La Crosse, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Fear that vaccines cause autism has become one of the biggest health controversies in America. Over a period of seven years, Brian Deer investigated the story for The Sunday Times of London and now comes to UW-La Crosse to reveal what Time Magazine dubbed one of the "great science frauds" of all time.
Deer, an investigative journalist for the Sunday Times of London, in London, England, spent Thursday afternoon with UW-L students talking about what it means to be a journalist.
He spoke about the differences between American journalism and British journalism, and the direction he sees news going in the future.
Deer also gave a public lecture "An Elaborate Fraud: The MMR Vaccine & Autism" to the public Thursday night.
Launched from one British hospital in the 1990s, the scare took hold first in the U.K., and then spread around the globe, leaving doctors baffled, children at risk, parents frightened and lawyers with a lot more money. Deer shows how it was done, who did it, and why it will happen again.
Deer is an investigative reporter whose investigations have won him numerous awards including the British Press Award, Great Britain's top journalism award, in 1999 and 2011. Specializing in medicine, pharmaceuticals and social issues, he has carried out public interest inquiries for The Sunday Times of London on four continents, made hour-long TV documentaries and has been featured on most of America's top news and current affairs shows.