Queen’s University Acts Swiftly and Appropriately to Prevent Scientifically Unsound Teachings

by | February 22, 2015

Queen’s University has investigated a claim of dubious science teaching and taken swift and appropriate action.

Melody Torcolacci, an adjunct professor with the school of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University, faced criticism recently when students complained about an anti-vaccination message in her course material. According to CTV News, one of her PowerPoint slides:

…states there is no scientific proof vaccines aren’t contributing to increased incidences of chronic illness and disability in children. Another quotes an alternative medicine website as saying it’s not known whether fetuses are harmed when pregnant women get flu shots.

This contradicts many studies that show pregnant women should indeed be vaccinated against influenza.

While this is the first time the public has heard about Torcalocci’s slides,

Ian Gemmill, the local Medical Officer of Health, had approached Torcolacci’s Health Studies department head, Jean Cote, with concerns in 2011.

While those concerns clearly did not receive the attention they deserved, happily, Alan Harrison, Queen’s University’s Provost, conducted an investigation and concluded that:

…he was not able to state unequivocally that the instructor’s sole intention was to present the case against vaccination.

Not exactly strong language but the actions speak larger than words, for Melody Torcolacci will no longer teach her Health 102 course and she will need to work with academic officials in the future to “ensure that any future course offerings are based on material that’s intellectually sound.” Ouch!

I’m glad that the Provost responded quickly and seems to feel that promoting claims without scientific basis, are academically unsound.

Perhaps there is hope for us yet!

Read the entire CTV article, Queen’s prof with anti-vaccination slides won’t be allowed to teach same course | CTV News.

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