The ScienceBlogs Book Club

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski. That Orac has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 30 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

Respectful Insolenceā„¢ is a repository for the ramblings of the aforementioned surgeon/scientist concerning medicine and quackery, science and pseudoscience, history and pseudohistory, politics, and anything else that interests him (or pushes his buttons). Orac's motto is: "A statement of fact cannot be insolent." (OK, maybe it can be just a little bit insolent. Sometimes. OK, fairly often. Orac tries to keep his insolence respectful most of the time, but readily admits that he sometimes fails in cases of obvious quackery and pseudoscience, responding to personal attacks on him, examining poor critical thinking skills, bigotry or racism, and just general plain stupidity. When the stupidity to which Orac is responding reaches a certain very high level, he just can't help it and makes no apologies. You will know this is happening when Orac uses the phrase "the stupid, it burns" or some variant thereof.

To contact Orac: orac@scienceblogsllc.com

On Friday, while discussing what is perhaps the aspect of Autism’s False Prophets that is at the same time the most important set of observations (namely, how the media and government miscommunicate science and how the public seems hardwired to misunderstand science) and its most glaring omission (namely, suggestions how to overcome this problem), I…

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…

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…