Monday, June 10, 2013

Academic Earth Takes On an Anti-vaccine Myth

Images can often speak more to us than simple words on a page (or monitor). While words do carry subtext, we frequently need to use many more words, and take up more space, to get even basic ideas across. Yet images alone have their own limitations. Bringing images and words together can help solidify an idea and make it more accessible to people. The folks over at Academic Earth have done just that. In addition to hosting open course videos and lectures from Harvard, MIT, Stanford and other universities, they have put together Video Electives, short (less than 5 minute) videos and animations that cover a variety of topics.

A reader sent me a link to one of these electives, titled "Too Many, Too Soon: The Anti-Vaccine Fallacy". The video is embedded after the break below, and I think it does a good job of illustrating why the anti-vaccine argument of "too many, too soon" as it relates to supposedly overwhelming the immune system is flawed. The focus is on the antigen exposure aspect of vaccines and diseases, so I'm sure those opposed to vaccines will still cry, "but what about the other ingredients!?" It's a start, though, and is another arrow in the quiver.

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They have other interesting videos that are short and easily digestible, such as "The Psychology of the Internet Troll". The videos have summaries about them, as well as transcripts of the audio. Take a look.

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