John Donvan and Caren Zucker are the authors of In a Different Key: The Story of Autism.
From Donvan's Q & A with Scott Timberg at Salon:
The anti-vaccination movement has been strange to watch, as the public reaction and the science have gone in two different directions. How does this fit into the larger story of autism and its history?--Marshal Zeringue
The vaccine episode was basically a negative, with one exception: It gave the general public an awareness of autism that it had never had before, because it scared everybody. It got them to think, “My family doesn’t have anything to do with autism, but maybe it will if I get my kid vaccinated.” The one positive thing about that story is it popularized awareness of autism.
All of the rest was negative in that it eroded confidence in the vaccine program; it eroded trust in science, it was a highly contentious and divisive issue in the autism community.
There was no real vindicating research when the question [of autism’s relationship to vaccination] was first raised. But then research began to be undertaken, between 2004 and 2008, to show that vaccines were not causing autism. So the story sort of stops and ends with the science as far as we’re concerned.
And unfortunately it stole...[read on]