (talk) 16:36, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm afraid that The OP is going to be disappointed, but wikipedias editing policy will not allow us to use their suggestion in the lead of the article. According to policy, the lead is supposed to be a summary of the body text, and the proposal in the opening post to this thread does not do that at all. So no, i'm afraid.
May I suggest that OP works on incremental suggestions of changes to the body text, backed by reliable sources. If the body text is appropriate then changes to the lead could be made. Note that the particularly egregious claim of "with leading-edge research and clinical training" is probably going to be impossible to source, as is "pioneering work in science-based natural medicine."
Because the OP is an admitted meatpuppet, and probably a paid editor, a proper declaration should also be made on their user page. Note that the "declaration" on this page is totally inadequate. Also note that multiple use of a single account is against our Terms of Use that all editors here, including the OP, have agreed to when creating their accounts. -Roxy the dog. barcus 17:39, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
In addition, writing "Additionally, the Wikipedia Five Pillars require that editors treat each other with respect and civility. We would appreciate your adherence to this when responding. There is no need for hostility. This is a professional discussion and our attempt to reach a amenable conclusion for Bastyr and the Wikipedia community." when nobody has shown any hint of disrespect or incivility leads me to consider the possibility that we are dealing with The Terrible Sea Lion.[1] --Guy Macon (talk) 18:13, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

I don't think it is at all controversial nor inflammatory to identify the fact that many, if not the overwhelming majority, of alternative medicine modalities have been characterized by WP:MAINSTREAM sources as pseudoscience. We have plenty of high-quality WP:FRIND-appropriate sources to that effect both in this article and in other articles. The OP would be wise to ask those at his institution to do the hard work of getting their therapies and treatments vetted in high-quality journals with mechanisms described and verified in peer-reviewed articles in flagship academic sources (Nature, Science, NEJM, etc.). Then we'll be happy to change the content to reflect the consensus view. Until then, the best we have are the indications of those professional scientists, medical doctors, and educators who have bothered to comment on the situation. I see almost zero sources that indicate that Bastyr is teaching scientifically verified techniques. Feel free to show me sources that say otherwise! jps (talk) 18:10, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

Thanks so much for all of the responses. What we wanted most was an open dialogue. I will be sure to update my user page accordingly so that we can move past that discussion. I like the idea of incremental suggestions to the body of the text, supported by reliable sources. I will provide shortly. Thanks!— Preceding unsigned comment added by Dblanton03 (talkcontribs) 20:10, 14 November 2017 (UTC) Thank you to all Editors who have engaged in this discussion. As previously suggested, we would like to suggest incremental changes to the Bastyr page (and associated reliable sources where needed). As the introduction paragraphs are the source of the greatest debate, we will start with the easier suggestions for updates:

1. Information Panel - President: Harlan Patterson (Source: President and Leadership, Provost: Dave Rule (Source: Leadership Team, Remove 'Academic Staff' information Remove 'Administrative Staff' information Students: 1,205 (Fall 2017) Use the English spelling of 'Colors' (instead of 'Colours') 2. History – Update the number of founders from three to four and include Sheila Quinn. 3. Doctoral Programs – Update the list to read: • Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine • Naturopathic Medicine 4. Master’s Programs – Update the list to read: • Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine • Ayurvedic Sciences (Program began in fall 2013) • Counseling Psychology • Maternal Child Health Systems • Midwifery • Nutrition • Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology • Nutrition for Wellness • Public Health 5. Combined bachelor’s/masters programs – Update list to read: • Acupuncture or Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine • Midwifery 6. Certificate programs – Delete “Chinese Herbal Medicine” Dblanton03 (talk) 00:58, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

I wondering why we list programme content at all. Without secondary coverage isn't this undue and WP:NOT encyclopedic. Suggest this is all removed. Alexbrn (talk) 06:01, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
I completely agree that the list of programs should be removed. If readers want to know what specifically the school has to offer, then they can go to the school's website. I could not find examples of listing program content for other universities w/ WP articles. Delta13C (talk) 11:40, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
Alexbrn and Delta13C, can you please address each numbered item in turn? The group has suggested an itemized list of changes, so can we go through the list? Thus far, I hear no objection to updating the Information Panel and History. You both have issues with listing the degrees offered, but other schools' Wikipedia pages do indeed list such information ([1], [2], [3], [4], and many others). Look forward to your reply. Thanks!Dblanton03 (talk) 13:52, 17 November 2017 (UTC)


