Vaccination Policy and the Igon Value Problem

One of the unmistakable patterns in the public forum debates on vaccination safety and vaccination policy is that the trained health care professionals tend to line up on one side, while the most engaged public voices end up on the other. One way to interpret this divide is through the lens of conspiracy theory – that those of us in medicine have an indoctrination, and can’t think critically about the current policy. So, groups of self-appointed non-scientist activists have to step in to correct our errors. Another way to interpret the varying opinions by level of expertise is that people who study a field learn things that others don’t. ┬áMedical training (at least in the best case scenario) comes with a heavy dose of science instruction. By the time a young doctor graduates from school, he or she should be fairly conversant with pharmacology, toxicology, chemistry, and biostatistics. Each of these comes in handy as we interpret and act upon the almost staggeringly large body of evidence that supports our current vaccination policy. Which brings me to the Igon Value Problem. This term was first proposed in Steven Pinker’s review of Malcolm Gladwell’s book “What the Dog Saw.” In the … Continue reading Vaccination Policy and the Igon Value Problem