Educating about mass vaccinations in a post-truth era

Taylor, Subhashni, Taylor, Neil, and Baker, Penelope (2023) Educating about mass vaccinations in a post-truth era. In: Thomas, Gregory P, and Boon, Helen J., (eds.) Challenges in Science Education: Global Perspectives for the Future. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 59-82.

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The scientific evidence is clear; vaccines save lives. Why, then, is there controversy over vaccine use? Why is the science questioned? Who is questioning the evidence and who is listening? What are ways to best spread the message about the benefits of vaccine use? The nature of these questions illustrates that the acceptance of vaccine use is not purely a scientific issue but a socio-scientific issue; that is, it requires an understanding of not only scientific facts but also human behavior, particularly in relation to risk-taking. Confronting the nature of the socio-scientific vaccine problem has never been more important than in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought humanity to a virtual standstill since March 2019.

In this chapter, we respond to these questions by first delving into the history of vaccine development and its apparent benefits. We then discuss the advent of the anti-vaccination movement, including the role of the media in reporting on vaccine efficacy and side-effects, because, in the past few decades, social media has had a particularly significant impact on the spread of misinformation concerning vaccinations. We will then explore the part science education can or should play in achieving scientific literacy regarding the socio-scientific issue (SSI) of vaccination. We discuss education from the perspective of formal and informal strategies to more effectively deliver science education that embodies the goal of reducing resistance to mass vaccination and communication of misconceptions related to vaccinations.

Item ID: 77935
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-3-031-18092-7
Copyright Information: © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023.
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2023 01:39
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390113 Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy @ 100%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160302 Pedagogy @ 100%
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