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Trends Neurosci. 2014 Aug;37(8):409-12. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2014.06.001.

Collision or convergence?: beliefs and politics in neuroscience discovery, ethics, and intervention.

Author information

1
Biomedical Research Centre, University of British Columbia, 2222 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada.
2
National Core for Neuroethics, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia Hospital, 2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver BC, V6T 2B5, Canada.
3
National Core for Neuroethics, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia Hospital, 2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver BC, V6T 2B5, Canada. Electronic address: jilles@mail.ubc.ca.

Abstract

Discovery and interventions for neurological disorders have a unique capacity to galvanize public opinion over issues of access, human rights, decision making, and the definition of disease. Here we highlight five cases where beliefs and politics prevailed over evidence and ethics. We examine lessons from them about the communication of risk and the power of public influence on science, society, and policy.

KEYWORDS:

Gulf War syndrome; MMR vaccine; Stamina Foundation; Terri Schiavo; autism; chronic cerebrospinal vascular insufficiency (CCSVI); health policy; multiple sclerosis; neurological disease; public opinion

PMID:
25086860
DOI:
10.1016/j.tins.2014.06.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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