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Coming up on Connections: Thursday, January 12th

Jan 12, 2017

Credit NPR

First hour: Trump, RFK Jr., and the Cleveland Clinic are pushing "vaccine anti-science"

Second hour: How to escape a click-bait culture

Robert F Kennedy, Jr. has become one of the leading opponents of vaccines in the country, and he met with Donald Trump this week. Kennedy emerged from the meeting and declared that Trump was putting him in charge of a commission on "vaccine safety and scientific integrity." Trump himself has said and tweeted many things about vaccines that are flat-out wrong. And even the Cleveland Clinic is backtracking after one of its doctors used the Cleveland Clinic platform to publish an anti-vaccine screed. The LA Times declared that Trump and the Cleveland Clinic are moving "vaccine anti-science back into the mainstream." What can be done? We'll examine the research that indicates the best and worst ways to break through to parents who are resisting science on vaccines. Our guests:

  • Brendan Nyhan, New York Times contributor and political science professor at Dartmouth
  • Dr. Mario Elia, family physician in Ontario, Canada
  • Dr. Sharon Humiston, professor of pediatrics at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City Missouri

In our second hour: Author Seth Godin points out the following: "The bestselling novel of 1961 was Allen Drury's Advise and Consent. Millions of people read this 690-page political novel. In 2016, the big sellers were coloring books." Godin writes that there has always been broccoli and candy when it comes to culture... but what happens if everything becomes candy? What happens if all we read is click-bait? Heck, Godin notes that even Bravo and the History Channel have reality dating competitions. He urges us to "vote with our clicks," for starters, and we'll see if our panel agrees:

  • Erica Bryant, columnist for the Democrat & Chronicle
  • Tom Proietti, resident scholar in media at St. John Fisher College
  • Eric Grode, director of the Goldring Arts Journalism program at Syracuse University and author of The Book of Broadway