Last October, Yale lecturer Erika Christakis sent an email questioning whether university administrators should advise students on what Halloween costumes to wear. It resulted in protests on campus and a heated debate around the country.
In 1998 a research paper was published that linked the childhood measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to the onset of autism, a life long developmental disorder. Follow up studies could not replicate the findings casting doubt on its conclusions, and earlier this year it was proven that this original study was, in fact, fraudulent. But the damage was done. Childhood vaccination rates dropped resulting in outbreaks of measles and whooping cough. Funds that would have gone to new research into the causes of autism were diverted, and surveys indicate that about one in five Americans continues to believe that a childhood vaccine can trigger autism. A story of fraudulent medical research and its consequences.
- Alison Tepper Singer Founder and President of the Autism Science Foundation, formerly Executive Vice President of Autism Speaks, served on the federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC.)
- Dr. Roberta DeBiasi pediatric infectious diseases physician at Children’s National Medical Center
- Seth Mnookin Author of "The Panic Virus: a True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear." He is a contributing editor at "Vanity Fair" and a former senior writer for "Newsweek."
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