Radiolab
Radiolab
Dec 3, 2020
The Great Vaccinator
Play • 42 min

Until now, the fastest vaccine ever made - for mumps - took four years. And while our current effort to develop a covid-19 vaccine involves thousands of people working around the clock, the mumps vaccine was developed almost exclusively by one person: Maurice Hilleman. Hilleman cranked out more than 40 other vaccines over the course of his career, including 8 of the 14 routinely given to children. He arguably saved more lives than any other single person. And through his work, Hilleman embodied the instincts, drive, and guts it takes to marshall the human body’s defenses against a disease. But through him we also see the struggle and the costs of these monumental scientific efforts.

This episode was reported by Matt Kielty and Heather Radke, and produced by Matt Kielty.

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Consider This from NPR
Consider This from NPR
NPR
Their Family Members Are QAnon Followers — And They're At A Loss What To Do About It
The QAnon conspiracy theory originated in 2017, when an anonymous online figure, "Q" started posting on right-wing message boards. Q claims to have top secret government clearance. Q's stories range from false notions about COVID-19 to a cabal running the U.S. government to the claim there's a secret world of satanic pedophiles. This culminates in the belief that President Trump is a kind of savior figure. Today, U.S. authorities are increasingly regarding QAnon as a domestic terror threat — especially following last week's insurrection at the Capitol. But the people in the best position to address that threat are the families of Q followers — and they're at a loss about how to do it. Some of those family members spoke with us about how their family members started following QAnon and how that has affected their relationships. Travis View researches right-wing conspiracies and hosts the podcast QAnon Anonymous. He explains how the QAnon story is not all that different from digital marketing tactics, and how followers become detached from reality. Dannagal Young is an associate professor of communications at the University of Delaware and studies why people latch onto political conspiracy theories. She share some ways to help family members who are seemingly lost down one of these conspiracy rabbit holes. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community. Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
14 min
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