Saturday, December 28, 2013

#847: Robert J. Krakow

Robert Krakow is a lawyer affiliated with the antivaccine movement, whose main goal, it seems, is to get parents of children with vaccines to sue. Thus far, the court cases have been more or less failures, of course, but who knows what will happen next time? Krakow isn’t just a cynical opportunist, it seems, but an actual, true believer in the idea that thimerosal in vaccines causes autism, which – given the distance between that hypothesis and reality – doesn’t really help in court (or make is efforts relevantly less vile, for that matter).

With well-known anti-vaccine activists Mary Holland, Louis Conte, and Lisa Colin, he authored “Unanswered Questions from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: A Review of Compensated Cases of Vaccine-Induced Brain Injury,” which attempted to bolster the case for a legal (and scientific) argument, an article that would have been hilarious for its fallacies were it not for the fact that it could potentially be the source of some real harm. It is discussed in some detail here. The same people were also behind an embarrassing “study” called “Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health, and Our Children,” which also committed all the fallacies associated with this particular brand of denialism, in addition to being ethically questionable.

Diagnosis: Crank lawyer whose primary move in the denialist movement is the predictable one: Since science doesn’t support our claim, let’s take it to the courts. Though wrong, Krakow is of course still dangerous. Stay away.

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