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Wakefield-Driven Vaccine False Alarm Threatens Real Vaccine Science

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I thought this was an interesting article, with the title: 

"Wakefield-Driven Vaccine False Alarm Threatens Real Vaccine Science"

http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2013/03/21/wakefield-driven-vaccine-false-alarm-threatens-real-vaccine-science

 

It's something I've wondered about before. I think you have to be a pretty brave (or thick skinned, or possibly attention seeking) scientist to jump into the vaccine debate.... not sure that's the way to get the best scientific results out. 

 

I'm not sure what you do about it - because stifling debate is not the way in my opinion.... I just think it's something to think about. 

post #2 of 20
I saw this and thought it was interesting, too. I wonder if others would read it. It's too bad if not because what it has to say about the barriers to publishing research about adverse events or dangers of vaccination in mainstream journals might interest them.
post #3 of 20
I'm not inclined to feel sorry for a group that targets one of their own, then gets concerned that the same might happen to them.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

Feeling sorry for scientists isn't really the point though. The point is that this might be slowing down the publication of actual studies of vaccines safety which are happening. That's a concern to me.  

post #5 of 20

I will ignore the title and read it.  

 

I find it funny-odd how it is always pro-vaxxers bringing up Wakefield. 

post #6 of 20

Half way through it and pausing to come on and say it sounds really whiny…...

post #7 of 20

So…scientists and publishers are hesitant to publish stuff that shows vaccines in a negative light, and this is somehow the fault of one man (Wakefield) and not the community that crucified him…and it is also the fault of non-vaxxers, because non-vaxxers sitting at home on the Internet are somehow to blame for scientists and publishers not wanting to do their professional duty. Okeedokee.

 

I will say that some pro-vaxxers come across as very means to an end, and some pro-vaxxers really love vaccination.  They do believe it is okay to suppress information if that information may cause people to question vaccines.  This is speculative, but it would not surprise me if people were okay with information not seeing publication for this reason (and not just fear of professional disgrace).

post #8 of 20
I don't think anyone is blaming Wakefield. I think it's just a critical look at the current climate for publishing material critical of vaccines. I would think more people around here would be supportive of that kind of conversation.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

I don't think anyone is blaming Wakefield. I think it's just a critical look at the current climate for publishing material critical of vaccines. I would think more people around here would be supportive of that kind of conversation.

 

Well, I do think I was a bit snarky earlier.
I do think the article blames Wakefield - his name was brought up 3 times, and the MMR "debacle" 8 times. 
I agree the article is discussing the current climate for publishing materials.
I don't hate scientists and publishers for being hesitant to publish research or stories that are critical of vaccines.  They are human after all, and there are potential consequences for publishing stuff that does not paint all aspects of vaccines as safe, safe, safe.  I am not going to demonize them for it.  It does make it tricky to know what is what, though - if stories are suppressed, met with skepticism beyond what one would normally expect (as the writer on Forbes admits she did on the Narcolepsy issue).
 
At the end of the day though, it is the scientists job to report what they found, analyze with an open mind, and it is the publishers job to publish- it has little to do with Wakefield or non-vaxxers. Blaming someone else for your actions is never good.
 
I would say that the pro-vax world needs to consider how it jumps on scientists who produce results that end up  wrong.  Not a week goes by  without some vaxxer saying that person has been discredited or that idea has been debunked.  It is borderline ridiculous, actually - and makes it very difficult to tell if the person or article really has been discredited/debunked for a good reason or or if it is just pro-vaxxers blowing smoke (and I am not pointing fingers at anyone here).   Apparently scientists who probably are pro-vax do have a fear of being discredited/debunked if their work does not conform to the pro-vax POV as well.
 
I said earlier in this thread that it was always pro-vaxxers who bring up Wakefield - maybe they need to lay off crucifying people for science's sake?  I doubt very much crucifying Wakefield does much for the pro-vax cause.  Non-vaxxers do not care, and I doubt fence sitters do either. 
My 2 cents.

Edited by kathymuggle - 4/4/13 at 5:13am
post #10 of 20
Of course it mentioned Wakefield. It was about how the blowback on lancet after publishing his piece has impacted the current climate for publication.
post #11 of 20
And it's one thing to publish research that ends up being wrong, journals retract articles dozens of times a year at least, it's another to publish research that was fraudulent and unethical.
post #12 of 20
Here's some fun reading on retractions.
http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

Of course it mentioned Wakefield. It was about how the blowback on lancet after publishing his piece has impacted the current climate for publication.

You said it was not about blaming Wakefield (although the bolded sounds like blame to me).  I said it did. If you disagree, so be it.  People can read it for themselves and decide.


Edited by kathymuggle - 4/3/13 at 8:30pm
post #14 of 20

Kathy, I agree.  That article very much blames Wakefield and the MMR debacle.  

 

Hopefully scientists can just get over it and get their findings out there so that safer vaccines can be made.

 

I worry about if I am making the right decision for my children.  I worry about some VPDs, but I also very much worry about the risks of the vaccines.  

 

If only they could just do the right studies and make the vaccines safer already!

 

Learn from the past and move on! (directed at the scientists, not anyone here)

post #15 of 20
It's not scientists who need toget over it, it's the journals.
post #16 of 20

Those bad nasty question asking journals - it's all their fault!  Questing is just so wrong.

 

Wasn't someone else just recently blaming anti/non-vaccers for research not coming out because they were "questioning safety" in the products? ..........seems so much the same- find someone to blame

post #17 of 20
I don't even know what point you're trying to make.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

I don't think anyone is blaming Wakefield. I think it's just a critical look at the current climate for publishing material critical of vaccines. I would think more people around here would be supportive of that kind of conversation.

Yes. It is a shame isn't it?

 

History is littered with people in the medical arena/scientists ect who have been made examples of when their findings contradict and threaten the status quo. That is the real issue - not Wakefield. After all the dissenters must be silenced!!

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

It's not scientists who need toget over it, it's the journals.

and also the scientists who don't have the balls to go public with negative findings out of fear

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marnica View Post

and also the scientists who don't have the balls to go public with negative findings out of fear

exactly.

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