“Why Don’t They Trust Us?” Whines Scientist

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Robert Kennedy’s Slate article on a cover-up by the FDA and vaccine companies of a thimerosal-autism link is getting attention. USA Today reports the back and forth and demonstrates classic smear tactics. One side is referred to as just “scientists”. (Where are these “scientists” that reporters talk about? How do they determine that there is such unanimity that “scientists” in general can be referred to rather than individual scientists and organizations?) The other side are emotional parents looking for something, anything to blame. Thanks for the balanced reporting, guys. But I like this hedge near the end:

…both sides have fallen prey to a tactic he calls ‘misleading toward the truth’… When critics say someone is lying, Sandman says, “you have to say, ‘yeah, but are they lying on behalf of the truth or are they lying on behalf of a lie?’ ” [What the !@#$%?]

Funniest quote: “There is a dangerous mistrust of science.” No, it is not “science” we mistrust, buddy, it is you and other scientists who are increasingly compromised by government involvement with scientific research. (And whatever happened to the whole thing about there being a huge, gaping, unbridgeable gap between “faith” and “science”? “Trust” is just a synonym for “faith”. So, translating, he is saying “There is a dangerous lack of faith in science”.)

10:19 am on July 7, 2005