Vaccines and Autism: Dispelling the Myths

How did the concept of a link between Vaccines and Autism arise?

Class taught by John Stein and Steven Subotnik, with support from the Brown Science Center.     •    Fall 2012

This class, offered jointly by professors at RISD and Brown and in partnership with the Science Center and the Creative Mind Initiative, explored and developed the pedagogy of using visual media to convey scientific concepts. There is a growing surplus of online learning content, but often times it is not well suited for seamless adoption into educational use. The goal of this course was to assess examples of existing material and design new material that not only fills an educational need but makes science engaging and accessible.

Class comprised of lectures, labs, screenings, discussions, critiques and guest speakers. After an introduction to science teaching pedagogy and the basics of animation and visual design, small student teams with a balance of science and art backgrounds collaborated on a series of short exercises leading to the creation of final videos or animations that explain scientific concepts. Concept selection was based on filling an identified educational need, where a satisfactory example does not yet exist and where the topic benefits from a visual presentation. Paired with faculty mentors from the life or physical sciences, students designed visual media that is appropriate for a growing digital audience.