The ScienceBlogs Book Club

Archives for October, 2008

AFP author–DAY3

As the hypotheses shift… It’s now been about ten years since vaccines were first blamed to be the cause of autism. First, it was the MMR vaccine. The mechanism by which this vaccine was supposed to cause autism was ill conceived. Measles vaccine virus was proposed to replicate in the intestine causing chronic inflammation and…

Orac in his first post about Autism’s False Prophets by Dr. Paul Offit wondered at the book’s chapter 5. Chapter 5 is entitled “Mercury Rising” and is (quoting Orac) a ‘”straightforward and relatively uncritical recitation of the ‘science’ used by antivaccinationists to show that mercury causes autism.” Noting that he has “read and analyzed many…

How to Reach People

In his entry today, Orac asks the question “How can we physicians and scientists deal with antivaccinationism? What “frames” can we use to combat the likes of Jenny McCarthy?”. This is an excellent question. I understand exactly why Dr. Offit did not cover this in his book: I think he had a very specific remit…

Framing vaccines

Note: The central idea for this post is the same as that of a post I did a few months ago. However, given some of the assertions and comments made by Dr. Offit in Autism’s False Prophets, I thought they were worth discussing again, especially given how many readers are around who aren’t regular readers…

In his post today, Dr. Offit raises the point that is at the heart of the matter for me. A couple of bloggers praised the book for its tone, that I never appeared to get angry at the false prophets described in the book. The reason for that is that I’m not the father of…

AFP author–DAY 2

I want to thank all of you who took the time to read the book and comment. Many of you had kind things to say about the writing and content, clearly understanding what I was trying to do and why I did it. I’ll try and answer as many questions that were directed at me…

Deconstructing David Kirby. This is the title of one of two follow-up posts that Dr. Rahul Parikh wrote after reviewing Dr. Paul Offit’s Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure and getting the usual treatment by the usual “anti-vaccine/pro-vaccine-safety/mercury militia” suspects: A smackdown by the likes of David Kirby…

Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste… Well, not really. I might have one of the two. Or not. Be that as it may, I’m Orac, and I blog regularly at Respectful Insolence. In the more than two and a half years I’ve been with ScienceBlogs (not to mention…

Why this book is so important

In June of 2003, I opened my blog with these words: Megan was born on 17-02-00 weighing slightly more than usual. The first few months of her life were totally normal- we didn’t feel concerned about her health or well-being at all. That changed however when she had her DTP jab. I know there’s been…

My name is Paul Offit. I’m the chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and my published expertise is in the area of vaccine safety and rotavirus-specific immune responses. (I’m the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq). I’ve written a book about the vaccine-autism controversy titled AUTISM’S FALSE PROPHETS:…