Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Vaccine Race by Meredith Wadman

The Vaccine Race by Meredith Wadman
Meredith Wadman’s masterful account recovers not only the science of this urgent race, but also the political roadblocks that nearly stopped the scientists. She describes the terrible dilemmas of pregnant women exposed to German measles and recounts testing on infants, prisoners, orphans, and the intellectually disabled, which was common in the era. These events take place at the dawn of the battle over using human fetal tissue in research, during the arrival of big commerce in campus labs, and as huge changes take place in the laws and practices governing who “owns” research cells and the profits made from biological inventions. It is also the story of yet one more unrecognized woman whose cells have been used to save countless lives.

From Star2:
The book weaves its way around the morally ambiguous and morally repugnant history of vaccines, from their commercialisation – something that was quite unusual at the time, and which brought Hayflick a lot of flak, ultimately derailing his career – to the horrific testing and experimentation carried out on people without their knowledge.

Despite writing an entire book on the subject, Wadman suggests that rather than revile the actions of the scientists of the past, we should take the opportunity to look at what is being done at the moment.

No comments:

Post a Comment