A reaction to factual stories on vaccination (Part 3).

Wired Fear CoverNote: You can now read this at Wired Magazine. Day 1. Day 2.

This is the third part of Amy Wallace’s (website) (twitter) tweet session following up her amazing article in Wired Magazine.  Today’s tweets are feedback from people who actually have Autism Spectrum Disorder themselves and how it affects them.

As with the last few days, I have decided to consolidate this in to a blog post that is easier to read for those who, like me, find it annoying trying to read bottom to top and in such short snippets.  Again the only changes I have made have been the adding of paragraphs (something not possible in 140 character tweets) and the occasional full stop, comma or space.  Other than that, the section in block quotes below is directly as they came from her twitter stream.

My tweets are readable now on the Wired site. Day One: wired.com/magazi… Readers react at Wired, Day Two: wired.com/magazin…

This is instructive: Check out what happened to @bastardsheep‘s traffic when he arranged my tweets in order: http://twitpic.com/n8fm8

Just got my first email from Poland. It comes on the heels of a few from Australia and Japan. Vaccine panic is indeed a global issue. Continue reading

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A reaction to factual stories on vaccination (Part 2).

Wired Fear Cover

Note: You can now read this at Wired Magazine. Day 1. Day 2.

This is the second part of Amy Wallace’s (website) (twitter) tweet session following up her amazing article in Wired Magazine.  It includes a number of the letters she has received in response to the article both positive and negative.

As with yesterday, I have decided to consolidate this in to a blog post that is easier to read for those who, like me, find it annoying trying to read bottom to top and in such short snippets.  Again the only changes I have made have been the adding of paragraphs (something not possible in 140 character tweets) and the occasional full stop, comma or space.  Other than that, the section in block quotes below is directly as they came from her twitter stream.

Good morning, all. Today I’m going to begin to describe what readers have told me in the wake of my Wired story on vaccines. #vaccines You can read the story here: wired.com/magazi…

I just heard from the 280th person who has taken the time to get in touch. Yesterday, I gave you a taste of some of the bitterer missives. Those have kept coming.

A minute ago, J.B. Handley, the founder of Generation Rescue who I told you about yesterday, wrote me again. He called me a “cry baby.” If you’re interested, as I am, in the way people like Handley use gender and sexuality as weapons to bully their opponents read this: scienceblogs.com/… Continue reading

A reaction to factual stories on vaccination (Part 1).

Wired Fear CoverNote: You can now read this at Wired Magazine. Day 1. Day 2.

A week ago, Amy Wallace (website) (twitter) wrote an amazing piece for Wired Magazine about vaccinations, the fear mongering of the anti-vax groups, and how it puts us all in danger.  If you haven’t read it yet I suggest doing so first here.

Earlier today she decided to post in her twitter account about the reactions received to this story.  Due to the formatting used on Twitter, I have decided to reformat her tweets and post them here in a more easily readable layout.  The only changes I have made have been the adding of paragraphs (something not possible in 140 character tweets) and the occasional full stop, comma or space.  Other than that, the section in block quotes below is directly as they came from her twitter stream.

I wrote the cover story in the November issue of WIRED: An Epidemic of Fear http://bit.ly/htnoy

Check out my piece in Details http://bit.ly/179mV6

WIRED and I are answering readers’ questions on vaccine safety. See: http://bit.ly/15XC4u

Here’s one on thimerosal: http://bit.ly/VTYmD

Here’s another on the mumps: http://bit.ly/YSgs8

And for all you who were wondering: A summary of who I am…: http://bit.ly/3839M2

It has been a week since my Wired cover story on vaccines and autism was posted online. I have never gotten so much feedback on a story. I’ve been a journalist for more than 25 years. In that time, I’ve written for national newspapers and magazines on contentious topics such as affirmative action, the death penalty, Mickey Rourke. Never have I experienced such an avalanche of letters and emails. Continue reading

Antivax lies now in I.T. articles.

I was reading an article at PC World about google’s new product “SideWiki“.  It’s basically a program which is an extension to google’s browser toolbar which allows you to put comments in to sidewiki but not in to the article’s comments feature.  This may come in handy for pages that don’t allow comments, but it’s not very good for those that do.  It also has its own intelligent ranking system which I guess we’ll have to see in action first.

The article was talking about the ranking system when up came this line:

It will be interesting to see how Sidewiki functions on controversial pages, such as those where a very vocal minority disagrees with the conventional view. Imagine the comments on pages saying that vaccinations don’t cause autism or that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.

Excuse me?  Did I just read what I think I just read?  Did he just say almost every qualified and credited doctor and scientist, as well as the actual facts and figures, reality, is the vocal minority? Continue reading

What an beautiful day for science and medicine!

Love_Me_Protect_Me_Inject_MeToday has been a fantastic day.  One of those ones that go from good to brilliant to fantastic.  It started off with absolutely gorgeous weather outside, and just improved from there.

It started off with one piece of news I honestly didn’t think I would ever see.  New drug ‘hits melanoma’s Achilles heel’ read the headline.  A drug for tumors rather than chemotherapy?  Surely not.  But it’s true.  It is in the third stage of clinical testing stages at the moment, but it is doing extremely well, shrinking 70% of tumors which appear in over half of all melanoma cases.  Some are saying it could be on shelves in a couple of years.

This is very exciting news for Australians in particular as we are a very outdoors and beach centred culture, so melanoma rates are higher here than in most other parts of the world.  This drug once released (pray tell it does) will do wonders for this country. Continue reading