"Honorary degrees are often bestowed to non-academic leaders in the arts, business, and politics. Harvard's roster in recent years has included Kofi Annan, Bill Gates, Meryl Streep, and David Souter. But Oprah's particular brand of celebrity is not a good fit for the values of a university whose motto, Veritas, means truth. Oprah's passionate advocacy extends, unfortunately, to a hearty embrace of phony science. Critics have taken Oprah to task for years for her energetic shilling on behalf of peddlers of quack medicine. Most notoriously, Oprah's validation of Jenny McCarthy's discredited claim that vaccines cause autism has no doubt contributed to much harm through the foolish avoidance of vaccines...."
Poor Oprah, little did she know that there is no free speech when it comes to the vaccine-autism question. I posted comments. This is just more proof that the controversy shows no signs of quietly going away!Boston Globe
(business): Cambridge firm's autism drug fails test, families upset
"Greater Boston is at the forefront of autism research, and the condition itself - estimated to affect 1 in 50 American children - is now receiving major scientific interest. Arbaclofen in particular was received with great expectations by the autism community.
"Zorovic and other parents said arbaclofen reduced the level of anxiety and otherwise helped their children. But Seaside said the drug did not show enough progress on the one behavior it had targeted for the trial: the social withdrawal so characteristic of people with fragile X or autism.
"People with autism have difficulty with communication and social interactions, and are preoccupied with repetitive behaviors or routines. About 5 percent of those with autism also have fragile X, which is a genetic mutation of the X chromosome; many of them exhibit severe behaviors, such as sudden rages or panic attacks, obsessive or age-inappropriate actions and constant motion."
Just imagine the possibilities out there for a company that could develop an effective drug for autism--something affecting 2 percent of children. The profits would be endless.
Imagine the headline, "CDC announces one in 50 autism rate, families upset." It never happens.NBC29 Charlottesville, VA
"Greg and Carol Hagen are wrestling with the concern that they don't know where their autistic son Eric will live when they can't take care of him anymore."
"'At some point, the parents will not be around. They may or may not have a support network in place if they have siblings or other people,' Greg Hagen said."
"Eric is right on the cusp of a growing problem for families touched by autism."
"'The incidents really started going up about the time Eric was diagnosed when he was 2. He's now 18. So there's a large population about to age out of school, looking for employment and housing situations,' Hagen said."
These stories are everywhere. They're local news. No one is alarmed. And most of all, no one asks why this is a problem.