Houston Matters

Dr. Peter Hotez sounds alarm bells about effects of ‘anti-science’ movement

Dr. Peter Hotez writes about the dangers of this movement in “The Deadly Rise of Anti-Science: A Scientist’s Warning.”

Dr. Peter Hotez shown next to his book "The Deadly Rise of Anti-Science: A Scientist's Warning."
Dr. Peter Hotez is the Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and the author of “The Deadly Rise of Anti-Science: A Scientist's Warning.”

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Throughout the pandemic, doctors, scientists, and public health officials found themselves at the center of political and cultural divides over how to respond to COVID-19.

Sadly, this was familiar territory for Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, who’s long faced the ire of anti-vaxxers as a scientist who develops vaccines.

In 2018, Hotez wrote a memoir that centered on his work and his family, called Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad.

While he was among the more high-profile scientists pursuing COVID vaccines over the last few years, that ire – and the movement – only grew. And that’s the subject of his latest book, The Deadly Rise of Anti-Science: A Scientist's Warning.

In the audio above, we talk with Hotez about what he attributes this rise in opposition to science to, the impact it’s already had, and what it suggests for the future.