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Impact Factor: Can a Scientific Retraction Change Public Opinion?

When science revises its stance, the field itself follows established protocol to adapt, but public opinion can be slow to catch up. Rather than wiping the slate clean, last month’s retraction of a key paper proposing a link between childhood vaccines and autism seem only to have widened the societal divide on the issue. And the rising rate of retractions–roughly ninefold between 1990 and 2008–suggest that there could be more cases in which public opinion carries on long after science has reversed course. [More]





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