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In support of David Gorski

22 Jun

To whomever it may concern,

You have probably recently had to deal with a handful of vitriolic comments regarding the online activities of David Gorski. You will probably have been pointed to an online essay by a young man called Jake Crosby in which he makes a series of claims regarding David Gorski and his ‘ties’ to vaccines/vaccine manufacturers and other entities.

I urge you to read these comments and this essay very, very carefully. Once you do I am in no doubt that you will see what the rest of us clearly can – that this work is the work of a highly impassioned young man who believes that he is right. He believes that vaccines cause autism to state it clearly and he believes that by having some kind of – any kind of – tie to a pharma organisation means that David Gorski is ‘tainted’. But what really annoys master Crosby is the fact that David Gorski regularly blogs in support of the science that clearly shows vaccines do not cause autism and blogs against the pseudo science that attempts – and continually fails- to draw any kind of a link between vaccines and autism.

So this, in master Crosby’s eyes, is David Gorski’s crime – supporting the science and decrying the bad science.

In order to cast some kind of suspicion over David Gorski’s support of science, Crosby has ‘discovered’ that Gorski is conducting research into ways to reuse some types of drugs – drugs developed by Sanofi-Aventis who of course also manufacture some vaccines. And that, despite another few hundred words from master Crosby is that. That is the sum total of his ‘investigation’ and the sum total of David Gorski’s crime.

The only real eye-opener on this issue is that Jake Crosby managed to wring out as many words as he did on this total non-issue.

I have known David Gorski online for a number of years. We often quote one another and link to one anothers posts. We regularly email each other and I was disappointed to be unable to meet him for drinks on a visit to the UK he took a few years ago. In my experience of the man he is rigorous, almost fanatical with regards to accuracy and brings these traits to many areas of blogging and online writing including the investigation of bad science.

Why does it matter to me? It matters because I have an autistic child and an autistic step child. When my autistic child was first diagnosed I firmly believed that her autism was caused by vaccines. It was only through being exposed to writings of David Gorski and his peers on the science of autism and the bad science of the autism/vaccine connection that I eventually saw for myself what was obvious: vaccines don’t cause autism and never did.

Scientists such as David Gorski often blog and write online anonymously. They do this because to be exposed to the sort of people Jake Crosby colludes with often means being exposed to harassment and threats. David Gorski is now finding that out for himself. I hope that you as his peers, colleagues and employers will see how vital it is that David Gorski continues blogging and that you will support him in both his work and his blogging.