I’m soooo envious.

Why and of whom am I envious? I’ll tell you. Phil Plait, a.k.a. The Bad Astronomer, attracts a more famous class of antivaccine loon. He’s managed to attract Dr. Joe Mercola himself in the comments of a post about anti-vaccine zealots:

If you TRULY are interested in finding out the truth about this topic you are encouraged to attend the Fourth International Public Conference on Vaccines in Washington DC in October.


The top experts in the world on this topic will be presenting and you can really understand the science rather than criticize individuals out of your ignorance.

No thanks, Dr. Joe. I have better things to do with my time and money. I will, however, refer you to my analysis of your impending little quackfest. Really, I’m surprised the NVIC didn’t invite John Scudamore. I’ll also refer Dr. Mercola here for some of the science about vaccines and here for a combination of snark and science.

I also invite my readers to have a little fun with Dr. Mercola by visiting Phil’s blog if you are so inclined.


  1. #1 D. C. Sessions
    August 7, 2009

    That’s John (not James) “whaleto” Scudamore.

    Anyway, I really think that this “conference” could do some real good. That is, it will if it persuades the “biomedical remediation for vaccine damage” set to adopt homeopathy for that.

  2. #2 MIDawn
    August 7, 2009

    I’ve missed reading BA for a few days. Guess I need to go see what is going on with Phil. Thanks for the head’s up, Orac. And I hope your arm is better (do boxes of blinking plexiglass HAVE arms?)

  3. #3 The Blind Watchmaker
    August 7, 2009

    For those parents who want to hear the actual facts from the real experts….


  4. #4 Phoenix Woman
    August 7, 2009

    Sounds like he was hoping that Phil didn’t know any real (or really good and ethical) doctors. Ooooops!

  5. #5 Dr. Mercola
    August 7, 2009

    Or… someone who can type “Dr. Mercola” in the little “Name:” box and his URL in the little “URL:” box posted there.

    Sorry, but skepticism FAIL.

  6. #6 Phoenix Woman
    August 8, 2009

    And you debunked Orac, the WHO, PubMed, and the CDC how, Dr. Mercola? Sounds like pounding the table to me.

  7. #7 Dr. Mercola
    August 9, 2009

    And you debunked Orac, the WHO, PubMed, and the CDC how, Dr. Mercola?

    Did you not get the point, PW? I am not really Dr. Mercola, but anyone can claim to be on the Internet.

  8. #8 Phoenix Woman
    August 9, 2009

    Try again, Doc. There are these things called “IP addresses” that you might want to look into.

  9. #9 Pablo
    August 10, 2009

    The top experts in the world on this topic will be presenting

    The Blind Watchmaker noted this as well.

    I’d really like to hear a justification of what makes these people “experts.” At one point, I could have bought Wakefield, but given his resistence to critical reevaluation, he’s lost credibility. Is he suggesting all those homeopathy loons are experts in vaccine science? That Fisher dingbat?

    Being visible propagandists does not make them experts. Expertise is obtained through study.

  10. #10 Pablo
    August 10, 2009

    Continuing on my expertise theme, here, for example, are some of the members of the CDC’s Advisery Committee on Immunization Practices (you know, the ones who set up vaccine schedules and all that). Compare these to the “experts” who are presenting at the NVIC. I’ll leave it up to the reader to do the PubMed searches…

    BAKER, Carol, M.D.
    Professor of Pediatrics
    Molecular Virology and Microbiology
    Baylor College of Medicine

    CHILTON, Lance, M.D.
    General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Young Children’s Health Center
    Professor, Department of Pediatrics
    University of New Mexico School of Medicine

    ENGLUND, Janet, M.D.
    Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington
    Clinical Associate, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
    Division of Inf. Disease, Immunology and Rheumatology
    Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center

    MEISSNER, H. Cody, M.D.
    Professor of Pediatrics
    Tufts Medical Center

    SAWYER, Mark H., M.D.
    Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
    Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease
    UCSD School of Medicine and Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego
    Medical Director, San Diego Immunization Partnership


    BOCCHINI, Joseph A., Jr., M.D.
    LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport
    Children’s Hospital of LSU
    (Chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases)

    KIMBERLIN, David, M.D., FAAP
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
    Birmingham, Alabama

    GROGG, Stanley, E., D.O.
    Professor of Pediatrics Oklahoma State University
    Medical Director of Clinical Research
    Tulsa, Oklahoma

    LANGLEY, Joanne, M.D., MSc, FRCPC
    Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases)
    Canadian Center for Vaccinology
    IWK Health Centre and Dalhousie University Infectious Diseases
    Halifax, NS Canada

    ELWARD, Alexis Marie
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
    Washington School of Medicine
    St. Louis, Missouri

    WHITLEY-WILLIAMS, Patricia, M.D.
    Professor of Pediatrics
    Chief, Pedaitric Infectious Diseases
    UMDNJ-/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School New
    Brunswick, New Jersey

    MIDDLEMAN, Amy B., M.D., M.P.H., M.S.Ed.
    Associate Professor of Pediatrics
    Baylor College of Medicine

    KEYSERLING, Harry L., M.D.
    Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology and Immunology
    Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics

  11. #11 wfjag
    August 10, 2009

    @ Pablo: “I’d really like to hear a justification of what makes these people ‘experts.’ ”

    The qualifications for being an “expert” are: (1) being from out of town; (2) wearing a suit or other clothing that typifies being a “professional” of the relevant profession (e.g., wearing a stethoscope and wearing scrubs); (3) carrying a briefcase, Blackberry or similar symbol of authority; & (4) getting someone to pay you for giving a speech that includes frequent use of words that at least half of the audience does not understand.

    If you want to have fun (and understand how completely off the mark this “conference” is), read the US Federal Court of Claims decision by Judge Weise affirming Special Master Patricia C. Smith’s decision in Hazlehurst v. HHS, http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/Hazlehurst_0.pdf

    You may also want to review the quick, but excellent summary of it at http://neurodiversity.com/weblog/

    Obviously Kathleen isn’t an expert, since she uses words people can understand.

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