Wednesday, 28 September 2011, 6:00PM
Barnard's Inn Hall

From Jenner to Wakefield: The long shadow of the anti-vaccination movement

Professor Gareth Williams

In 1998 a medical furore broke out when The Lancet published an article by Andrew Wakefield questioning the benefits of the MMR vaccination which was being given unquestioningly to children throughout the UK.

Coming 202 years after the first vaccination by Edward Jenner, which led to the eradication of smallpox throughout the world, this recent incident is only the latest in a long history of questioning the benefits of vaccination.

From early irrational fears born of outdated medical understanding through to the latest medical research and findings, Professor Williams traces the history of the anti-vaccination movement and its long tail, reviewing the social settings in which the fears were found and offering a balanced assessment of vaccination as we find it today.

 

The first lecture in this series is  The life and legacy of Dr Edward Jenner FRS, pioneer of vaccination.

professor-gareth-williams

Professor Gareth Williams is the Chair of the Jenner Trust. He qualified with Honours in Medicine and Pharmacology from Cambridge University in 1977 and trained in London and Geneva. He was Professor of Medicine in Liverpool, where he built up an internationally recognised research group in diabetes and obesity and then Dean of Medicine in Bristol, where he remains as Professor of Medicine and Lead for European Relations in the Faculty. He has written 200 scientific papers and has authored or edited over 20 books, including the prize-winning Textbook of Diabetes. In 2009, he wrote Angel of Death: the Story of Smallpox, which was shortlisted for the prestigious Wellcome Trust Book Prize. Gareth is a former President of the Anglo-French Medical Society and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Angers. His hobbies include playing music and writing fiction.

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28 September 2011

From Jenner to Wakefield: The long shadow of the anti-vaccination movement
Professor Gareth Williams

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