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I am Bonnie Offit!!

16 Nov

AoA have a hilariouslybizarre post up this morning.

Is Dr. Bonnie Offit masquerading on the web as an autism parent and prolific blogger named “Sullivan”?

And why do AoA think this?

The primary answer seems to be that they found a comment from Liz Ditz on Squidalicious blog that _seems_ (if you’re not too bothered about reading the context) to refer to Sullivan as ‘her’. In fact what Liz was doing was referring to the subject of the post she was commenting on – Holly Robinson Peete.

AoA’s next piece of evidence is that Bonnie Offit surfs the blogosphere late at night. Erm…so what?

Their third piece of evidence seems to be that Sullivan is a smart guy. This is undeniable. I’ve had the good fortune to chat to him via Skype and he is indeed one smart cookie. Is he a doctor of medicine as Bonnie Offit is? No. No he’s not.

Their fourth piece of evidence is that Sully defends Paul Offit. Well so what? I know of lots of bloggers, including myself, who defend Paul Offit.

Their fifth piece of evidence (why does this remind me of ploughing through Age of Autism the book) is that Sullivan appears to know Paul Offit. Again, so what? I’ll be frank, I’ve swapped emails with Paul Offit and charming man that he is, he’s always very friendly and courteous , going out of his way to be helpful and guess what – he gives proof copies of his books to people he think would be interested in reading them!! I have one myself. Dan Olmsted, Mark Blaxill et al also indulge in this practice. That takes care of another piece of ‘evidence’.

Yet another piece of evidence produced by AoA is that Sully goes to great lengths to clarify what Paul Offit earned from his vaccines. Let me give you a little lesson AoA – this is something called ‘clarity’ and it is coupled with something called ‘tenacity’. When you have these things, as Sullivan does, you are interested in the actual truth as opposed to the surface appearance.

Yet another piece of evidence (and we’re really scraping the barrel here) is that Sully didn’t discuss the suit against Paul Offit until the day it was dismissed, despite the fact that Orac had. Not really sure what to say about that one, except this is getting very silly indeed.

AoA closes this piece of hilarity with:

You know, I’m starting to hope this is Bonnie Offit, because if it isn’t we have one really, really troubled father on our hands. Get a life, father of a child with autism, Paul Offit is not going to help your child…unless Paul Offit is the father of your children, and then, once again, it all makes sense.

Which is a weird statement to make given that the author of this whole piece, JB Handley, said in an email to Sullivan:

…you are entitled to your own opinion, and I find your writing to be thought-provoking.

So on one hand Sully is a really, really troubled father and on the other JB Handley finds Sully thought provoking. Hmmm.

However, as I said, its plain to me that Sullivan is not Bonnie Offit for one clear and simple reason. I’ve spoke with HIM.

And there’s one other factoid AoA clearly missed. Sully can’t be Bonnie Offit because I am!!

Update:Orac claims he’s Bonnie Offit. Clearly this can’t be true because I AM!!!

Story Time With Darwin

24 Oct

When Autism’s False Prophets hit the shelves–heck even before–there was a lot of buzz in the online community. Lot’s of reviews were posted on blogs. There seemed to be a strong correlation between people who actually read the book and people who favorably reviewed the book. AFP was chosen for the Science Blogs Book Club.

There have been a lot of approaches to discussing Autism’s False Prophets online, but I don’t think I would have ever predicted this:

Darwin-AFP Introduction

Yep, someone (not just someone, and autistic adult) reading from Autism’s False Prophets.

I saw that video and thought, “AFP isn’t a really long book, but there’s no way that this guy can cover much of the book.”

I underestimated the will and stamina of Darwin. He has 59 videos up. He’s at least to chapter 8.

Here’s a “commercial” for the YouTube series. You gotta click on this one. It’s short, and made me laugh out loud.

Darwin-AFP commercial

Note: I’m having a little trouble embedding the YouTube videos. I hope to figure that out soon.

ScienceBlogs Book Club

1 Oct

I was very honoured to be asked to participate in the latest round of the ScienceBlogs Book Club.

ScienceBlogs Book Club

ScienceBlogs Book Club

The ScienceBlogs Book Club is exactly as it sounds – a discussion round table on a particular science related book. In this instance, the book in question is Dr Paul Offit’s Autism’s False Prophets.

This promises to be a very interesting discussion, mostly because numbered amongst the contributors is Dr. Offit himself. The full line up of contributors is:

Dr. Offit
Professor Bob Park
and me.

A rather intimidating line up in which to ply my blogging wares. Everyone except me is either a Doctor or a Professor. It does feel a little like being made to sit outside the Headmasters office (again).

All joking aside, it really is an honour to be asked to blog alongside such heavy hitters (even if I do know two of the bloggers pretty well) and I hope to be making sure I am talking as much about autism and the future of autism research as I am vaccines. I think Dr. Offit – given his final chapter – will approve of that.

So – come across and participate. I’d like to see UK-ers over there too if possible (Rutty, I’m thinking of you 😉 ).