January 12, 2021 - 12:30-13:30
IHSP Policy Talks Webinar
A War on Science? Rethinking Vaccine Hesitancy and Refusal
Department of Philosophy, University of Guelph
Because vaccine hesitancy is widely seen as an information problem, vaccine outreach has focused on educating the misguided publics about vaccine science and debunking myths. Yet research into science and the publics lends strong support to the view that public attitudes regarding scientific claims turn crucially on epistemic trust rather than understanding science. It follows that it is poor trust in the expert sources that engender vaccine hesitancy, and that vaccine communications should focus on building that trust rather than trying to correct the publics’ epistemic and moral failings.