Debating Vaccination

Debating Vaccination – Understanding the attack on the Australian Vaccination Network


Dr Brian Martin, a Professor of Social Science at the University of Wollongong and Vice President of Whistleblowers Australia, was interested in studying the attacks against the AVN – what motivated them and who carried them out. What the aims and methods of the attackers were and how those who were attacked responded.

Out of this research, came a 20,000 word article called Debating Vaccination.

This article covered the history of attacks on both public groups and private individuals as well as information on why the attack on the AVN is different than most via the use of social media as the ‘weapon of choice’ for many of the antagonists.

This article is available as a free download by clicking here. If you would like to order reprints, you may do so here.

Clicking on the image to the left will open the full-size page so you can get an understanding of what the article is about.

More up-to-date information from Dr Martin

Since publishing Debating Vaccination, Dr Martin has written more about the attacks against the AVN and the perpetrators of those attacks. You can read more about this at the following links:

Online onslaught: Internet-based methods for attacking and defending citizens’ organisations

Public mobbing: a phenomenon and its features (written with Florencia Peña)

Suppression of protest

When public health debates become abusive

Background information from the AVN

The original complaints and the AVN’s responses to the HCCC as well as correspondence from the HCCC to both myself and the complainant, Ken McLeod, can be found on the AVN’s Scribd page.