The Danger of Science Denial

I’ve recently been marking GCSE “case studies” – coursework where students get to “research a science related question” e.g., Should we use more nuclear power? Are humans responsible for global warming?

A friend of mine told me about a really good case study by a student of hers entitled “Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?” It started with the statement “I am interested in this topic because my father decided against having me vaccinated when I was a child.”

After looking at a variety of sources of information, the student concluded that there was not really any scientific evidence to link the MMR vaccine to autism. However, she also stated that the side effects of vaccines were a good reason to avoid vaccinating your children. I found this depressing – vaccines and vaccination are one of science’s greatest achievements and I was saddened that this bright, capable student had failed to acknowledge this.

I wish she’d watched this film:

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