Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: The Me in Measles

by Gary Niederhoff on March 1, 2015

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: The Me in Measles

Wondering whether to vaccinate your children? The decision can feel like a shot in the dark if you don’t know how to evaluate risk. Find out why all of us succumb to the reasoning pitfalls of cognitive and omission bias, whether we’re saying no to vaccines or getting a tan on the beach.

Plus, an infectious disease expert on why it may take a dangerous resurgence of preventable diseases – measles, whooping cough, polio – to remind us that vaccines save lives.

Also, a quaint but real vaccine fear: that the 18th century smallpox vaccine, made from cowpox, could turn you into a cow!

It’s our monthly look at critical thinking … but don’t take our word for it!

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Paul Offit / Vaccine Facts and Fears
Part 2: Neil deGrasse Tyson / Evaluating Risk
Part 3: Adam Korbitz / Risk Assessment
Part 4: Andrew Maynard / Accurate Data

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar Amy Demetrowitz March 11, 2015 at 6:47 pm

I’m not an anti-vaxxer, my daughter has all of her shots, but to suggest that parents who don’t vaccinate just don’t understand the statistics of risk is patronizing. When you add the history of the science of health recommendations to the profit motive of big pharma it’s only natural parents would be skeptical of vaccination advice. It’s not just a naive misunderstanding of science it’s a skepticism born from watching every other health advice based on the latest science be proven incorrect and in some cases even dangerous and watching data be manipulated to make a corporation a buck. I like your show, but with the title Skeptic Check, sometimes I find your completely uncritical worship of science without review of history or ethics really disconcerting.

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