Rob Brotherton

When?
Wednesday, September 4 2013 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

60 Old Woolwich Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NY

Who?
Rob Brotherton

What's the talk about?

Over the last 15 years anti-vaccinationism has become a familiar and destructive force within the UK 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, fuelled 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) and blogs at www.ConspiracyPsych.com.