Philosophy Speaker: Maya J. Goldenberg

Philosophy Speaker: Maya J. Goldenberg

February 24, 2017 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
107 South Kedzie Hall
368 Farm Ln
East Lansing, MI 48823
Philosophy Speaker: Maya J. Goldenberg @ 107 South Kedzie Hall | East Lansing | Michigan | United States

Professor Maya J. Goldenberg, University of Guelph

Trust, Credibility, and the Scientific Consensus on Childhood Vaccines

Whereas public mistrust of medical, scientific, and governmental institutions are commonly cited as a major source of vaccine hesitancy and resistance, vaccine outreach and communications are reluctant to address it. This mistrust is derided as tantamount to conspiratorial thinking—a sweeping and insular framework of biased reasoning that makes the mistrusting publics unreachable via risk communications. The problem, therefore, is with the publics. In this talk, I reconsider the scientific and political landscape where public resistance to scientific consensus claims arise. Working with an understanding of science as socially situated highlights the importance of trust and credibility in the successful operations of scientific institutions—both within research communities and in relation to the publics—and thereby reframes public mistrust of science as a failure of scientific institutions to maintain the credibility required to achieve their social aims. Vaccine hesitancy is thereby a problem of scientific governance rather than a problem of the publics.

event flyer (with time & location details)