Peter Hotez is no stranger to scientific backlash. The esteemed pediatrician and vaccinologist has been working to develop vaccines for neglected tropical diseases for decades and has encountered fierce opposition to his work. But in recent years the backlash has gained momentum and spread beyond vaccines to science and scientists in general.
Hotez, who is dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, chronicles this movement in his new book The Deadly Rise of Anti-Science. The book traces Hotez’s experiences battling the false belief that vaccines cause autism (a condition that his daughter has), the highly partisan backlash to the COVID vaccines (a low-cost version of which Hotez and his colleagues helped develop) and the authoritarian roots of the antiscience movement.