In an excellent article about the response to the swine flu pandemic, we have these penultimate paragraphs:
Dr. Frieden said he thought a victory over the antivaccine movement had been scored. Nearly 60 million people have been vaccinated, including many pregnant women and children, with no surge in side effects.
John P. Moore, an AIDS researcher at Weill Cornell Medical College, was less sure. Dr. Moore, who spent years fighting AIDS denialism, has called skepticism about flu vaccine âan unholy alliance of the left and rightâ because it joined the liberal natural-medicine proponents with anti-big-government conservatives.
Note the casual use of the term “denialism” here, without any need to offer a definition. Contrast that with a piece by NCSE’s Steve Newton responding to an anti-global warming/anti-evolution op-ed by Rick Santorum, in which he (and his editors within NCSE and at the Philadelphia Inquirer) felt the need to define denialism for a public possibly unfamiliar with the term. It would seem that, thanks in part to the work of my Sciblings at Denialism blog, my panel at Netroots Nation, Michael Spector’s Denialism and a host of other efforts to bring this phenomenon to a wider audience, people are recognizing the dangers of science denial, and treating it with the disregard it deserves.