Interview: Debunking (Antivaxx) Funk with Dr Dan Wilson
This week we speak to fellow traveller, kindred spirit, and vaccine misinformation debunker, Dr Dan Wilson. Yes, we know we've talked SO much about anti-vax rhetoric recently, and we hope the day will soon come when we can leave it all behind us, but friends, today is not that day.
For more than a year, Dan's YouTube channel DebunkTheFunk has focused on rebutting COVID and vaccine misinformation from characters such as Geert Vanden-Bossche, Joseph Mercola and RFK Jnr. His recent episodes on Robert Malone and Peter Mc Collough have been an invaluable source for the decoders for our recent episodes. So of course we were delighted that Dan could come speak to us about what he does, what they do, and what kind of rhetorical tropes and tricks he sees from these characters.
Dan seems to suffer from the same masochistic malaise we do, in feeling compelled to listen to some of the worst material available on the internet, so as to point out what's wrong with it. And he accomplishes that mission effectively, and most mysteriously for Chris and Matt, concisely as well.
It's not all negative, because as well as talking about anti-vaxxers specifically, we all bask in our shared admiration for This Week in Virology, the kind of critical yet open-minded science communication show we'd all love to see a lot more of. We also talk about the kind of everyday epistemics that we can all practice to separate fact from fiction, and the kind of public engagement that genuine experts, researchers and scientists need to practice in order to take back the infosphere from snake-oil salesmen and attention-seekers of all kinds.
It was an absolute pleasure to talk to Dan. We love what he does, and we hope he goes on doing it for a long time to come. We hope you enjoy it too, and we heartily recommend sharing DebunkTheFunk with friends, family and colleagues who have slipped down the conspiratorial rabbit-hole on COVID and vaccines.