SciComm lecture to address COVID-19's effect on vaccine skepticism

Jonathan F. McVerry
September 02, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The public conversation about vaccines has changed a lot since the COVID-19 pandemic began. What are the causes of vaccine skepticism, and how and why has it changed so much since the first vaccines were released in December 2020?

Bernice Hausman, chair of the Department of Humanities at the Penn State College of Medicine, will explore these questions in a virtual lecture at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 11. The talk, “Vaccine Dissent and the Post-COVID Landscape,” is part of the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communication’s SciComm Speaker Series. It will be streamed live on Zoom.

In her talk, Hausman will explore how COVID has upended ideas about what causes and sustains vaccine skepticism. She will discuss vaccine dissent and the politics of vaccine refusal and connect the arguments about who dissents and why they do so.

Hausman is widely recognized for her research and multiple publications regarding vaccination resistance, breastfeeding and sex change. She has written four books: "Changing Sex: Transsexualism, Technology, and the Idea of Gender"; "Mother’s Milk: Breastfeeding Controversies in American Culture"; "Viral Mothers: Breastfeeding in the Age of HIV/AIDS"; and "Anti/Vax: Reframing the Vaccination Controversy.” Hausman became chair of the Department of Humanities in 2018. She graduated from Yale University and earned her doctorate in feminist studies and critical theory and her Master of Arts in English from the University of Iowa.

The virtual event is a part of the SciComm Lecture Series, an initiative of Penn State’s Science Communication Program. The program is housed in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications and builds productive research collaborations between scientists in a variety of disciplines with science communications researchers.

Last Updated September 03, 2021