There’s this kid who is studying epidemiology though he absolutely detests anything that has been proven through the science of epidemiology. Alright, not “everything”, but everything related to vaccines. In his mind, it seems, anyone who’s concluded that vaccines are good for public health must have been paid by the pharmaceutical industry. Likewise, it seems that anyone who’s been discredited and proven to be wrong about vaccines is a martyr. Why is he studying epidemiology if he can’t make heads or tails of it?
Because he really wants to make heads or tails of it, I hope. Unfortunately, his ramblings against science and against respectable epidemiologists – with decades of knowledge and wisdom under their belts – only works against him. Being a harsh, activist critic of science doesn’t get you the best jobs in science.
Maybe he doesn’t want a job in the scientific or public health field? With an MPH degree after his name, this kid can now exert more referent authority on the people who follow and support each and every one of his screeds. See, it’s different when people see that you have an education. You can do a lot more – good or evil, your choice.
This leads me to address the issue of my own credibility as a public health writer with my own audience. It should be obvious to all of you that I am using a pseudonym. As a result, I am unable to actually show you my credentials in epidemiology, public health, and biostatistics. Weirdly, I have less credibility, at this time, than that kid.
However, I cannot and will not reveal my identity to all of you because people in that kid’s camp have made it their lives’ mission to seek out and harass anyone they disagree with. And disagree with me they do, for I trust well-designed, peer-reviewed, scientific studies. They show up at talks, conferences, and symposia. They monopolize the discussion, spewing their own brand of denialism, and then they libel and slander their way through their blogs. All the while, we – with real jobs and real mortgages – are left defenseless, unable to strike back. If we do, there is hell to pay with those who “lead” us but are averse to confronting the evils of anti-science.
Perhaps one day when I am not afraid to be raked to the coals like I saw them do to Epi Ren, I will reveal myself to the Jedi, and to all of you. Perhaps.