Alison Tepper Singer Grows Up
'Cause you just might get it
You just might get it...
— The Pussycat Dolls, When I Grow Up
Last week, Alison Tepper Singer resigned from Autism Speaks, leaving a high-profile position as the organization's executive vice president of communications and awareness, because of what she describes as a difference of opinion regarding vaccines. She claims that she left voluntarily, standing on principle and defending the cause of science, because she was opposed to wasting money on vaccine-related research after many studies had shown no link between vaccines and autism.
Perhaps she did indeed choose to leave, or perhaps—in light of her history of strong support for genetic research—the Wrights decided to give her the boot so that they could attract more donations from those in the anti-vaccine camp. To put it more bluntly, the Wrights appear to be trying to bamboozle the anti-vaccine folks by making a few vague promises of research into vaccine safety, while their eugenic steamroller continues merrily on its way. I expect we'll never know the whole truth, but it seems likely that her departure may not be as voluntary as she asserts.
Here's the lesson that I hope she takes away from all this:
When you work in the pity industry, for an organization that is so totally devoid of ethics that it sees nothing wrong with using fantasies of child murder for marketing purposes, then you shouldn't be surprised when—after getting more public attention than you ever really wanted to have—you end up getting thrown under the bus just like your kid.