It looks like the formidable Michelle Dawson has about as much time for Prof. Greenfield's trendy theories about computer use supposedly degrading mental faculties as I do. Some quotes from Dawson's Twitter feed:
"Thanks to Greenfield, how many real-life autistics will now be discouraged from pursuing their strong abilities in information technology?"
"Greenfield also implies that freeing autistics from the internet would change our brains (& "attitude") & make us nonautistic again. Right?"
Greenfield hasn't been limiting herself to insinuating that spending a lot of time at the keyboard can result in a cognitive profile that lacks a certain something in regard to the social life. She has come right out and suggested a possible causal link between the rise in internet use and the rise of autism in an interview that was published in New Scientist earlier this month, which is interesting, considering that she's supposed to be a Woman of Science, and this suggestion makes no scientific sense at all. Apparently Greenfield has said similar things about ADHD. Is this the same Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE who was until early this year the director of the prestigious Royal Institution? Really? In the UK there seems to be an inverse relationship between the prestige of a scientist and his or her endowment of common sense. In response to the Prof's attention-grabbing suggestion, Neuroskeptic has put forward an alternative hypothesis, which has given some people renewed hope that a simple cure for autism can be found:
Susan Greenfield Causes Autism.
August 8th 2011
An open letter to Baroness Susan Greenfield.
August 4th 2011
Susan Greenfield: Living online is changing our brains.
by Frank Swain
3rd August 2011