In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the issue's role in presidential campaigns. In this campaign, a number of posts discussed Trump's support for the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. He also has a bad record on disability issues more generally.
A basic grasp and appreciation of research methods and statistics is vital in order to be able to distinguish fact from fiction. We need these tools in order to filter through the countless claims that we are confronted with in the media, from our politicians and our friends. Take President-elect Donald Trump's tweet about autism:
To make up our mind about whether Trump's claim makes sense or not, we would need - at least on an intuitive level - an understanding of the difference between correlation and causation. In a nutshell: just because two things seem to move together - such as a rise in vaccinations and a rise in autism diagnoses - doesn't mean that one thing caused the other.
As we think that a wide audience could benefit from such a new approach to teaching, we have made our course freely accessible online. It's called 'Deception Detox - how solid science can help you save the world'. See this 10-minute video below to get an idea of how it works: Big Fat Problem