Science doesn’t kill people, people kill people. With politics and mind games.
And “fear spreads as rapidly as any virus . . .”
David Shenk is the author of five books; his next book, The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You’ve Been Told about Genetics, Talent and IQ is Wrong, will be published by Doubleday in March 2010.
Oct 20 2009, 5:59PM
Health / Medicine:
The New Pandemic of Vaccine Phobia
We no longer believe that witches control the weather or inhabit the souls of adolescent girls. We no longer believe that the earth is flat, and we have even held our ground against the pseudoscience of “intelligent design.”
Now it is time for all who respect logic, rationality, and the scientific method to come together and say NO MORE to anti-vaccine demagoguery.
No one pretends that vaccines are perfect, or 100% risk-free. But approved vaccines work. They save lives. They do not cause mercury poisoning or autism. They carry very low risks — risks almost always worth taking. And, to top it off, vaccines have become something of a civic responsibility: they work best when everyone takes them.
Six recent helpful articles:
[see at story link]
Wired Magazine is out with its new cover story about a prominent vaccine scientist and historian/biographer, who is to vaccines what Richard Dawkins is to evolution — someone who gets death threats for his modern medicine the way doctors who courageously provide women’s family planning and reproductive health care do:
An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All
Then I came across a progressive Indiana pediatrician at HuffPo blogging health care and insurance reform in a way that appeals to my intelligence: RATIONAL ARGUMENTS: a blog mainly (but not entirely) about health policy. . .his radio talk about intelligently negotiating health insurance reform is here.