Roald Dahl, The BFG and the Measles

“I has told you five or six times,” he said, “and the third will be the last.”
–The BFG, from Roald Dahl’s book of the same name

The recent outbreak of measles — once eradicated in the United States — is a cause of deep concern and frustration to anyone who trusts the process by which scientific experts reach a consensus on complicated issues. Scientists (and those of us who agree with them) passionately want everyone to understand how they reached their conclusions, and how solid and credible those conclusions are. It is, however, well known that the answer to “I don’t trust science” is not “let me tell you some more science.” So what’s a science-loving scientist to do? Well, one answer is: tell a story.

When my kids were little, I loved reading to them. Of all the books we read together, my very, very favorite remains The BFG by Roald Dahl. Not as well-known as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Matilda, The BFG is the tale of an unlikely friendship between an eight-year-old orphan girl named Sophie, and a “nice and jumbly” giant who calls himself “The Big Friendly Giant” (or BFG for short) to distinguish himself from the —> Read More Here


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