The Buzz: Trust and Distrust in the Vaccine-Autism Debate


The anti-vaccine movement has infiltrated society so thoroughly that correcting the trend of misinformation might verge on the impossible, argues Liza Gross in a PLoS Biology paper published last Tuesday. The public's lack of trust in the authority and motivations of doctors and of governmental health organizations is one factor cited in the article, as well as the frequent media portrayal of the vaccine-antivaccine debate as a balanced fight. ScienceBloggers Janet Stemwedel, Orac, and Peter Lipson weighed in on two questions raised by the paper and the responses it garnered—as Janet asks, "Who can we trust for good information? and To whom are we accountable for our actions and our decisions?" Orac also provides an answer to Janet's first question in a separate post: Not Oprah.


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