Episode 31

Published on:

7th Nov 2021

Interview with Annie Kelly on Vaccines, Conspiracies, & Misinformation

Dr Annie Kelly is a writer, researcher, and the British correspondent for the well and deservedly praised podcast QAnon Anonymous. Her PhD research was on digital anti-feminism and the kinds of ideas that float around certain 'tradcon', biological essentialist, or religiously motivated groups. She does research on antifeminism, new digital cultures, conspiracy theories and right wing extremism.

Prompted by the resurgence in anti-vax sentiment, Annie's been looking into the history and sociology of vaccinations, and sees lots of interesting roots and themes for understanding what's going on right now. Her new podcast, "Vaccine - The Human Story" has been digging into precisely these issues, and so we had questions for Annie, lots of questions!

The history of the germ theory of disease, the early use (and abuse) of vaccinations, and the panics, xenophobia and quack therapies - it's quite simply fascinating stuff, and we get a wonderful overview from Annie in this episode.

Annie's work at QAA and elsewhere naturally focuses more on the extreme end of the spectrum, and while pulling no punches, she approaches what can be quite disturbing and confronting topics with a humour and empathy that is incredibly authoritative and reassuring. We talk about COVID and vaccines, but so much more, like the anti-feminist ideas that float around in the hinterland between athiesm and religiosity, pick up artists converting to Orthodox Christianity, and other weirdness.

One of our most enjoyable and informative interviews - do check it out!


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About the Podcast

Decoding the Gurus
A psychologist and an anthropologist try to make sense of the world's greatest self-declared Gurus.
An exiled Northern Irish anthropologist and a hitchhiking Australian psychologist take a close look at the contemporary crop of 'secular gurus', iconoclasts, and other exiles from the mainstream, offering their own brands of unique takes and special insights.

Leveraging two of the most diverse accents in modern podcasting, Chris and Matt dig deep into the claims, peek behind the psychological curtains, and try to figure out once and for all... What's it all About?

Join us, as we try to puzzle our way through and talk some smart-sounding smack about the intellectual giants of our age, from Jordan Peterson to Robin DiAngelo. Are they revolutionary thinkers or just grifters with delusions of grandeur?

Join us and let's find out!
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About your hosts

Christopher Kavanagh

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A Northern Irish cognitive anthropologist who occasionally moonlights as a social psychologist. Chris has long standing interests in the psychology of conspiracy theorists and pseudoscience. His academic research focuses on the Cognitive Science of Religion and ritual psychology. He lives happily in Japan with his family.

Matthew Browne

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An Australian psychologist and numbers-guy. He does research on all kinds of stuff, but particularly enjoys looking into why people believe the things they do: religion, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine and stuff. He's into social media in the same way people slow down for car accidents.