An Epidemic of Rumors #265

May 16, 2014

This week, we're looking at the power of stories and innuendo to shape the public perception of science. We'll speak to author Jon Lee about his book "An Epidemic of Rumors: How Stories Shape Our Perceptions of Disease." And we're joined by Dr. Paul A. Offit, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, to get the scientific perspective of the safety and effectiveness of vaccinations.


  • Jon Lee
  • Paul Offit

Guest Bios

Jon Lee

Jon Lee holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and currently teaches literature and composition courses at various Boston-area colleges and universities. In addition to his scholarly work, Lee has published in various creative genres, including short story, poetry, and essay. He currently lives in Boston with his wife and three-year-old son.

Paul Offit

Paul A. Offit is a professor of pediatrics in the division of infectious diseases and the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, Dr. Offit is the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is a recipient of many awards including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics, the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Disease Society of America, and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. He has published more than 150 papers in medical and scientific journals, is the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, and has written six books.

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