The Biggest Junk Science of 2016

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#7. Andrew Wakefield Returns With an Anti-Vaccine Documentary

On April 1st, Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, premiered in the United States. Directed by Andrew Wakefield, the researcher who roused the recent round of anti-vaccine hysteria by publishing a fraudulent study in 1998, the documentary purports to reveal that the CDC covered up the "fact" that the MMR vaccine causes autism. Unfortunately, the film was not an April Fool's Joke.

Dubious and deceptive from start to finish, Vaxxed distorts and misrepresents pretty much every single detail to fuel its conspiratorial narrative.

"I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was actually surprised (slightly) at the manipulative depths to which this film sinks," David Gorski wrote at Science-Based Medicine in a detailed takedown of the film.

Ubiquitously panned throughout the scientific community, the film even received poor reviews from film critics.

"It’s hard to know which of the film’s many flaws to cite first, so here’s one thing it does fairly well: scare the bejesus out of you. That’s assuming you have read nothing about the subject of vaccines and autism, and are of a generally lax and incurious mind when it comes to the rigors of scientific inquiry," The Washington Post's Michael O'Sullivan wrote.

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