[2/10/19] – Disease and Medicine in the Media

In the 21st century, mass media isn’t the only area moving forward at breakneck speeds. The science of medicine is too, and clinical trials are increasingly promising to eradicate a variety of disease and illness in the coming years. Despite this, the news has also seen an upswing in coverage of a sort of anti-scientific movement—those against vaccination. While the lobby against vaccination is as old as vaccination itself, this week we cover its recent development, as well as broader topics of medicine and disease.

Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Disease and Medicine in the Media




“The Origins of the Anti-Vaccine Movement” by Vox


Lexington news covers the World Health Organization’s classification of the anti-vaccination movement as a global threat.





Writing: How do you think media coverage of those for or against vaccines compares to coverage of those who believe in or deny climate change? 

Debate: If not vaccinating one’s child increases risk of measles and other illness outbreaks, should a parent still have the right to decide not to? Why or why not?

Poll: Do you know anyone who has not been vaccinated?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure

Short Answer: If anti-vaccination movements are as old as vaccines, why do you think there’s an upswing in the discussion currently?


Current Events Quiz

 Partly due to anti-vaccination groups, there is currently a global resurgence of:

  • Cabin Fever
  • Yellow Fever
  • Measles
  • Rubella

 Amid the anti-vaccination drama, Ethan Lindenberger has become famous for:

  • Choosing not to be vaccinated
  • Self-vaccinating against his parents’ wishes
  • Vaccinating his pets
  • Voting against pharmaceutical companies

 According to an NHS survey in England, there has been a small increase in:

  • Physical disorders in the young
  • The flu among small children
  • Emotional disorders in the young
  • Thumb disorders from texting

 A researcher in Mexico has eradicated ____ in 29 tests with patients.

  • HIV
  • HPV
  • AIDS
  • STDs

 The researcher’s method was notable for being:

  • Non-invasive
  • Invasive
  • Extremely painful
  • Funded by Guatemala


Photo credit: Jim Gathany

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