Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mr. Robison goes to Washington

I see that looking at John Elder Robison's facebook page, that he is on his way to Washington, D.C. to review 106 research proposals for autism related things and he gets to help pick who does and who does not get funded at taxpayer expense.

So, the taxpayers are funding decisions being made by someone who at one time claimed no cure was needed for certain autism spectrum disorders, who has seriously suggested studying geek success as a solution to helping persons with autism, and keeps company with founder Alex Plank, who has blanketly stated that most autistics don't want to be cured and has autism=good as the slogan for his website.

In addition to being a scientific advisor in the public sector, Robison is also on the scientific advisory board of autism speaks, possibly to placate some noisy neurodiversity advocates, who insist that persons on the spectrum be appointed to positions of power in autism speaks. upon looking at Robison along with his fellow advisory board members one cannot but help noticing the incongruity of Robison, a high school dropout, being included amongst all these Ph.D. and M.D. scientists. Apparently notoriety and commercial success as an author trumps scientific acumen as a qualification for making scientific decisions in both the public and private sectors. Likewise it also trumps federal law as someone who repeatedly engages in dialogue and activity undermining the noble cause of finding a way to prevent and cure autism as has been passed by the combating autism act.

Of greatest concern to this blogger is the possibility that Robison may go to Washington hat in hand and ask for some taxpayer dollars for his own personal use and be given a handout by the federal government. We have seen Robison has done this in his capacity as an advisory board member of autism speaks. Apparently Autism Speaks has no scruples about this Robin Hood in reverse stuff. Neither Robison nor AS see any ethical lapse or conflict of interest in such things.

With the federal government's track record, Gadfly can't help thinking that history could repeat itself.

Along with Ari Ne'eman's participation in crafting autism public policy at taxpayer expense we see another fine example of our tax dollars at work.

1 comment:

SM69 said...

Can't refrain myself from making a comment on the facebook page link you gave.

John Elder Robinson has over 13, 000 supporters, many of whom I know of. That may sound like a lot, but in fact, it gravitates around the same people, in full circle from Ari / ND to Biomed, to Parents and professions in biomed area. a full circle.

Inflated interest... is what FB seems to be generating, any trivial comment, triggers 123 immediate supportive "I like answers". Why? There is a clear fashion feel to this, I don't trust fashion, I don't trust values that seems to be related to popularity.

I don't think I'll ever get a fan of that type of FB/ Twitter communication. I can see why people might feel good about themselves, I can see why it helps decimating information, but I am yet to be cleared about any real benefit.

And personally, I could not care less about seeing his guy sitting by his bookshelf whilst being filmed. This seems very narcissistic to me. A little more distance from personality cults in ASD would be refreshing.