Respectful Insolence

Archives for June, 2011

Well, I’m back. Grant frenzy is over (for now), and I have a couple of weeks before the next cycle begins again. Well, actually, it’s more than that. The next big NIH grant deadlines are in October and November, but the Susan G. Komen Foundation grant notices just showed up in my e-mail the other…

Holocaust denial versus free speech

It’s grant crunch time, as the submission deadline for revised R01s is July 5. However, in a classic example of how electronic filing has actually made things more difficult, the grant has to be done and at the university grant office a week before the deadline if it is to be uploaded in time. So,…

It’s grant crunch time, as the submission deadline for revised R01s is July 5. However, in a classic example of how electronic filing has actually made things more difficult, the grant has to be done and at the university grant office a week before the deadline if it is to be uploaded in time. So,…

It’s grant crunch time, as the submission deadline for revised R01s is July 5. However, in a classic example of how electronic filing has actually made things more difficult, the grant has to be done and at the university grant office a week before the deadline if it is to be uploaded in time. So,…

It’s grant crunch time, as the submission deadline for revised R01s is July 5. However, in a classic example of how electronic filing has actually made things more difficult, the grant has to be done and at the university grant office a week before the deadline if it is to be uploaded in time. So,…

It’s grant crunch time, as the submission deadline for revised R01s is July 5. However, in a classic example of how electronic filing has actually made things more difficult, the grant has to be done and at the university grant office a week before the deadline if it is to be uploaded in time. So,…

It’s grant crunch time, as the submission deadline for revised R01s is July 5. However, in a classic example of how electronic filing has actually made things more difficult, the grant has to be done and at the university grant office a week before the deadline if it is to be uploaded in time. So,…

Epic rap battles: ZDoggMD versus Dr. Oz

It had to be done. With all the quackery and pseudoscience promoted by TV doctors like Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, and “The Doctors,” sooner or later someone had to choose a manner other than blogging to call them out. ZDoggMD has done just that, particularly dissing Dr. Oz. Why? Why not. Because: Why dis Dr.…

Remember Michael Egnor? I bet many of you do. If you were reading this blog three or four years ago, Dr. Egnor was a fairly regular target topic of my excretions of not-so-Respectful Insolence. The reason for that was, at the time, I was quite annoyed that a fellow surgeon could so regularly lay down…

You know, it all makes a lot more sense now. Actually, I can’t believe I didn’t see it before. Here I was, all these years, and somehow the thought never crossed my mind, even though all the signs were right there. And then, yesterday, Tufted Titmouse showed me the light. She showed me the light…

Dietary supplements are minimally regulated in the U.S. Indeed, I’m continually amazed at how much supplement manufacturers can get away with and for how long. For example, one of the most recent atrocities against science occurred when Boyd Haley, disgraced chemistry professor at the University of Kentucky and prominent member of the mercury militia wing…

A vaccination tool every parent could use

Regular readers know that I lived in Chicago for three years in the late 1990s. Indeed, Chicago is probably my favorite city in the world, and my years there count as three of the happiest years of my life. I lived in a cool neighborhood near DePaul in Lincoln Park; never again in my life…

Note: Grant writing ruled again this weekend; so I took this post, which first appeared elsewhere, and decided to revise and repost it. It seems appropriate, given what I’ve been discussing lately. Enjoy, and hopefully there’ll be something new tomorrow.. I’ve been complaining a lot about a certain journalist lately, specifically one named David Freedman.…

The other day, I expressed my displeasure at an article published in The Atlantic that, boiled down to its essence, was one long apologia for unscientific “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) and “integrative medicine” (IM). Yes, I was quite critical, but, I believe, not unfairly so. Not surprisingly, however, the author of the article, David…

Well, well, well, well, well. Look who’s coming to blight my hometown, and look who’s doing it hot on the heels of my having directed some not-so-Respectful Insolence at him. Yes, it’s Deepak Chopra himself showing up on Saturday to bring his woo to one of the places that least needs it, downtown Detroit: Excitement…

Remember the case of the Winkler County nurses? This is the story of two nurses who blew the whistle on a bad doctor, a quack even, in my opinion. As a result they faced the very real possibility of jail time. And not just jail time, but serious jail time, up to ten years. I…

You know, even though I haven’t lived in Cleveland since 1996, sometimes I kind of miss Ohio. Here’s the sort of reason why, via Balloon Juice: I thought it was a hoax at first, but it isn’t. Just check out the the official website of the Governor of the State of Ohio if you don’t…

Note added 6/16/2011: The author of the target–I mean subject–of this piece of insolence has responded in the comments. Note added 6/17/2011: Steve Novella has also commented. He is unusually harsh (for him). What is it with The Atlantic lately? It used to be one of my favorite magazines. In fact, I was a subscriber…

Remember Deepak Chopra? He’s the physician (yes, physician) whose grasp on real science is so tenuous and whose ability to abuse multiple scientific disciplines, ranging from quantum physics to astronomy to genetics to medicine, simultaneously in the service of woo is so amazing that a few years ago I once coined a term representing the…

Orac note: Grant season is in full swing, and that’s what I spent my weekend doing: writing grants. Consequently, here’s a rerun from, hard as it is to believe, four and a half years ago. It’s the first appearance of one of the most hilarious “alt-med” attacks on science-based medicine I’ve ever seen, calling us…

The cost of the anti-vaccine movement

Here’s an excellent video from Down Under on the human costs of the anti-vaccine movement: It features Viera Scheibner, who has nothing good to say about vaccines and thinks that vaccines are dangerous and infectious diseases in childhood are good. Simply incredible.

It’s been another rather rough week. Grant season is in full swing, and I’m busily writing away. As I get to the end of the week, I wondered: Should I be serious or should I post a bit of fluff? Given the crappy mood I’ve been in on and off (grants added to my usual…

Whenever I call an anti-vaccine activist “anti-vaccine,” frequently there will be an indignant response along the lines of either, “I’m not ‘anti-vaccine’; I’m pro-safe vaccine” or “I’m not ‘anti-vaccine’; I’m a vaccine safety activist.” (This latter retort is a favorite of Barbara Loe Fisher.) Another favorite retort is, “I’m not ‘anti-vaccine’; I’m for ‘informed consent’”…

More than a week has passed, and I thought that this cup had passed from me, and I was glad. After all, if I analyzed every crap study done by anti-vaccine zealots to try to demonstrate that vaccines cause autism, I would have time for little else in terms of other kinds of that Insolence…

I’ve frequently been critical fo the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) for funding dubious studies of pseudoscience and, in essence, promoting unscientific quackademic medicine (is there any other kind?) by giving it the patina of seeming respectability. I can’t recall how many times I’ve seen promoters of woo justify their woo by…