Inaccurate, Muddled Messages Jeopardize the Public's Trust in Science

Maurie Markman, MD
Published: Wednesday, Jun 27, 2018
Maurie Markman, MD

Maurie Markman, MD
Most members of the medical establishment probably are aware of Dr Andrew Wakefield and the serious damage resulting from his now completely discredited “research” attempting to link childhood vaccination with the subsequent development of autism.1 The disclosures that Wakefield had a serious undeclared conflict of interest and his stunningly inappropriate research methodology have negated any suggestion of the validity of his claims. Unfortunately, those who wish to believe the unsubstantiated hypothesis that autism is a direct result of vaccination continue to cite these data despite their rejection by the entire scientific community.

Prevention Communications Fall Short

The cancer community is not immune from these issues. One needs just to consider the massive but, unfortunately, far less than satisfactory struggle that public health officials worldwide have waged against the profoundly dangerous habit of cigarette smoking to appreciate the limits of objective, unequivocal facts in decisions made by individuals about their health.
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