I remember the debate vividly.
The notion that if your kids have the MMR jab, there’s a chance they get autism was being touted around by the press. They was one problem with this. It was the opinion of ONE scientist.The whole point of science is that it constantly calls into question theories which are then reviewed by other scientists. It’s only when there’s a general consensus that the theory is put forward as policy. (Kind of like the way democracy works).
It never seizes to amaze me how ignorant the press can be when it comes to understanding how science works. Roll on seven years and this ilk of debate has reared its ugly head with the dreaded swine flu and its advised treatment Tamiflu. The press once again have resorted to taking the advice of ONE paper in a journal to stoke up some public hysteria. The point of peer review is that other experts give their opinions on the research for a consensus to be reached.
But then again, I suppose that doesn’t get headlines like “Tamiflu is risk to pig virus kids”