You may have heard about Andrew Wakefield who tried to find a link between MMR vaccines and autism. He has published several papers. Now it turns out he acted unethically in carrying out his research according to a medical regulator.
Doctor Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 study, published in the Lancet medical journal, said there might be a connection between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) injection and autism.
The suggestion horrified parents and led to a slump in the number of youngsters getting the jab, as well as triggering heated debate in medical circles.
In a ruling Thursday, the General Medical Council attacked Wakefield for “unethical” research methods and for showing a “callous disregard” for the youngsters as he carried out tests.
This included taking blood samples from children at his son’s birthday party for five-pound payments.
Why am I writing about it?
Because we all have to learn from this. Not just other scientists who act unethically, but also the media that transmitted this story without checking the facts and laypople who believed in what the media had to say. We all have to learn from this. Science must become more transparent. There is no question about it.
Detailed analysis and report on the Respectful Insolence blog.
*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*