[Orac note: Welcome back, my friends, to the antivaccine show that never ends. We’re so glad you could attend. Come inside, come inside. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Earlier this week, I published a rare guest post by a mole whose services were loaned to me by our great imperious leader Lord Draconis Zeneca (All hail!), to report on the activity of One Conversation, an event whose organizers tried to ensnare Orac himself into participating in a “balanced” (translation: false balance) discussion of vaccines and vaccine injury. )Orac, of course, was too savvy to fall for that trap.) Ultimately, as the provaccine …
Last week antivaxers Shannon Kroner and Britney Valas held an antivaccine quackfest known as One Conversation. It had started as a "balanced" debate/conversation/panel/roundtable, or whatever, but rapidly devolved into an antivaccine crankfest as the pro-vaccine scientists invited declined. A brave minion attended and is now reporting back.
One Conversation was originally sold as a public debate or discussion about vaccine that would represent "both sides." When the real scientists who had been enticed by Britney Valas and Shannon Kroner's seeming sincerity found out about the antivaxers on the panel and just what they do and believe, things fell apart. Now what's left is an antivaccine crankiest.
I was invited to discuss vaccines with antivaxers for a panel called One Conversation. Recognizing an antivaccine trap, I politely declined. Unfortunately, other legitimate medical authorities did not, thus enabling the illusion of legitimization of antivaccine views.
A clinical psychologist named Shannon Kroner invited Orac's alter-ego to a "panel discussion" on vaccines. Let's just say Orac knows a trap when he sees one and didn't fall for this one. However, he thought it wise to write this post to warn other science advocates about traps for the unwary—like this one. Heed Orac's advice!
Earlier this week, Chelsea Clinton spoke out against Andrew Wakefield and in support of vaccines. Hilarity ensued as antivaxers lost their mind in rage and faux disappointment in her.
Colton Barrett was a 17 year old boy who developed acute transverse myelitis at age 13, which left him partially paralyzed and dependent on a portable ventilator. Tragically, he died less than two weeks ago. His mother blames Gardasil, which he received two weeks before his first symptoms appeared, for his neurologic illness and death. However, Gardasil almost certainly had nothing to do with Colton's illness.
A few dozen antivaccine activists descended upon Washington, DC to protest and lobby their legislators. The protest itself was not impressive, but pro-science advocates shouldn't let this pathetic march lead them to be complacent. Antivaxers are meeting with legislators, and President Trump is sympathetic to their aims.
As hard as it is to believe, I’ve been at this blogging thing for 12 years now. In fact, it’s been so long that this year I didn’t even remember to mention it when it happened nearly two weeks ago. Over that time period, I’ve dealt with a large number of conspiracy theories. Indeed, skeptics can’t help but avoid it. After all, conspiracy theories are at the heart of a lot of pseudoscience, quackery, and crankery. For instance, the very first bit of pseudohistory that served as my “gateway drug” into skepticism, Holocaust denial, is based upon a massive conspiracy …
This post is a bit later than usual, but there’s a good reason for it. Last night, I was in full food coma, having consumed the traditional Thanksgiving feast, along with a fair amount of wine. Besides, even a sometimes arrogant bloviator like myself, who uses a pseudonym based on a fictional, near-all-knowing supercomputer from a 35-year-old British cult science fiction series needs a break now and then. So today I’ll be, for the most part, slumming a bit today as I recover. What better place to look for material when you’re not interested in exerting yourself too hard than …