March 7, 2019 8:37 pm

Learn the Facts About Vaccines as We Continue Our Let’s Make America Smart Again Series

With the rise of disinformation and unfounded movements of anti-science, it’s important to keep the facts straight. On this week’s episode of StarTalk Radio, we continue our Let’s Make America Smart Again series as Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with first-time comic co-host Felicia Madison and returning friend of the show, Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist Laurie Garrett, to answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about vaccines.

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

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

While it is confounding that the anti-vaccine movement has been gaining more traction, it gives us even more reason to set the record straight on how vital vaccines are to public health and safety. Laurie explains why the rise of anti-vaccine movements stems from the rise of general government distrust. You’ll also find out what single public health policy could combat anti-vaccine movements.

Learn more about “herd immunity” and why not getting a vaccine always impacts more than just the individual. We discuss the dangers of a measles outbreak and the alarming rate at which it spreads. Laurie shares the story of a measles outbreak at Disneyland that caused California to quickly re-evaluate their laissez-faire attitude on vaccines requirements. We try to pin down the main driver that causes parents not to vaccinate their children, and Felicia shares some of the worries she had when dealing with her own kids.

Next up, you’ll find out if there are ways to protect human beings from unknown diseases when we travel to other planets. How would humans deal with a disease that came from off-Earth if it has never been dealt with before? Our trio also reminisces about H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds and Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain.

Go inside the science of vaccines as Laurie breaks down the most common chemicals and preservatives found in vaccines. We ponder if patents should be removed from all vaccines and medication, and you’ll find out how much money drug companies really make from vaccines. Lastly, we talk about why all vaccines aren’t 100% effective, and you’ll learn the difference between diseases being “eliminated” and “eradicated.” All that, plus Felicia asks the most important question, “Can we eradicate stupidity?”

Please join us tomorrow night for Vaccines – Let’s Make America Smart Again at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
-Ian Mullen