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Fighting words

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Science  03 Jan 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6473, pp. 16-19
DOI: 10.1126/science.367.6473.16

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Summary

In the past 3 years, virologist Roberto Burioni has gone from being a respected but little-known professor to a major media personality in Italy and an internet savvy advocate for science. In a country where the government has sometimes promoted dubious medicine, such as unproven stem cell therapies, Burioni has become an outspoken advocate for scientific evidence on vaccines and other medical topics, and a harsh critic of pseudoscience. His books, postings, and media presence have made him a celebrity scientist in Italy akin to, say, Neil deGrasse Tyson in the United States. Some respected health researchers and journalists have been critical, saying his blunt, even abrasive manner inflames an already polarized conflict. But many public health experts credit him with changing Italy's debate about vaccination and elevating the profile of science there.

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