Science, Pseudoscience & Media
President of the Romanian Rationalist Society (Romania)
Ovidiu Covaciu has been involved in the Romanian skeptical movement since 2009 when he opened his own blog named "Island of Doubt". In 2010, following the European Skeptical Conference in Budapest, he launched the "Skeptics in Romania" podcast which is the first Romanian podcast ever made and also the longest running local podcast with over 7 years of regular episodes. A new initiative is called the "Healthy Romania Coalition", a Facebook page dedicated to info-graphics explaining health subjects. The page has over 12 thousand likes and a yearly reach of 4 million people. Mr Covaciu also manages a parent group dedicated to the subject of vaccination, informing parents correctly and relying on doctors from the local primary care professional society for medical information. This group has over 36 thousand parents with hundreds more joining every day.
How the Romanian anti-vaccine movement threatens Europe
In the middle of a Romanian measles epidemic, I am proposing an overview of the growing anti-vaccine movement from 2009 to the present. We will delve into how the anti-vaccine sentiment grew out of a botched vaccination campaign with mass-media help and who are the main supporters of anti-vaccine sentiment. The talk will also cover the tactics of the anti-vaccine movement, their varied self-interest in driving mistrust in vaccination and the most relevant personalities. I will also explain the main issues around the governmental response to the drop in vaccine coverage and the growing anti-vaccine sentiment and why the current epidemic in Romania is caused by a mixture of antivax propaganda, government incompetence and lack of quality information about vaccination. My talk will also talk solutions for skeptical activists, examples of actions and partnerships that have worked out well and have helped inform parents about vaccinations.