Andrew Wakefield’s pseudoscience can help us understand our modern post-truth crisis

The Sunday Times journalist Brian Deer did not come early to the disastrous MMR party. By the time in late 2003 that he and his commissioning editor decided that those at the heart of the “controversy” over the effects of the combined vaccination needed investigation, the business had been rumbling on for half a decade.

Yet what Deer then managed to achieve through persistence, intelligence and attention to detail was the effective closure of a chapter of fraud and systemic failure that, had he not taken up the issue, might well have cost tens of thousands of lives.

It’s a remarkable story and this is a remarkable book. More, whether the author knows it or not, it takes us beyond medical and ethical issues, helping to explain the political and social predicament that now afflicts so many of us – the crisis in truth and its exploitation by people without scruple. […]

By David Aaronovich


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