Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel
I don't know anything about this, did the research actually get done? It sounded like he said he was going to do research and then stole the money instead?
Yes, the research actually did get done, and it is one of the major pieces of research on vaccines and autism, though certainly not the only one. Most of the research was probably complete well before Thorson was even in charge of the CDC grant.
Funny thing is, back before his theft was discovered and became news, Thorson wasn't really mentioned. His part was too minor. All articles, both mainstream and anti-vax alik, focused on the main authors of the study. Then the theft was uncovered, and suddenly it seems everyone has forgotten about the actual people responsible for the bulk of the study and speak of it as if it belonged to Thorson alone.
If Thorson really did take the money (and I believe that he did), then he absolutely belongs in jail. The difference between him an Wakefield though is that he was not depending on the results of the study for his money; his scheme would have worked just as well (or failed just as well, since hew was caught) no matter what the results showed. He was straight out stealing.
So why should large and expensive bit of research be thrown out on the basis that a minor author, who was not responsible for the bulk of the work, whose work was looked at by others (and I am certain anything he touched was gone over again with a fine tooth comb once his true nature was revealed) was sticking his fingers in the money-pot and caught?
How does his fraud invalidate other people's research?
Orac did a blog on it a year and a half or so ago which has more info (and his snarky opinions too, just to warn anyone offended by such): http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/04/14/poul-thorsen-vaccines-fraud/