Ruggles Lecture in
the Philosophy of Medicine

Reframing the Problem of Vaccine Hesitancy
Maya Goldenberg, University of Guelph

HS610 Auditorium,
155 College Street,
Toronto, ON  M5T 1P8

Friday June 23, 2017

5:15pm — 6:20pm “Reframing the Problem of Vaccine Hesitancy”
Maya Goldenberg (University of Guelph)
6:20pm — 6:50pm Reception to celebrate work in the philosophy of medicine



  Dr. Maya Goldenberg
  Dr. Maya Goldenberg
This talk serves to reframe the problem of vaccine hesitancy as one of poor public trust in scientific institutions. This characterization unseats the pervasive framing of the problem as public misunderstanding of science and thereby radically recasts the fault lines in this enrooted controversy. This thesis that vaccine hesitancy is a problem of trust may not sound radical, as poor trust in scientific institutions is commonly mentioned as one of the sources of vaccine hesitancy in the academic literature on vaccine compliance. (I will illustrate this by example of the AAAS’s recent report “Public Trust in Vaccines: Defining a Research Agenda”.) However, I propose that the usual accounting of low public trust is understated in terms of the source and severity of the problem. I work to make the more radical claim that poor trust results from eroded science-publics relations and that this failure to elicit and maintain public confidence regarding vaccinations demonstrates a major failure on the part of democratic institutions tasked with protecting public health and wellbeing in serving those mandates.