Respectful Insolence

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Ever since I first became aware of the antivaccine movement more than ten years ago, I’ve had little choice but to periodically pay attention to one of the godfathers of the antivaccine movement, Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield is the quack whose dubious case series that The Lancet foolishly published in 1998 launched a million antivaccine quacks.…

If there’s a story I neglected to mention last week that I should have, it’s that Andrew Wakefield is being a bully again, trying to use legal intimidation to silence his critics, namely Forbes.com blogger Emily Willingham. Of course, Wakefield has done this so many times that the fact that he’s done it once again…

Actions have consequences. No matter how much the person might want to try to hide from the consequences of one’s actions, they frequently have a way of coming back, grabbing you by the neck, and letting you know they’re there. We see it happening now in the U.K. Fifteen years ago, British doctor Andrew Wakefield…

I want to thank Dan Olmsted, the editor of Age of Autism. I think. Why do I say this? After all, Olmsted is the managing editor of perhaps the most wretched hive of antivaccine scum and quackery that I am aware of. However, he’s actually done me a favor. You see, the other day, the…

I suppose that while I’m on another roll writing about the antivaccine movement I should just embrace it. I was going to start this post out again with one of my periodic laments about how blogging about the antivaccine movement has taken over and crowded out other topics that I like to write about. I…

I certainly don’t even try to keep secret my opinion of Andrew Wakefield, the British gastroenterologist who is almost single-handedly responsible for bringing the measles back to the UK, thanks to his bad science, for which he was well-paid by trial lawyers and his falsification of data and scientific fraud. Since 1998, when Wakefield first…

Andrew Wakefield appeals?

On the antivaccine front, this year began with antivaccine hero Andrew Wakefield filing suit against investigative reporter Brian Deer, the BMJ, and Fiona Godlee (the editor of BMJ) for libel based on a series that Deer published in the BMJ outlining the evidence for Wakefield’s scientific fraud in his (in)famous 1998 Lancet case series. This…

I tell ya, sometimes I think you guys think I’m a journalist or a 24 hour news source. I’m not, of course. I’m just a humble blogger, and I do what I can within the constraints of my every day “real life.” What? I have a real life? You mean I’m not really a supercomputer…

Any regular reader of this blog knows who Andrew Wakefield is. He’s the British gastroenterologist who almost singlehandedly ignited a panic about the MMR vaccine (well, not quite single-handedly; the sensationalistic British press helped a lot) with his shoddy, fraudulent research linking the MMR vaccine to “autistic enterocolitis” and then later to autism itself. Ultimately,…

In deciding to sue Brian Deer, Fiona Godlee, and the BMJ for Brian Deer’s BMJ article about his scientific fraud a year ago, Andrew Wakefield was clearly grabbing for publicity, seeking to fire up his supporters (which he’s largely succeeded in doing), and trying to make himself relevent again after the allegations published in the…

I realize I’ve already written two posts about Andrew Wakefield suing investigative journalist Brian Deer, the first one pointing out how it’s just another example of cranks trying to silence criticism not through producing good science to defend their views but rather through abusing legal process and starting frivolous libel suits, the second one pointing…

If there’s one thing that a crank, quack, pseudoscientist, or anti-vaccine propagandist doesn’t like, it’s having the light of day shined upon his activities. In fact, so much do they hate it that they have a distressing tendency to respond to science-based criticism not with science-based rebuttals (mainly because they can’t given that they don’t…

I had been wondering why the anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism had been gearing up the slime machine against Brian Deer lately. For example, former UPI reporter turned vaccine/autism cran Dan Olmsted has been attacking the BMJ. As you recall, the BMGpublished Brian Deer’s latest revelations earlier this year when he quite pithily and…

It’s been a busy and rough week. The news on the vaccine front has been coming fast and furious, with the release of one bad study and another highly touted great white hope of a legal study. As much as I’m tired of blogging about vaccines this week, it’s still mandatory for me to note…

Several of you have been sending me this; so I would be remiss not to note that there is a rather lengthy profile of Generation Rescue’s favorite “martyred” anti-vaccine hero, disgraced and discredited British gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield, in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine entitled The Crash and Burn of an Autism Guru. By and…

Calling all Boston area skeptics! Calling all Boston area skeptics! The Bat Signal is up! Your fair city is being invaded by the man who, arguably more than anyone else, sparked the latest incarnation of the anti-vaccine movement, is about to metastasize to your fair city (well, to its suburb of Waltham) and speak at…

It’s been pointed out to me that our old pal David Kirby, perhaps the cleverest antivaccine propagandist out there, is back at (where else?) The Huffington Post (a.k.a. HuffPo) asking why The Autism-Vaccine Debate: Why It Won’t Go Away (short answer: because opportunists like Kirby have teamed with believers in pseudoscience to keep fanning the…

The race to flee Andrew Wakefield

What does it take to get an advocate of pseudoscience to change his or her mind? Many are the times I’ve asked myself that question. Over the years, I’ve covered the gamut of techniques, going from what some might call “militant” or even insulting to being as reasoned and calm as can be–and probably everywhere…

Oh, geez. Will the media never learn? Yep, it looks as though Andrew Wakefield will be on Good Morning America tomorrow. True, it is a holiday in the U.S., but that just might mean that viewership will be higher because more people will be at home. I, of course, will be at work; so I…

One of the favorite attacks favored by advocates of pseudoscience, particularly advocates of the sort of pseudoscience favored by proponents of “alternative” medicine, particularly the more militant ones who really, really detest conventional, science-based medicine, is to poison the well with a pre-emptive ad hominem attack that implies that defenders of science-based medicine are somehow…

The fallout from Brian Deer’s further revelations of the scientific fraud that is anti-vaccine hero Andrew Wakefield continues apace. Remember last week, when I wrote about the first article of the two-part series enumerating the various ways that Andrew Wakefield committed scientific fraud in putting together the case series that became the basis of his…

If my post today is a bit shorter on the usual Respectfully and not-so-Respectfully Insolent verbiage that you’ve come to know and love (or hate), I hope you’ll forgive me. It’s hard not to sit back, rest a bit, and enjoy the spectacle of Andrew Wakefield being pilloried in the press in the wake of…

Pity poor Andrew Wakefield. 2010 was a terrible year for him, and 2011 is starting out almost as bad. In February 2010, the General Medical Council in the U.K. recommended that Wakefield be stripped of his license to practice medicine in the U.K. because of scientific misconduct related to his infamous 1998 case series published…

Check out the latest Andrew Wakefield tweet. Yep, that’s him Tweeting out a link to the infamously intellectually dishonest post by Dr. Raymond Obomsawin entitled Proof That Vaccines Didn’t Save Us, just as Australian anti-vaccine loon Meryl Dorey posted the same link on her blog about a month ago and Obomsawin himself is continuing to…

As a final post on Vaccine Awareness Week, after having asked what it means to be anti-vaccine, before moving onI thought I’d post this video, a link to which Andrew Wakefield himself tweeted: Who says Andrew Wakefield is not anti-vaccine? If he does, he’s lying. But, then, Andrew Wakefield does lie a lot.