Bad science on autism vaccine link

The Guardian’s Bad Science column, written by doctor Ben Goldacre, is an excellent resource for anyone who wants scientific straight talk on fashionable nonsense, and often references core ideas of the philosophy of science (which is a neat trick to pull off in a few hundred words in a newspaper column). This week Ben fires off both barrels at the Daily Mail columnist Melanie Philips for utterly misunderstanding the implications of a systematic review of studies investigating a link between the MMR vaccine and autism (there most probably isn’t one). Philips takes criticsms of existing research showing no connection between MMR and autism to jump to the opposite conclusion, supported by flimsy evidence for there being a link(Creationist watchers, does this bad science syllogism feel familiar?). Ben’s recommendation is strong, but justified:

Either learn how to interpret data yourself, or trust those who can do it for you

Details in the full article

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