Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine Hesitancy

Public Trust, Expertise, and the War on Science

Vaccine Hesitancy explores vaccine hesitancy and refusal among parents in the industrialized North. Although biomedical, public health, and popular science literature has focused on a scientifically ignorant public, the real problem, Maya J. Goldenberg argues, lies not in misunderstanding, but in mistrust. Public confidence in scientific institutions and government bodies has been shaken by fraud, research scandals, and misconduct. Her book reveals how vaccine studies sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry, compelling rhetorics from the anti-vaccine movement, and the spread of populist knowledge on social media have all contributed to a public mistrust of the scientific consensus. Importantly, it also emphasizes how historical and current discrimination in health care against marginalized communities continues to shape public perception of institutional trustworthiness. Goldenberg ultimately reframes vaccine hesitancy as a crisis of public trust rather than a war on science, arguing that having good scientific support of vaccine efficacy and safety is not enough. In a fraught communications landscape, Vaccine Hesitancy advocates for trust-building measures that focus on relationships, transparency, and justice.


CBC Fresh Air, “Vaccine hesitancy: The history, roots causes and best practices to combat public mistrust” CBC Radio – March 6, 2021

CBC All Points West (Victoria, BC), “New book says there is more to vaccine hesitancy than distrusting science” CBC – March 25, 2021

CBC Airplay with Dave White (Whitehorse, YT), “Author explores reasons behind vaccine hesitancy” CBC – March 29, 2021

WVXU All Things Considered, “Author Maya Goldenberg takes a deep dive into vaccine hesitancy” WVXU Cincinnati Public Radio – March 29, 2021

Ontario Morning from CBC Radio with Julia Hazelwood, “Maya Goldenberg discusses her new book _Vaccine Hesitancy: Public Trust, Expertise and the War on Science_” CBC – March 29, 2021