Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery

Registration information for the Arthur Allen-David Kirby debate

In case anyone from Southern California of a skeptical bent is interested in attending the debate about whether thimerosal in vaccines causes autism, here is the event information that I mentioned yesterday:

Vaccines and Autism, Is There a Connection?
A Thoughtful Debate

Saturday, January 13, 2007

David Kirby – Author, Evidence of Harm
and Arthur AllenAuthor, Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver

Event Information:
Location: UC San Diego Price Center, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093

Time: Lecture & Debate 10:00am to 12:30pm
Reception & Book Signing: 1:00 to 2:00pm

Lecture: Free if R.S.V.P.’s received online via PRIOR TO 1/9/2007 or $10 on-site or 1/10/2007
After talk Reception: $5 on-site

For more information please go to or call (858) 673-7193

Mr. Kirby’s Biography:
David Kirby has been a professional journalist for over 15 years, and wrote for The New York Times for more than eight years. Kirby was a contracted writer with the weekly City Section at The Times, where he covered public health, local politics, art and culture, film and theater, architecture, zoning and land use, among many other subjects. He has also contributed to The Magazine, Arts & Leisure, Personal Health, Men’s Health, Science Times, Escapes, Travel, Weekend and other sections of the paper. Kirby has also written for a number of national magazines, including Glamour, Redbook, Marie Claire, Mademoiselle, Self, Art News, and others. In addition, Kirby was a foreign correspondent in Mexico and Central America from 1986-1990, where he covered the wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, and covered politics, corruption and natural disasters in Mexico. From Latin America, he reported for UPI, the San Francisco Examiner, Newsday, The Arizona Republic, Houston Chronicle and the NBC Radio Network.

Mr. Allen’s Biography:
Arthur Allen was born in Cincinnati and educated at the University of California, Berkeley where he received an undergraduate degree in Development Studies. He was a foreign correspondent for the Associate Press in El Salvador during the war in that country, and later was based in Mexico City, Paris, and Bonn, Germany. Since 1995, he has been a freelance magazine writer in Washington, D.C., specializing in biomedical affairs.

Allen is particularly interested in how society responds to changes in technology. His book (to be released in January 2007) chronicles the rough and tumble history of vaccines as well as the social and cultural response to vaccination programs, from Cotton Mather’s Boston in the early 18th Century, to present-day conflicts over vaccine safety and supply.

Allen lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, the writer Margaret Talbot, and his two children.

The online registration form is here.

As I said before, with David Kirby representing the “mercury causes autism” side and other sponsors of the conference including Generation Rescue (that’s J.B. Handley‘s organization) and SafeMinds, I know that the canards, distortions, bad studies by the likes of Mark and David Geier, and conspiracy-mongering about big pharma and the Simpsonwood Conference will be flying fast and furious, and I’m sure Arthur could use at least some of the audience on his side.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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