Defamation Suit Filed Over Discredited Autism Research

Andrew Wakefield is suing the British Medical Journal over a series of articles that criticized his research suggesting a link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The original paper, published by Wakefield and 12 co-authors in The Lancet in 1998, was formally retracted by that journal in early 2010. The ongoing controversy illustrates the need for quality and transparency in research endeavors. It also serves as a reminder of the disconnect between the scientific community and members of the public, many of whom have ignored the retraction (or are unaware of it) and continue to believe the MMR and other vaccines cause autism spectrum disorders.

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