Why have we seen an outbreak of measles and other preventable diseases across the country? Obviously because more parents aren’t getting their kids vaccinated.
Why aren’t those kids getting vaccinated? Because, in some cases, their parents wrongly believe vaccines lead to autism.
Why do they believe that myth? Because of one paper published by the disgraced researcher Andrew Wakefield. (Jenny McCarthy and other celebrities falsely suggesting there’s danger in giving babies their shots in the time frame and dosages recommended by doctors doesn’t help either.)
Here’s a different way of looking at this problem, courtesy of Ilia Blinderman at The Pudding.
He put together a timeline of all the research done concerning autism and vaccines — all of it says there’s no link between the two, except the very first paper from Wakefield.
He also listed all the articles in the New York Times that included “vaccines” and “autism” — not because they were responsible for spreading the myth, but because it shows how the belief has persisted and evolved despite the complete lack of evidence for it.
In the screenshot below, the red circles represent credible scientific papers discrediting the vaccine-autism link. The blue dots represent mentions in the NYT about the supposed link.
The entire timeline is worth looking at. You can click on the circles for more information.
It shows us why bad research and tainted researchers need to be stopped at every opportunity before harmful, discredited ideas permeate the culture.