Instances of Scientific Misconduct

Misconduct in Vaccine Research Leading to Anti-Vaccine Movement

The misconduct in vaccine research led to a heightened Anti-Vaccine Movement. One of the major instances of misconduct involves a study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield who published a paper reporting that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine was associated with “regressive autism” and colitis in 12 children. The 12-year delay of the retraction of this paper may have stoked the anti-vaccine movement.

1 in 5 millennials think vaccines cause autism (Vox, January 31, 2015)

A case of junk science, confict, and hype (Nature Immunology, 2008)

A Discredited Vaccine Study’s Continuing Impact on Public Health (The New York Times, February 1, 2015)

Andrew Wakefield, Father of the Anti-Vaccine Movement, Responds to the Current Measles Outbreak for the First Time (Newsweek, February 10, 2015)

Anti-vaccine teacher found guilty of professional misconduct (CBC News, February 22, 2017)

Better understanding vaccines (Mount Desert Islander, May 5, 2017)

Brian Deer: the Lancet scandal (

Fake vaccine research: new low for science fraud (For Better Science, April 3, 2020)

Fraud Behind the MMR Scare (Immunization Action Coalition, January 2011)

Exposed: Andrew Wakefield and the MMR-autism fraud (

How Fraud Underlies Anti-Vaccine Claims (The Huffington Post, February 6, 2015)

Research fraud catalyzed the anti-vaccination movement. Let’s not repeat history. (Vox News, March 5, 2019)

Researcher who spiked rabbit blood to fake HIV vaccine results slapped with rare prison sentence (The Washington Post, July 1, 2015)

Trump’s vaccine-commission idea is biased and dangerous (Nature, January 17, 2017)

Trump met with prominent anti-vaccine activists during campaign (Science Magazine, November 18, 2016)

The anti-vaccination movement (The Committee of Skeptical Inquiry, November/ December 2007)

The Hidden Ways Manipulated Science Harms Our Health, From Measles To Organics (The Huffington Post, February 11, 2015)

The Vaccine-Autism Myth Started 20 Years Ago. Here’s Why It Still Endures Today (TIME, February 28, 2018)

US vaccine researcher sentenced to prison for fraud (Nature, July 1, 2015)

Wakefield’s article linking MMR vaccine and autism was fraudulent (TheBMJ, January 6, 2011)

Why scientific fraud hurts people (STAT, March 18, 2016)