Posts Tagged “alison singer”

I’ve previously blogged about the anti-vaccine crowd and its too-often-heard Hollywood-based spokespersons. Well, in addition to the forces of reason and science fighting back, as I remarked, the anti-vaccine fortress is beginning to crumble, as Newsweek reported:

This week, Alison Singer, the executive vice president of communications and awareness at Autism Speaks, one of the nation’s leading autism advocacy groups, announced her resignation, citing a difference of opinion over the organization’s policy on vaccine research. “Dozens of credible scientific studies have exonerated vaccines as a cause of autism,” she wrote in a statement. “I believe we must devote limited funding to more promising avenues of autism research.” …

The Newsweek article includes an interview with Ms Singer, in which she says, among other things:

In general, I disagree with a policy that says, “Despite what this study shows, more studies should be done.” At some point, you have to say, “This question has been asked and answered and it’s time to move on.” We need to be able to say, “Yes, we are now satisfied that the earth is round.” …

Over and over, the science has shown no causal link between vaccines and autism. …

I think that there’s this feeling [among some parents] that the vaccine decision is a choice between, “Do I want to risk measles or do I want to risk autism?” That’s not a good characterization. We know for a fact that the measles vaccine reduces the risk of getting measles. One choice is backed by science, one choice isn’t.

Emotional thinking — which is what fuels the anti-vaccine crowd (e.g. “I know vaccines cause autism ’cause my kid is autistic and s/he’s been vaccinated, and you can’t tell me it’s not true ’cause s/he’s my child and I just know it!”) — has no place in science. It is, instead, merely sanctimony, and is even a bit childish. Having a feeling that two things are connected, does not mean they are. Being the parent of an autistic kid, does not make one an expert on the causes of autism. I know it sounds heartless, but emotions are not as important as fact, veracity, or verifiability.

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