The Vaccine-Autism Controversy

Paul Offit Portrait

Dr. Paul Offit

How has society dealt with questions linking vaccines to autism?

by Linh Nguyen '20

Pediatrician and vaccine expert Dr. Paul A. Offit will speak about the ongoing vaccine-autism debate in a lecture titled “The Vaccine-Autism Controversy” on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. in the Anita Tuvin Schlechter (ATS) Auditorium.

As a vaccine expert, Offit will discuss how scientists, the public and media have dealt with questions of whether routine vaccination, specifically the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine, is linked to autism. He will also talk about vaccine history and the implications of vaccine usage.

Offit is a pediatrician who specializes in infectious diseases, immunology and virology. He is the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor of vaccinology and pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to co-inventing a rotavirus vaccine used across the U.S., Offit has also authored more than 160 scientific papers and nine books, including Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases, for which he won an award from the American Medical Writers Association, and Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine, which was selected by National Public Radio as one of the best books of 2013. Offit has also received countless awards, including the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Biologics Industry Organization. He was honored by Bill and Melinda Gates at the launch of their foundation’s Living Proof Project for Global Health. Offit is also a weekly columnist for The Daily Beast.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of biology, chemistry, physics & astronomy and the health studies program.

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Published October 31, 2017