In June 2007, as the Autism Omnibus Hearings were in progress and the initial test case was being heard, Patrick Holford contacted his mailing list and asked them to sign a petition in support of Dr Andrew Wakefield. Although it doesn’t look like he ever signed the petition, it is clear that he influenced other people to sign, people who directly cited him as instrumental in the decision not to vaccinate children against preventable diseases.
Dr Carmel O’Donovan, Andrew Wakefield’s wife, recently emailed around asking for signatures in support of him. However, it seems that there is another petition, this one grandiosely and desperately asking people to sign up to We Support Andy Wakefield (Tiny URL’d). Age of Autism rather half-heartedly just reproduces the blusterous call for an enquiry (Tiny URL’d) and, without any trace of irony, condemns “the censorship of science” and the competence of Brian Deer in his remarkable investigative journalism.
We offer an annotated version of the petition: all links have been added by us and our text additions are in italics. Continue reading
Ben Goldacre BBC One Show September 8 2008.
Dr Ben Goldacre was on BBC 1’s One Show. Watch out for it on BBC iPlayer for September 8 (from 8:10 to 12:00 or thereabouts if you crave the added wisdom of Len Goodman). [Update, please use the iPlayer link if you can because this tells the BBC that you were interested in the Bad Science segment. For those who can’t, or for when it disappears, there is a YouTube.]
In an action-packed segment that serves as a lively precis of his book, Goldacre admonished the media for their poor science coverage and then took the viewer on a rapid tour of the Media Hall of Shame for Science Reporting and Obsession with Miracle Cures. Continue reading
22I wasn’t at all sure if I wanted to post this. I’m with Dr Crippen in being less than happy about the additional publicity going to the ‘evidence’ that MMR causes autism. However, I think it’s worth returning to Holford’s claim that “Dr Andrew Wakefield…is facing a hearing with the General Medical Council, and may be struck off for, in effect, challenging the status quo”. With Wakefield’s GMC hearing coming up, these issues will get a lot of publicity anyway…
Holford’s claims was not just wrong – it was very predictably wrong (I predicted it, not that I’d expect any credit for predicting something this obvious). The GMC has now released its charges against Wakefield – challenging the status quo is, unsurprisingly, not among them. Continue reading
The correspondences between Patrick Holford and Dr Andrew Wakefield are extraordinary. Even leaving aside the fact that Patrick Holford recently emailed a large number of people, asking them to sign a petition in support of Andrew Wakefield (albeit the first few times that I checked after this email, Patrick Holford and his name are conspicuous by their absence). They both regard themselves as prophets who are without honour in their own country. Read remainder of entry