No, really, email the IACC

4 Sep

Kev has already noted that the IACC has opened the Strategic Plan for comments and suggestion–a “Request for Information” or RFI.

This is something to not put off–a deadline to beat, not miss.

The Draft Strategic Plan is public. It’s long (34 pages), so you might think “I’ll get around to looking it over” and, well, it’s long enough that you may never read it through entirely and miss the deadline.

Here’s another tactic: Think about what is important to you. See if it’s in the strategic plan. If you liek what you see, say so. If you don’t like what you see (or you don’t see anything), say so.

Or, if that hurdle is too high (no judgements here. If this wasn’t keenly important to me, I might wait too long and miss this), just send the email with what you think the Strategic Plan should include. (add NOT-MH-08-021 to the subject line)

If you just want to say (for example), “Yo, NIH! You guys should stick to the peer reviewed methods that work” or, “Please stress adult issues“, or “I know you are getting pressure about vaccines, please don’t cave“, that works too. (As Ms. Clark has reminded me: add “NOT-MH-08-021” to the subject line).

If you are looking for more inspiration (and something more formal), here is a draft that someone I know wrote as an intro. Consider it a template to work in forming your own message.

Please stay with the scientific method in evaluating specific parts of the Strategic Plan and its implementation. This is one of the strengths of the NIH and NIMH and should be followed in autism research.

This is especially true when it comes to the subject of vaccines. The Institute of Medicine in their report on vaccines and autism rejected the theories that vaccines cause autism and further stated, “the committee recommends that available funding for autism research be channeled to the most promising areas.” Truly, we need to insure that limited money, time and researcher resources be applied to the most promising areas. The vaccine/autism theory does not meet that standard.

The Strategic Plan allows for updates to respond to new research. The current plan to monitor the literature in case new, relevant research comes forward indicating that the autism/vaccine question should be pursued. This is the appropriate approach.

I fully realize how easy it is to put this off. I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for a week now. It took this post with the ASAN announcement about the RFI to get me to move.

Send your thoughts in an email to The deadline is Sept. 30th. But, why wait?

[edit: added comments about NOT-MH-08-021 in the subject line.]

3 Responses to “No, really, email the IACC”

  1. Ms. Clark September 4, 2008 at 21:11 #


    Maybe you could add that they need to put


    in the subject line.

    “How to Submit a Response

    Responses will be accepted until September 30, 2008 via email to Please limit your response to two pages (approximately 1,000 words) and mark it with the RFI identifier NOT-MH-08-021 in the subject line. You will receive an email confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response, but will not receive individualized feedback on any suggestions. The collected information will be reviewed by the IACC, may appear in reports, and shared publicly on the IACC website:”

  2. Sullivan September 4, 2008 at 22:06 #

    Good suggestion. I made some edits (inlcuding the mailto links) to note using the NOT-MH-08-021 tag in the subject line.


  1. Autism Blog - Rethinking Expertise | Left Brain/Right Brain - September 15, 2008

    […] Thank god research is decided through peer review and not the talk show circuit. (If you think peer review of research proposals is a good thing, and you want to keep it that way, contact the IACC). […]

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