The Center for Values Presents: Maya Goldenberg

Maya Goldenberg

Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
Venue: JO 2.604
Admission: Free
Season: 2015-16

You Can’t Change an Anti-Vaxxer’s Mind: Cognitive Dissonance, Cultural Cognition and Conspiracy Theories

Public health professionals, political pundits and concerned members of the public struggle to make sense of community resistance to scientific claims such as the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccinations. Commentators have combed through the psychology literature in search of a reason to explain the resistance to ideas backed by overwhelming scientific evidence. Recent research from political scientists suggests educational interventions are ineffective in changing anti-vaccine beliefs. While poor understanding of vaccine science and misinformation about vaccine safety could presumably be corrected by educational interventions the cognitive barriers purportedly at play are thought to indicate that anti-science convictions are too deeply entrenched. Dr. Goldenberg will discuss vaccine safety pundits’ recent adoption of this framework for understanding vaccine hesitancy and how psychology suggests productive means for overcoming psychological barriers to changing deeply held beliefs.

About the speaker:

Maya Goldenberg is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Guelph (Canada). She works in philosophy of medicine, philosophy of science and feminist philosophy, with particular attention to how scientific knowledge and value claims interact in the healthcare context. She has written extensively on the epistemology of evidence-based medicine with her articles appearing in publications such as Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, Perspectives in Medicine and Biology and Social Science and Medicine. She is currently working on a book on vaccine hesitancy as a problem of public trust in scientific institutions.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology.

For more information contact:
Magdalena Grohman
[email protected]

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