I enjoyed this article about the anti-vaccination movement.
What’s interesting to me is just how similar this debate is to global-warming. Among scientists there appears to be no debate. In both areas there is a small group of people that are skeptical and hold enough influence to sway people the other way.
I’ve never paid much attention at all to the anti-vaccine outcries that claim that they’ve been responsible for the rising rates of autism. Some vaccines contain amounts of mercury and aluminum, which brings up the question – why are those included? That question isn’t answered in Wired’s article.
But, as is explained in the article, what’s the motivation in vaccinations other than to protect the population? There’s not much money in it, at least when compared to the drugs you see advertised on TV like Viagra and Lipitor.
The drive behind the skepticism is probably best summed up by Lawrence Lessig, who basically says in his Change Congress presentations that no amount of data can persuade anybody when they simply don’t trust you.