, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 544-546
Date: 16 Jan 2009

Offit Paul: Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure

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In Autism’s False Prophets, Paul Offit, M.D., Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, Professor of Pediatrics at The University of Pennsylvania, and co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine, makes an important contribution to popular debates about the etiology and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. The book is arguably the most detailed and thorough history available of the current anti-vaccine movement and the increasingly widespread popular belief that vaccines and/or ingredients in vaccines are related both to autism and the changing prevalence of autism. Offit provides a sustained scientific attack against the misinformation disseminated by the media and a small but vocal group of anti-vaccine advocates. He pays special attention to the therapies and therapists (autism’s “false prophets”) that emerged out of the current anti-vaccine movement. And by situating the autism debate in the larger context of the complex interactions between science, society, and politics, Offit ident ...