Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Evilutionary Biologist discusses vaccination

One of the blogs I follow is that of the Evilutionary Biologist. Here, he talks about the importance of vaccinating your kids -- and how the media has been undercutting the public good in a really bad way on this issue by falsely tying vaccination to autism. (Why am I not surprised? Good journalism is something you have to go hunting for nowadays, it's certainly not the norm.)
Autism's False Prophet's author Paul Offit blames "the media for keeping the myth alive by following the journalistic mantra of ‘balance,’ perpetually presenting two sides of an issue even when only one side is supported by the science. And shows like “Larry King Live” have been “just awful on this issue,” he adds, placing ratings and controversy above public health by repeatedly giving McCarthy and other “true believers” a platform to peddle fear and misinformation."
He ends the article talking about whether or not scientists should try to use the power of story-telling to help them get their important messages across. Playwrights (including me) have been writing more and more about science lately, it seems. Perhaps the scientists are going to start writing plays... More power to 'em.

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