Skip to main content
University News

Why Trust Science and History?

Detail of "Moment of Contact" as Hawaiians greet the ship Resolution.

Isaiah Walker, Academic Vice President, and President John S.K. Kauwe III spoke at Papa Ola Lokahi’s, “Why Trust Science and History” webinar, a virtual discussion about why it’s important to learn who and what to trust in an era of misinformation.

Relating COVID-19 to The History of Hawaii's Past

"More than any other people, Native Hawaiians should be intimately aware of the impact of disease on a nation, or lahui," said Walker

He comments that natives of the Hawaiian islands have suffered the impacts of viruses and disease brought here for centuries. Whether it was Tuberculosis, Sexually Transmitted Infections, or Chickenpox, some of these didn't always show the entirety of their harmful effects until months or years later. He fears the COVID-19 virus can do the same.  

History also shows us that travel bans, enforced quarantines, and vaccinations have been preventive measures taken by island ali'i before. As a result, in 1851, the native population miraculously began to increase after decades of depression. But despite those leader's efforts to establish better health care and precautions, they continued to dwindle amidst these life-threatening diseases. 

Walker sympathizes with native Hawaiians and the difficulty they face in trusting a system that has failed them many times before. But he hopes that by bringing light to past events joined with today's research, individuals and families can feel better about the choices at hand.  

Explaining The Science Behind Vaccinations and Addressing Common Myths

From day one in Kauwe's current position as the President of BYU–Hawaii, John Keoni Kauwe had the health and safety of the university students, faculty, and community at the forefront of his mind. 

During this webinar, President Kauwe discusses the scientific explanations that debunk false claims, such as the vaccines altering DNA, trusting one's natural immunity over proper vaccination, and vaccines causing infertility. 

He commonly references CDC (Center of Disease and Control) and AMA (American Medical Association) guidelines as he walks viewers through the scientific reasoning behind why the COVID-19 vaccination is safe and effective. 

Both Walker and Kauwe hope that the discussion and points presented in this webinar can assist those struggling to discern the truth from misinformation. Listen to the complete webinar produced by Papa Ola Lokahi.