Following is a published reply to a BMJ article proposing to adopt social network strategies to recoup the public’s loss of trust in medical vaccine doctrine. While pointing out a small fraction of the context of the ongoing medical scandals and coverups, the reply still manages to skate around the valid scientific reasons to doubt the CDC’s financially conflicted vaccination schedule. This objective science is the source of the networked decision making which both authors lament.
The medical echo chamber has long demonstrated its ability to create “science” out of nothing but institutional self interest, and vaccination is just one more example of this. The emergent intelligence manifesting on the internet is proving itself more reliable than medicine itself, reflecting the general breakdown in the credibility of the “old power”. Apparently some authority figures believe this is justification for a lobotomy. How predictable.
Both authors should get some perspective and a sense of humility. Parents doubt the doctrine because it’s not worthy of trust, both on a factual level and on a process level.
Get some boundaries doktor.
Letters: Pushing back against antivax
Antivaccination movement exploits public’s distrust in scientific authority
BMJ 2019; 367 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l6960 (Published 17 December 2019)
Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6960
Perera and colleagues urge us to learn from the surge of self-organising networks that are driving the rapid spread of antivaccination messages.1 Better than adopting the social media techniques of this so-called new power, the case for vaccination could get a needed boost by tackling the conditions that precipitated this challenge to the old knowledge order.
[obligatory pharma advertisement omitted -rw]
There is no shortage of editorialising on the war on science,2 the death of expertise,3 post-truth,4 and post-fact,5 lamenting the downgrading of old power (the scientists, the moderns, the knowers of truth) and the resulting proliferation of misinformation. But vaccine hesitators and refusers—the subjects of many social scientific studies—consistently couch their non-scientific claims about vaccines (as dangerous, unnecessary, ineffective, and so on) in sincere misgivings about conflicts of interest in medical research and healthcare practice and focus on evidence that science does not work in the public interest. This should be the point of focus by the old power, as daily news stories of the mismarketing of opioids6 and the medical device scandal7 inform public attitudes about the vaccine consensus and other expert pronouncements.
The institutional apparatus of scientific authority has lost the public’s trust, and Instagram influencers have filled the void for parents struggling with the issue of vaccines. Despite all the investment in vaccine outreach, parents still frequently claim that they don’t know what to do or who to believe. The scientific consensus is not fulfilling its public function, and this is a problem of scientific governance rather than social media. Those of us invested in public health and science for the people (including vaccination) should direct efforts towards building and maintaining public trust.89 Perera and colleagues’ recommendation to adopt social media influence techniques rings hollow.
Church of Science Examines Speed of Heresy in Society
The Beast Examines the Problem of Controlling Information Contagion