Happy New Year to everyone.
I'm not sure if you have seen this, or if it has already been discussed on the SGU, as I haven't been able to listen to the podcast for the last few months (my formerly podcast-filled commute now features a toddler demanding music). However, I did a search of the forums, and couldn't find anything, so here it is.
The University of Wollongong in Australia, a university currently ranked 243 worldwide, has recently awarded a PhD to Judy Wilyman, a prominent anti-vaccination activist who runs the website Vaccination Decisions (vaccinationdecisions.net
). The title of the PhD thesis is 'A critical analysis of the Australian government’s rationale for its vaccination policy' and it can be downloaded here: http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/4541/
The conclusions of the thesis are basically that vaccines have not been proven to be safe or effective and that the WHO is in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industries and the World Bank. I must admit, I haven't read the whole thing, but there's a good write-up about it here: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2016/01/13/the-university-of-wollongong-issues-a-phd-in-antivaccine-pseudoscience/
The degree was awarded by the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry, which means scientific rigour was not a pre-requisite, but there still should have been some serious questions raised by the University of Wollongong. The danger now is that she will be Dr Wilyman, making her sound like a medical professional to those unwilling to dig any deeper and therefore giving her message more validity.