More on Dan Olmsted

The other day, I wrote about UPI reporter Dan Olmsted and how a certain blogger swallowed whole his shoddy and data-free reporting about vaccines and autism. Now, Kathleen Seidel takes him to task for shameless self-promotion and parrotting a particularly nasty attitude from mercury-fighter extraordinaire Boyd Haley. Worth reading.

(Hey, if I don't have time to compose stuff, at least I can try to point you in the direction of interesting stuff.)


  1. Obviously you are confused about the different roles of investigative journalists and scientists. Olmsted's "evidence" of possible links between autism and vaccines is not offered as scientific proof. What he provides is evidence that there are a variety of possible research studies that could readily provide far better answers to the question about vaccine safety than the epidemiological studies that are so frequently cited as "scientific evidence," when in fact epidemiological studies are not well suited to answer the question at hand. Obviously some folks misunderstand Olmsted's reports and consider them "science," but most intelligent readers understand that he is merely pointing out the studies that could and should have already been done by scientists interested in seeking the truth about the possible relationship between vaccines and autism--whatever that truth may be. Whether the results of such investigations would exonerate or implicate vaccines, or thimerosal, remains an unknown. But considering the stakes involved, this question shouldn't still remain unanswered, and basically unasked by the people who ought to be all about asking the right questions in the right way. If the scientists who are supposed to be looking into this question can't be bothered to do the job right, then it is the job of journalists and a free press to ask questions and use journalistic skills to embarass or intrigue a few scientists to actually do the science! I hope mercury in vaccines doesn't cause autism and other neurological problems in kids and adults--but the available evidence against this hypothesis is not definitive by any stretch of imagination. If you think it is, then you have failed to adequately research the topic. Indeed there is far more supportive than contradictory evidence at this point. That may not prove anything, but it is an awfully good reason to do more and better-designed research!



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