Science advocate, author to speak at WVU

Dr. Paul Offit to trace mishaps in the laboratory

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Paul A. Offit, M.D., has built an international reputation defending science and medicine against attack. But he doesn’t think scientists never make mistakes. He’s planning to visit West Virginia University March 23 to talk about what we can learn from the laboratory mishaps of the past.

Dr. Offit, a physician-scientist who is an expert in infectious diseases, immunology, virology and vaccines, is the founding director of the Autism Science Foundation. He’s also chief of the Division of Infectious Disease and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Offit is the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, and was also a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

His talk, “Scientific Misadventures: Learning from the Past,” is at noon, Friday, March 23 in the Patteson Auditorium at WVU’s Health Sciences Center. It is open to the public and is the highlight of WVU’s annual two-day Van Liere Research Conference.

Offit’s lecture will include tales from his recently published book, “Pandora’s Lab,” that discusses seven instances where scientists failed spectacularly – and how, in many instances, these missteps can pave the way for new, unintended discoveries.

Offit first gained fame outside the academic world with his energetic defense of childhood vaccination in the face of the discredited theory that vaccine use is connected to autism. His 2010 book, Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure, is a perennial best-seller and helped make him a familiar face in the media. He is a regular columnist in The Daily Beast, and has been featured on The Daily Show with John Stewart, The Colbert Report, CNN with Sanjay Gupta, CBS This Morning, BBC News, Medscape, USA Today, and Talk of the Nation on National Public Radio.

For more information, contact Holly Legleiter, WVU Health Sciences Research and Graduate Education, 304-293-7207.

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TS: 03/07/2018