Poll–choose your favorite scientific consensus

scientific consensus

I’ve written a lot about the scientific consensus, which is the collective opinion and judgement of scientists in a particular field of study. This consensus implies general agreement, and disagreement is limited (sometimes from individuals who are not experts in the field) and considered insignificant.

The scientific consensus is powerful, and can only be refuted by evidence. Not debate. Not belief. Not flipping a coin.

So here are some of my favorite scientific consensuses (yes, that’s the plural, as far as I can tell). Which one(s) do you  accept? Vote early, vote often.

Poll–Mandatory vaccination and informed consent


Professor Dorit Reiss has written another wonderful article here clarifying that there really is a lack of conflict between so-called “informed consent” and public health mandates to keep citizens (especially children) safe from infectious diseases. It could not be clearer (at least to me) that informed consent does not trump the needs of the greater good.

In the Star Trek Movie, the Wrath of Khan, Spock and Kirk had this conversation:

Spock: Do not grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many, outweigh…
Kirk: The needs of the few.
Spock: Or the one.

So here’s a poll. Vote early. Vote often.

Poll: your opinions about the new anti-cancer Gardasil-9 vaccine

© Copyright CSL, 2013. All Rights Reserved.
© Copyright CSL, 2013. All Rights Reserved.

I just wrote a couple of articles about the HPV vaccine (known as Gardasil and Silgard, while a bivalent form is known a Cervarix)–one discussing risky sexual behavior after receiving the vaccines, and the other discussing the new Gardasil-9, which protects against 9 different subtypes of the human papillomavirus. This new vaccine can protect against the development of more types of cancers, and is one of the precious few tools we have to actually prevent any cancer.

Even though there are boatloads upon boatloads of substantial evidence that support the overall safety and effectiveness of the HPV vaccines, parents have read too many myths and scary anecdotes to really embrace it. And that’s sad, because preventing cancer seems to be the right choice.

I consider Gardasil (and the other HPV vaccines) to be one of the most important pharmaceuticals on the planet, in that it clearly prevents HPV which clearly causes many devastating cancers. I was wondering what you think.

Did you get your flu vaccination?–2014 version

flu-shot-calendarThere is substantial scientific evidence that the flu immunization is both very safe and very effective. Unless you follow the ramblings of a non-immunologist, non-virologist, non-epidemiologist, non-scientist, Peter Doshi who has published outright fabrications about the safety and effectiveness of the flu vaccine, you probably fall on the side of getting vaccinated. Maybe.

But some people refuse the flu vaccine because of adherence to easily debunked myths and misinformation. If you are on the fence about the flu vaccine, read Tara Haelle’s It’s Baaaaack! 33 Flu Vaccine Myths You Don’t Need to Fear. She worked hard to put that list together, so if you’re on the fence about the flu vaccine, read it before the flu season takes off. You won’t be sorry.

Or you can be a real dumbass and accept the lamest excuses for not getting the flu vaccine.

OK, what is your flu vaccination status? And if you have any comments, just drop them into the Disqus comments below. We’d especially like to hear from people on the fence, maybe we can give you some gentle persuasion to get the vaccine!

Poll–Will you and family members get the flu vaccine?


President Obama getting his flu vaccine because he really can’t get sick
President Obama getting his flu vaccine because he really can’t get sick

It’s that time of the year. It’s time to get your seasonal flu vaccine, so will you get it? Will you make your significant other get it? Will you take your children to the pediatrician to get it? Or will you fall for the lies and myths, pretend like you are a superior genetic human being and will never get the flu? Time to vote and drop an explanation in the comments, so that the world can read them!