Friday, April 11, 2014

#993: Raymond Obomsawin


Though Joseph Chikelue Obi bills himself as the “world’s top expert in nutritional immunomodulation”, and we have some duty to mention him, he is Dublin-based and as such strictly speaking disqualified for an actual entry.

Raymond Obomsawin is largely cut from the same kind of cloth. Obomsawin is a particularly dubiously honest anti-vaccine activist, most famous for his set of graphs for the Vaccine Liberation website purportedly showing that vaccines haven’t helped cure anything since the death rates of several vaccine-preventable diseases, including whooping cough, diptheria, measles, and polio were falling before the vaccines for each disease were introduced (curiously avoiding smallpox, presumably because even he was unable to mangle the data sufficiently for that one). The graphs are so staggeringly dishonestly put together that it is difficult to view it as an honest mistake. The graphs made a significant impact in the denialist community, of course, which – since these people are denialists and not interested in evidence – has continued to use the graphs despite the fact that their flaws and misleadingness were quickly and easily pointed out. Obomsawin himself responded to the glaring faults of his graphs that he had had problems doing the graph correctly in Excel and that he would correct the graphs. He hasn’t. So much for intellectual honesty.

Obomsawin likes to present himself as a scientist – he is a PhD who has produced academically and/or professionally over eighty-five (85) articles, reports, policy documents, presentations, and publications.” But a search reveals only a single published commentary, and he was, as of 2010, engaged with government funding as Senior Researcher relative to establishing a Public Sector Policy on Traditional Medicine in Canada,” which means that he is pushing for support of woo, and not doing science or affiliated with any real research institution at all (and yes, though he seems to be working in Canada, Obomsawin is American).

Apart from his anti-vaccine efforts, Obomsawin seems to have been toying with HIV-denialism and support for Royal Rife. He is also apparently a defender of brave maverick” Andrew Wakefield, which is another good indicator for how well Obomsawin understands intellectual honesty (the support is mutual, by the way).

Diagnosis: Intellectual dishonesty turned into a rather easily deconstructible art form. A bad person, but a frighteningly influential one.

1 comment:

  1. Fear in government. Wake up. This Dr speaks truth.

    ReplyDelete