Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Brookings Scholar Blasts Brookings Scholar

Think tank colleagues are usually a cordial and harmonious bunch.  They typically praise each others work (at least in public) or at least don't bash it.

But that was not the case this week when prolific think tanker Justin Wolfers, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, lashed out at Michael O'Hanlon, a well-known security and defense scholar at Brookings, for writing about a subject he admittedly is not an expert in: vaccines and autism.

Following are the Tweets that Wolfers wrote:

Here is the paper in question that O'Hanlon wrote on autism/vaccines.  In it, he notes that he is the parent of a child on the autism spectrum, but also says he is not a scientist in the field of biology or medicine.

So, should a think tank scholar to able to publish pieces on subjects that they are not experts in?

It seems that Wolfers does not worry an ounce about upsetting Brookings or his colleagues, probably because he is affiliated with numerous other think tanks - including five of the top 10 economic think tanks.

But, just for a littler entertainment, Think Tank Watch would love to see Wolfers and O'Hanlon settle the score at the Brookings Fight Club.