Emily Willingham: winner of the 2014 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science

28 Oct

Emily Willingham is one of the best writers on the science and social aspects of autism. She also writes on other topics and is an accomplished researcher. Her journalism can be found at her site, EmilyWillinghamPhD.com, The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (the Site and the Book), DoubleXScience, Forbes, and elsewhere.

With all that in mind, it’s great to see that she’s been recognized for her work. SenseAboutScience.org has announced that she will share the 2014 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science:

Dr Emily Willingham and Dr David Robert Grimes are the two winners of the 2014 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science.

The announcement notes:

The judges awarded the prize to freelance journalist Dr Emily Willingham and early career scientist Dr David Robert Grimes for courage in promoting science and evidence on a matter of public interest, despite facing difficulty and hostility in doing so. The winners equally embody the spirit of the prize and, at this relatively early stage in their lives, have yet to receive recognition for their work bringing science and evidence to the public. Both Emily Willingham and David Grimes reflect Sir John Maddox’s passion for investigative journalism and for social engagement by young scientists.

On Emily Willingham in specific:

Emily Willingham, a US writer, has brought discussion about evidence, from school shootings to home birth, to large audiences through her writing. She has continued to reach across conflict and disputes about evidence to the people trying to make sense of them. She is facing a lawsuit for an article about the purported link between vaccines and autism.

The Prize is a joint initiative of the science journal Nature, the Kohn Foundation, and the charity Sense About Science. The late Sir John Maddox, FRS, was editor of Nature for 22 years and a founding trustee of Sense About Science.

And a statement by Michael Fitzpatrick, doctor, autism parent, writer and contributer to Left Brain/Right Brain:

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick, author MMR and Autism: What Parents Need to Know and trustee of Sense About Science, responded to the news about Emily Willingham: “She has provided a particularly valuable service in confronting specious theories attributing autism to diverse environmental agents, from milk and vaccines to endocrine disrupters and maternal antibodies. She has also exposed quack treatments for autism and challenged ill-informed reports suggesting a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome as an explanation of the behaviour of serial killers (pointing out that people with autism are much more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violent crime). As co-editor of the excellent Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, she has helped to equip parents and people with autism with a critical approach to the evaluation of claims made by researchers and therapists alike.”

The full article is at SenseAboutScience.org.

by Matt Carey

8 Responses to “Emily Willingham: winner of the 2014 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science”

  1. nvichonestly October 29, 2014 at 03:52 #

    Very, very well deserved. It’s great to see Dr. Willingham’s brilliance and braveness recognized in this way.

  2. Narad October 29, 2014 at 06:57 #

    One might note that the Dachelbot (conspicuously, for some observers) omitted any mention of Wakefraud’s legal threat. Maybe it’s playing possum while planning to launch an attack at the last minute.

    Oh, wait, I’ve seen that episode before.

    • Narad October 29, 2014 at 06:59 #

      Oh, dear, the blurrily fat gray italics completely escaped my attention. Sorry about that.

  3. lilady October 30, 2014 at 13:32 #

    A well-deserved honor for Emily Willingham, whose extraordinarily informative Forbes articles are appreciated in the autism and science communities.

  4. Shannon Rosa October 30, 2014 at 17:29 #

    So glad to see Emily’s unapologetic and tireless efforts get this kind of recognition!

  5. Sullivan (Matt Carey) October 29, 2014 at 02:09 #

    Gosh, Anne Dachel noticed that Emily Willingham, Ph.D., got an award. Her readers could do with a reference to someone who understands the topic well.

  6. lilady October 30, 2014 at 13:36 #

    I just cannot resist the opportunity to link to the Dachelbot’s repetitive Spam. I think Narad kept the scorecard on each of those comments.



  1. AnneDachel.com » Blog Archive » FORBES Mag’s Emily Willingham: winner of the 2014 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science - October 28, 2014

    […] included in my book, The Big Autism Cover Up, since she’s done so much writing on autism. From Left Brain Right Brain  Willingham…AD […]

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