As part of my ongoing pharmaceutical case, I attended RA2009 Conference in Oakland, California this month where I finally met many of the people who have helped me along in the investigation. I haven’t written about the conference largely because it was so personally moving. The conference was a celebration of life that offered many signs that what now appears to be a 28-year multi-billion dollar political scam is coming closer to an end.
Unlike so many other conferences that I’ve attended, most of us (if not all) had “skin in the game” – university professors, doctors, chemists, economists who had endured retaliation for asking too many questions and others who had been sentenced to die many years ago. Individuals like Karri Stokely and Lindsay Nagel smile in a way that those who beat death can smile.
Professor Henry Bauer recaps the conference nicely (PDF):
It’s only natural that in recalling this occasion we will wonder just what made it so remarkable. Cynics might even suggest that it wasn’t really unique, just that those in attendance hadn’t much experience of similar get-togethers.
For me personally, no such explanation could hold water. I’ve been to innumerable professional conferences on chemistry and history of science or science studies, where there has sometimes been excitement over specific items or topics, but nothing like the communal atmosphere and impact of RA2009. I’ve been to meetings where a single purpose was passionately shared — the wish to preserve academic standards and integrity — but we were always a noticeably homogeneous crowd of largely white, male, senior professors. I’ve participated in several other organizations of contrarian bent, for example several of the International Conferences on the Unity of the Sciences which brought together people of all stripes and disciplines and beliefs from all over the world, but the actual proceedings were in small groups and little different from academic seminars; enjoyable as interdisciplinary discussions freed from the blinders of the traditional fields of knowledge but no more than that.
The Society for Scientific Exploration was established precisely to enable disciplined discussion of matters ignored or shunned by the mainstream disciplines, and its meetings have some of the characteristics that RA2009 displayed — wide range of intellectual backgrounds, joint experience of struggling against mainstream dogma, the making of friends through shared endeavor — but, again, not the extraordinary symbiosis of intellect, emotion, spirit, and very specific common purpose evident at RA2009. In the proper meaning of that much-misused word, RA2009 was UNIQUE in a very meaningful way. (More here)