Real Science and Autism (for a change)
There was an autism seminar at the AAAS Annual meeting yesterday. This is from the AAAS web site. Are there any published reports of what was said or online copies of the presentations. Were any of you there?
ORGANIZERS: Morton Gernsbacher, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Judith Grether (Speaker), California Department of Health Services
Is There an Epidemic of Autism?
Irving Gottesman (Speaker), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Do Childhood Vaccines Cause Autism?
Laurent Mottron (Speaker), Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies, Montreal
What is the Nature of Autistic Intelligence?
Morton Gernsbacher (Speaker), University of Wisconsin, Madison
Do Autistics Lack a Theory of Mind?
No available abstracts.
Scientific and societal interest in autism has burgeoned in the past decade, as documented by nearly 6 million Web sites, almost 10,000 entries in PubMed, and a weekly focus on autism by the national media. But, with this surge of scientists and society turning their attention toward autism, it becomes exceedingly important to distinguish uninformed stereotype from scientific reality, to move beyond myths and misconceptions. In this symposium, presented by epidemiologists, psychiatrists, physicians, and psychologists, four broadly held but possibly incorrect assumptions will be critically evaluated: Is there an epidemic of autism? Do childhood vaccines cause autism? Do autistic individuals really “lack a theory of mind”? Are most autistic individuals cognitively impaired? For each of these fundamental questions, state-of-the-art science will be presented in a format that will be accessible to scientists, laypersons, and the media.