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Sunday Lecture - Beware! The Vaccine A brief history of anti-vaccinationism

Rob Brotherton paints a history of conspiracy theories and medical scares over the centuries, and will put forward some ideas on how to counteract medical hysteria over vaccinations

Over the last 15 years anti-vaccinationism has become a familiar and destructive force within the U.K. and overseas. In 1998 a small, dubious, and ultimately discredited study alleging a link between the MMR vaccine and autism ignited media debate and public anxiety. Vaccine uptake fell, and outbreaks of previously rare diseases ensued. The science is clear: no such link exists. Yet anti-vaccinationism persists, fueled by conspiracy theories and personal fears.
The fact that these claims have survived despite continual empirical refutation is hardly surprising given the long history of anti-vaccinationism; anti-vaccination movements sprang to life alongside the very first smallpox vaccine and have dogged the medical profession ever since. This talk will present a brief history of anti-vaccinationism, from the 18th Century to the present day.
Rob Brotherton is a doctoral candidate at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he was awarded an ESRC scholarship to carry out a PhD examining the psychology of conspiracy theories. Rob is Assistant Editor of The Skeptic (www.skeptic.org.uk)


Rob Brotherton | talks


Date and Time:

7 April 2013 at 11:00 am


1 hour 30 minutes



Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
020 7242 8032

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