StarTalk’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson, Laurie Garrett, and Felicia Madison recording “Vaccines – Let’s Make America Smart Again.
StarTalk’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson, Laurie Garrett, and Felicia Madison recording “Vaccines – Let’s Make America Smart Again.

Vaccines – Let’s Make America Smart Again

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Laurie Garrett, and Felicia Madison. Credit: StarTalk©.
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About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with first-time comic co-host Felicia Madison and returning friend of the show and Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Laurie Garrett, to debunk disinformation and get straight to the facts about vaccines. As we watch the rise of anti-science movements, it’s important to set the record straight and what better way to do it than answer fan-submitted questions on the topic. 

Laurie explains why the rise of anti-science movements stem from a rise in distrust of government. You’ll find out if there are public health policy avenues that can help combat the growing anti-vaccine movement. Explore why seeing a disease in action might be the most effective way to show people why vaccines are vital to public safety. 

You’ll learn about “herd immunity” and why not getting vaccinated impacts far more than just the individual. Learn the dangers of a Measles outbreak. You’ll hear about a Measles outbreak that started at Disneyland and caused California to quickly re-think its laws on vaccines. We try and nail down the main reasons why parents are worried about getting their children vaccinated, and Felicia shares what her own worries were before she got her own children vaccinated. 

Laurie explains why certain chemicals and preservatives are used in common vaccines. We also explore why not all vaccines have 100% success rates. Find out if you can get a vaccine shot without parental permission. We also investigate the difference between eliminating a disease and eradicating it. 

You’ll also hear more about fighting against diseases when we travel to other planets, and we reminisce about H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds and Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain. All that, plus, Felicia asks, “Can we eradicate stupidity?”

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