April 27, 2021

The narrative behind vaccine hesitancy

 VACCINE HESITANCY. Public Trust, Expertise, and the War on Science

The message:

The dominant framework that currently shapes scholarly and popular discourses on the problem of vaccine hesitancy employs a war metaphor to capture the intractability of the problem. The war metaphor also entrenches an “us” (science) versus “them” (publics) division that is not conducive to engagement and resolution. The “war on science” metaphor described a scientized (chapter 4) captured in three popular explanations for vaccine hesitancy: public misunderstanding of science (chapter 1), the influence of cognitive biases on the publics’ reasoning about vaccines (chapter 2), and antiexpertise and science denialism among the publics (chapter 3). All three narratives point to the publics as the problem (and even the enemy), with little attention to “us,” the courageous defenders of science. Yet, as I have shown, the scientizing force of “evidence-based everything” and the linear model of science-to-policy contribute to antagonizing science-publics relations

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