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ES 1: The Way Things Work: The epistemology of the toaster (Ellen): Activity

Activity: Information Literacy & General Citation and Plagiarism

Activity: Synthezising

Original Source Material: Barbara Loe Fisher, the parent of an autistic child and co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, believes that some cases of what she terms the "regressive" form of autism may be linked to the [measles-mumps-rubella] MMR vaccine. She says regressive autism is characterized by a sudden developmental downturn in a child who had previously been developing normally. The National Vaccine Information Center is a nonprofit educational organization in Vienna, Virginia, established by parents whose children were injured or died following vaccination. Source:
WebMD. (n.d.). Vaccine Linked to Autism? Retrieved September 29, 2014, from

Original Source Material: This eighth and final report of the Immunization Safety Review Committee examines the hypothesis that vaccines, specifically the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and thimerosal-containing vaccines, are causally associated with autism. The committee reviewed the extant published and unpublished epidemiological studies regarding causality and studies of potential biologic mechanisms by which these immunizations might cause autism.

The committee concludes that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism. The committee also concludes that the body of epidemiological evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. The committee further finds that potential biological mechanisms for vaccine-induced autism that have been generated to date are theoretical only.

Institute of Medicine (U.S.), Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Institute of Medicine (U.S.), & Immunization Safety Review Committee. (2004). Immunization safety review vaccines and autism. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. Retrieved from

Original Source Material: We analyzed data from a case-control study conducted in 3 managed care organizations (MCOs) of 256 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 752 control children matched on birth year, sex, and MCO. In addition to the broader category of ASD, we also evaluated autistic disorder and ASD with regression... The aOR (95% CI) of ASD associated with each 25-unit increase in total antigen exposure was 0.999 (0.994–1.003) for cumulative exposure to age 3 months, 0.999 (0.997–1.001) for cumulative exposure to age 7 months, and 0.999 (0.998–1.001) for cumulative exposure to age 2 years. Similarly, no increased risk was found for autistic disorder or ASD with regression.

In this study of MCO members, increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines during the first 2 years of life was not related to the risk of developing an ASD.
DeStefano, F., Price, C. S., & Weintraub, E. S. (2014). Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism. Pediatria Polska, 89(5), T31–T38. doi:10.1016/j.pepo.2014.07.003


Activity: Find and Retrieve

P14 Electric Charge
[Foot note] The Development of the Concept of Electric Charge: Electricity from the Greeks to Coulomb (“Harvard Case Histories in Experimental Science,” Case 8; Cambridge, Mass., 1954)

P12 Vision, Light and Colours
[Foot note] Joseph Priestley, The History and Present State of Discoveries Relating to Vision, Light, and Colours (London, 1772), pp. 385-90.

P 27  Neutrino concept
[Foot note] C. L. Cowan, Jr., et al., “Detection of the Free Neutrino: A Confirmation,” Science, CXXIV (1956), 103-4.

P 29 Measurement concept and Adiabatic Compression
[Foot note] T. S. Kuhn, “The Function of Measurement in Modern Physical Science,” Isis, LII (1961), 161-93.
[Foot note] T. S. Kuhn, “The Caloric Theory of Adiabatic Compression,” Isis, XLIX (1958), 132-40

P 53 / 56 Oxygen Theory of Combustion
Lavoisier—the Crucial Year: The Background and Origin of His First Experiments on Combustion in 1772 (Ithaca, N.Y., 1961).

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