I hesitated about whether to post this, knowing how many antivaccine activists read this blog, which is why I didn’t post it yesterday. Still, I think this might be of sufficient interest to my readers that I thought I’d announce it, just with relatively short notice.

It turns out that today’s Science Friday with Ira Flatow features a discussion of childhood vaccines, complete with an appearance by a man whom antivaccinationists consider the Dark Lord of Vaccination himself, Dr. Paul Offit. It’s on at 2 PM, and I’m told that Dr. Offit will be in the 2:20 to 2:40 PM segment, but I generally like to listen to the whole show when I can. Also, if you miss the show, you can always catch it later when it’s released on the Science Friday podcast.


  1. #1 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 29, 2008


  2. #2 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 29, 2008

    The first caller Shantel is a peach.

  3. #3 Natalie
    August 29, 2008

    One of the things I hate most about working 9-5 is that I miss Science Friday. I’ll have to catch it online later today.

  4. #4 Orac
    August 29, 2008

    Actually, I missed it; so I’ll have to do the same thing. My 1:30 PM meeting went way, way over…

  5. #5 Dean
    August 29, 2008

    Yes, Shantel was a winner. I truly believe she is concerned about the health of her children, but her heels were sunk so deeply into stupidity and lack of reason it was quite sad. She commented that her children would be vaccinated “on her schedule” – I am very afraid that is code for “there is no way my children will ever be vaccinated”.
    Very, very sad.

  6. #6 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    August 29, 2008

    “on her schedule”


    Just the same I think I’ll be performing the Labrum repair surgery on my wifes shoulder using the technique I find appropriate.

  7. #7 Ms. Clark
    August 29, 2008

    Shantell, or Chantal, or whatever her name was was a perfect example of people who think they know something but have a head full of false ideas and who aren’t gunna let go. She basically said that there is no concomitant vaccine research so no one knows what effect 4 or 5 vaccines at a time have. Offit told her that there were hundreds or even a thousand (I think he said, “high hundreds or a thousand”) of such studies and she said, “I don’t believe it.”

    Ira Flatow basically got the last word in, saying, “Well, that’s what we’re up against, isn’t it? People who won’t listen to what the science says or what the experts say.” Dr. Offit said something like, “I don’t think Shantel is representative of the majority of parents.”

    He also said something like, if Shantel could meet the scientists who are making the decisions and doing the research that she would see that they weren’t trying to participate in a huge conspiracy to cover up problems with vaccines or make money for pharmaceuticals, but because she is so distant from the decision making process it’s easy for her to be suspicious of it. Shantell was a little snotty, but was trying to keep her temper, as far as I could tell. Offit was very nice to her and professional… which of course, must mean he’s one of the Illuminati or something, if you ask the antivax wingnuts.

  8. #8 Bruce Small
    August 29, 2008

    Vaccinating on your schedule will work just fine as long as you can get the diseases to appear on your schedule. If they show up unexpectedly, as they tend to do, you’re sort of out of luck, now aren’t you.

  9. #9 Melissa (oddharmonic)
    August 29, 2008

    The program run-down and in-line browser audio for Talk of the Nation (ergo Science Friday) usually goes up between 5 and 7 PM Eastern on the NPR site.

    I totally agree with Offit’s comment on distance from the decision-making process making suspicion easier and I think it’s true of many organizations. I’ve explained to many parents exactly what our school’s PTA provides for the students above and beyond the school district (e.g., an additional field trip per year for all grades), where the money goes in our Cub Scout pack, and so on. As always, facts and verifiable sources only go as far as people’s willingness to believe them.

  10. #10 SLC
    August 29, 2008

    I’m sure that the moron calling herself Ms. Dawn will be along to inform us as to her opinion of Dr Offit.

  11. #11 Uncle Dave
    August 29, 2008

    SLC said;
    “I’m sure that the moron calling herself Ms. Dawn will be along to inform us as to her opinion of Dr Offit.”

    You know I have been following some of the previous topics every now and then and I find it awfully amusing, kind of like an Abbott and Costello routine really, with dawn playing Lew Costello

    Who’s on first?
    Thats!!!!! what I’m asking!!!!!

  12. #12 listener
    August 30, 2008
  13. #13 anonimouse
    August 30, 2008

    Not to go too far on a tangent, but I’ve never understood the stupid argument that vaccines are not tested in combination with other vaccines. Since all clinical trials require accepted standards of care, and vaccines are part of that accepted standard, it would stand to reason that the new vaccine is tested with all the others.

    But again, we’re not dealing with logical people here.

  14. #14 Liz Ditz
    August 30, 2008

    I listened via the podcast.

    I wish Ira Flatow had asked the caller [Chantal or Shantell or however she spells her name] to specify exactly what research design would address her fears.

    If the caller had specified what would allay her fears, then Dr. Offit could have said something more precise, such as, “well, there are X studies with N=Y that address your concerns.”

  15. #15 isles
    August 31, 2008

    As exasperating as the antivax mommy was, she made a perfect example of why it’s hard for science to make a dent in irrational beliefs.

  16. #16 eddie
    August 31, 2008

    &glI was looking for info on Palin’s stance on vaccination and found this;

    which seems pretty pro. I also found this from cafemom . com as commentry on the above;

    by nursetroutt on Aug. 29, 2008 at 4:32 PM

    Thanks, just read this. Wasn’t her baby with Down’s born a month after this was signed? Maybe in doing research on special needs kids, she has been enlightened. Let’s all hope and pray.

    by StarMommy77 on Aug. 29, 2008 at 4:38 PM
    Even if she were Anti-vaccine, it would not be enough to give them my vote.
    I feel Obama is strong enough to throw the special intrest groups and the lobbyists out on their asses.

    by Sadez on Aug. 31, 2008 at 8:16 AM
    Obama isn’t scary…that’s what they are trying to make you believe………fear sells…and people thrive on fear……why do you think there is soooo much shit about having to vaccinate your child or you can kill or seriously harm them?? No, you can seriously harm them by getting them vaxed….cause they are trying to get rid of the toxic waste we create into us and our children!!

    Go figure.

  17. #17 Newbie
    August 31, 2008

    Newbie contributor here.
    LOVE your blog and have it on my newsreader, so I get every dose of Respectful Insolence you dole out fresh from the oven.
    Since I’m such a fan and read your slap-downs regularly, I knew you’d be interested to know that Chi-Town’s favorite purveyor of woo at the Chicago Tribune is at it again. Please administer RI to this slap-worthy columnist. I truly am embarrased by this woman and furious at her for the misinformation she spreads.


  18. #18 Nebie
    September 1, 2008

    Sorry, my spelling also embarrasses me sometime…

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