Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy

Seeking Stories of AIDS Denialism

Have you or someone you know been harmed by AIDS Denialism? If you, or someone you care about, have been advised to stop taking HIV meds, ignore HIV test results, purchase a 'natural' cure etc., please email me.

All information will be kept confidential.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Celia Farber's Day in Court: Dismissed with Unavailing Contentions


Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Louis B. York, J.), entered November 9, 2011, which granted defendant Richard Jefferys' motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint as against him, unanimously affirmed, with costs. 

Supreme Court properly determined that plaintiff was a limited public figure because, through her publication of countless articles, she voluntarily injected herself into the controversial debate on whether HIV causes AIDS with a view toward influencing the debate (see Krauss v Globe Intl., 251 AD2d 191, 192 [1st Dept 1998]), and "project[ed] [her] name and personality before . . . readers of nationally distributed magazines . . . to establish [her] reputation as a leading authority" in this area (Maule v NYM Corp., 54 NY2d 880, 882-883 [1981]). The court also properly concluded that the subjects of HIV/AIDS, plaintiff's journalism, and her receipt of an award for her journalism fell "within the sphere of legitimate public concern" (Chapadeau v Utica Observer-Dispatch, 38 NY2d 196, 199 [1975]). Indeed, the record established that plaintiff was a contentious figure within the traditional HIV/AIDS community. 

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Crazy Is as Crazy Does: Conspiracy Theories and Anti-Science

Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation
Published in Frontiers in Personality Science and Individual Differences, 2013
by Stephan Lewandowsky et al.

Conspiracist ideation has been repeatedly implicated in the rejection of scientific propositions, although empirical evidence to date has been sparse. A recent study involving visitors to climate blogs found that conspiracist ideation was associated with the rejection of climate science and the rejection of other scientific propositions such as the link between lung cancer and smoking, and between HIV and AIDS (Lewandowsky, Oberauer, & Gignac, in press; LOG12 from here on). This article analyzes the response of the climate blogosphere to the publication of LOG12. We identify and trace the hypotheses that emerged in response to LOG12 and that questioned the validity of the paper's conclusions. Using established criteria to identify conspiracist ideation, we show that many of the hypotheses exhibited conspiratorial content and counterfactual thinking. For example, whereas hypotheses were initially narrowly focused on LOG12, some ultimately grew in scope to include actors beyond the authors of LOG12, such as university executives, a media organization, and the Australian government. The overall pattern of the blogosphere's response to LOG12 illustrates the possible role of conspiracist ideation in the rejection of science, although alternative scholarly interpretations may be advanced in the future.

Click here to download the provisional PDF of the article.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

AIDS Denier Henry Bauer is Unlikely to be Appointed to Journal of Cryptozoology Editorial Board

Monster Hunting 2.0 by Dan Cossins for ScienceNews

So long as the standards are kept high, then I think it will demonstrate that cryptozoology isn’t just full of crackpots chasing Nessy. —­Darren Naish, University of Southampton, U.K.

Since the demise of the journal Cryptozoology in 1996, there has been no peer-reviewed English-language periodical for the controversial field, which studies animals known from anecdote, folklore, or fragmentary physical evidence, but not yet authenticated with actual specimens. So when the U.K.–based Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) approached popular cryptozoology writer Karl Shuker about launching a new journal, he was happy to oblige.

“I felt it imperative that a journal of this nature should exist again as a platform for formal scientific cryptozoological research and reviews of past cases that mainstream journals may not be willing to consider,” says Shuker, who has a PhD in zoology and comparative physiology from the University of Birmingham, U.K. Having assembled a panel of reviewers who then pored over the first batch of submissions, the CFZ and Shuker published the first issue of The Journal of Cryptozoology in October 2012. Editor-in-chief Shuker insists that all articles are subjected to the “same level of rigorous peer-review evaluations as [in] any mainstream journal.”

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