Yes, those other ones look problematic too for listing course content. I don't see any issue with updating the data items in the infobox, though all must be sourced. Alexbrn (talk) 14:00, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
There is no requirement to address proposed changes per the listing of the editor suggesting the changes. In regard to listing program content I concur with Alexbrn. If no reliable source finds it notable enough to publish, it doesn't belong in the encyclopedia. Providing examples can be valuable, but note the essay WP:Other stuff exists. The primary guidance comes from policy, content must be verifiable by a reliable source. In any article where content is controversial the first rule of thumb is independent reliable third party sources. In regard to the updating the president and provost, I suppose the school's website is an adequate ref for that info, although since things have changed very recently an official announcement or better a third party source would be better.
No sources were provided for any changes other than the president and provost. Without sources I don't see support for any other changes.MrBill3 (talk) 14:13, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
Further to Alex and Bill's comments, I feel that Dblanton is taking advantage of our good faith WP:AGF (Read that DB) by requesting edits from us before making a COI declaration as promised. I'm always suspicious of editors with a clear and obvious WP:COI who wont make a proper declaration as it feels like a lend is being taken. -Roxy the dog. barcus 19:11, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
I understand that there is no requirement to address proposed changes per the listing of the editor suggesting changes. After a great suggestion above, I provided an itemized list of changes. It is definitely helping to work through the proposed changes. Sources are as follows - President source [1]; Provost [2]; Sheila Quinn [3]; Programs [4]. Roxy, I made a proper declaration in my profile yesterday. I stated who I was and that I had a COI.Dblanton03 (talk) 19:45, 17 November 2017 (UTC)


I checked before I posted, and no declaration had been made, just an inadequate sentence, viz - "Conflict Disclosure: My name is A.T. and I am an agent of Bastyr." Please read WP:COI and WP:PAID. -Roxy the dog. barcus 08:12, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree a policy compliant COI disclosure should be posted. MrBill3 (talk) 13:07, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree as well. Detailed instructions are at Wikipedia:Conflict of interest#How to disclose a COI. --Guy Macon (talk) 13:11, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the instructions, Guy Macon! I have updated my Userpage accordingly. Are we in consensus regarding the information panel and history changes given the sources I have cited? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dblanton03 (talkcontribs) 16:29, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm still not seeing a proper declaration. Quote: "You must declare who is paying you, who the client is, and any other relevant role or relationship" [my bold]. Alexbrn (talk) 16:51, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

With all due respect (I usually agree with you on most things) I must disagree. Template:UserboxCOI clearly states "Placing this tag on a user's Userpage will satisfy the requirement of the WP:COI subsection 'Declaring an interest'." It is not fair to fault Dblanton03 for following the instruction on the page I referred him to. If those instruction are wrong, we need to fix the instructions.
A related question is whether Dblanton03 should have followed the "General COI" or "Paid editors" instructions at Wikipedia:Conflict of interest#How to disclose a COI. A person could be "an agent of Bastyr" on his own time without being instructed to do so by his boss or being paid specifically for editing Wikipedia. If he is, say, a salaried staff member or professor who decided to edit Wikipedia without being told to do so, the General COI declaration is fine. If, on the other hand, he is a consultant or part of a PR firm hired to edit the Bastyr Wikipedia page (we have all seen the ads offering that service) then the paid editors disclosure would be required. We need to tread lightly here to avoid violating Dblanton03's privacy. He doesn't have to reveal any personal information if he isn't actually being paid to edit Wikipedia, and if he is being paid to edit Wikipedia, all he has to reveal is who is paying him and what they are paying him to do. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:21, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
The userbox instructions are wrong/incomplete. I am now more confused by Dblanton03's status that I was when they declared he was "an agent" of Bastyr. The relevant guidance is WP:COI/WP:PAID. If paid (which I assuming is the case for an "agent"), the things this user must disclose are as I indicated. Note this article has a history of conflicted contributors. Alexbrn (talk) 20:50, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

Additional sources to work-in[edit]

  • Low admissions standards
  • Inadequate coursework to be a competent medical provider
  • Bastyr is threatening to sue blogger Britt Hermes for allegedly defaming the school.
  • On speaking about Bastyr and other ND schools, Edzard Ernst says, "These schools of quackery operate like cults. People are being brainwashed with books, by peers, through media and so forth."
  • Bastyr is not accredited by the same body that accredits US medical schools.
  • Lots of bio details on the blogger and her experiences at the school. (Likely not relevant for Bastyr's article.)
  • Bastyr president Powell steps down due to health concerns. (Should update infobox.)

I scanned for more sources but could not find any that are not cited in the article.

There was this puff peice which is "paid for by sponsors or the nonprofits featured here. They are not products of Voice of San Diego’s editorial staff," so ineligble for inclusion. It's funny, kind of reads a lot like the writings of the user who appears to be "The Terrible Sea Lion." Delta13C (talk) 21:01, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

  • "Bastyr University, a school of alternative medicine, which, like naturopathy itself, is the subject of constant criticism for promoting medical beliefs with no scientific basis (and in Bastyr’s case, for dubious academic practices as well)."
  • Discusses Peter J. D’Adamo, who is the inventor of the blood type diet. He was in Bastyr's first graduating class. I suppose he can be added to the list of notable alumni. The article discusses how his ideas are scientifically bunk. Delta13C (talk) 11:39, 17 November 2017 (UTC)