Since The Lancet's recent decision to formally retract the controversial study connecting autism and childhood vaccines, there has been endless discussion about the enormous long-term fallout from the study. Millions of parents prevented their children from getting vaccinated as a result of their unfounded fears.
The New York Times asked Dr. Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, how bad science made its way into a good science publication. His response:
"This was a system failure. We failed. I think the media failed. I think government failed. I think the scientific community failed, and we all have to very critically examine what part we played in this. I think the media certainly did sustain the story over a decade. It became a political story with "Did Tony Blair have his son vaccinated with M.M.R. or not?" Suddenly a huge media furor around that. ... I think we all have to look very carefully at ourselves and say, "We really messed up here."
- here's the story from the New York Times