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Yet another really bad day for antivaccinationists: No link between MMR and autism–again

Posted in Respectful Insolence by Skepdude on September 4, 2008

Yesterday evening, yet another study failing to find a link between MMR and autism, this time out of Columbia University. Even better, the first author on the study is Mady Hornig, who became a hero of the mercury militia a three years ago with her infamous “rain mouse” study, in which she performed experiments of dubious ethics on some very unlucky lab mice and claimed it was “evidence” that thimerosal caused autism. She was even a common speaker at mercury militia–excuse me, I mean National Autism Association–events, along with hard core members Boyd Haley, Richard Deth, Mark Blaxill, Jeff Bradstreet, and others, as well a speaker for FAIR Autism Media, along with Mark and David Geier, Thomas Burbacher, Boyd Haley (again), Andrew Wakefield himself, and many others. Unfortunately, her experiments were anything but evidence supporting a link between thimerosal and autism. This latest study makes me think that perhaps Dr. Hornig, contemplating her descent into antivaccine pseudoscience, may have had a “come to Jesus” moment and is trying to regain her scientific mojo (although I’ll only really believe that when I see her give up trying to show that thimerosal causes autism using her mouse model). Either that, or she figured out that flirting with the band of pseudoscientists and ideologues making up the antivaccine movement is the surest way to kill her scientific career deader than dead and thereby end up working in the basement of her house like Geier, père et fils. In other words, perhaps she decided that tenure and a continued scientific career meant more to her than the momentary notoriety and adulation that come from being the darling of the mercury militia.


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