Baronssomics: Sunday reporters make their distain for science obvious

All week long, b ounty has been reporting on vaccine-related media coverage. With this week’s World Health Organization reports: · A first global survey on vaccine safety finds that rates of adverse reactions in…

Baronssomics: Sunday reporters make their distain for science obvious

All week long, b

ounty has been reporting on vaccine-related media coverage. With this week’s World Health Organization reports:

· A first global survey on vaccine safety finds that rates of adverse reactions in children at doses below the recommended level are comparable to levels in the general population, possibly because these children tend to be more vulnerable.

· The Paris and Washington Consensus on immunisation has sidelined genuine clinical trials on the safety of vaccines.

· Public confidence in vaccine science and medicine has been eroded by controversy.

· Immunisation programmes have now plateaued, and will stagnate or decline in the future.

All this is nonsense. All this is scaremongering. But you could say the same about all the news media coverage about new cancer drugs. Or news coverage about the LA Lakers’ most prolific three-point shooter, or criticism of the NHS. The question is: is there a difference between anti-science news reporting and reporting about scientific consensus?

All research?

Ben Goldacre, popularizer of a number of intelligent discussion tools like Bad Science and Optical Spice, reports on a book launch for a new critique of bad science. At this event, Chiyo Fujita, described as one of the world’s leading experts on health and the environment, made the following startling statement:

“The call to close HSR labs has been made over and over again for the last 10 or 20 years, and it has all been asinine.”

In their book (Medicine: Bringing science into the 21st century), also called Medicine, Charles Blair and Fumihiko Kishimoto report on the pressures facing research organisations to maintain a scientific consensus. They observe:

“Why are health care facilities arguing (with some justification) that research into vaccines must remain immune from challenges of this kind? These are very good problems for societies, but the current law of the land produces unintended consequences. With a continuous high court appearance on the issue every single year, every researcher with a job is destined to become a victim of ‘easy acceptance’.”

My 4th World, Your Life

In an article titled “Mom thinks she’s been fired but she isn’t”, this British tabloid reported this story:

“An I’m A Celebrity star was fired from a bar after she told customers she was ‘goading’ David Cameron to sack the parents of her children. Tory MP Nadine Dorries blamed the parents of the stars of the latest series of the hit show for failing to vote for her husband, Lee Morris, in the ‘first’ series.

The atmosphere on the TV programme turned sour after Ms Dorries and fellow contestant Amy Willerton tried to taunt the Home Secretary and his partners over their disapproval of them.

After the scenes were aired, and the Prime Minister’s wife Samantha Cameron met her 22-year-old lover, it was claimed that an I’m A Celebrity contestant had threatened to ‘fuck up the country’ over the events of the series.

A spokesman for the series said it was not the case, saying it was ‘an unconfirmed claim’ that an American member of the show had used her position as a representative of the show to take her revenge on the PM’s most senior aide.

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