Friday, April 5, 2013

#499: Harvey Bialy

Harvey Bialy is an American molecular biologist and AIDS denialist, who claims to represent something called the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV–AIDS Hypothesis. He has even written a biography of Peter Duesberg. On the other hand, he has written preciously few peer-reviewed papers supporting his denialism. That, of course, indicates a conspiracy or at least heavy bias from the editors of those journals. But Bialy has figured out that opinion pieces and activism may do just as much damage as, you know, scientific investigations.

Insidiously enough, Bialy was also a member of the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel  convened by Thabo Mbeki in 2000. As such Bialy should be held responsible for actual human suffering and death, but probably won’t be. It has been reported that Mbeki’s government was, through denialism and promotion of quackery, responsible for 330,000 deaths.

A useful resource on AIDS denialism can be found here (and the main denialists are biographed here); another one is here. Some of Bialy’s explanations concerning the issue can be found here.

Diagnosis: Raving mad and extremely dangerous – his impact in the West may be relatively negligible (though his brand of denialism is a worry even here), but his impact in Third World countries may have caused extensive harm to real people already, and continues to do so.

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