This is a short activity to complete with your students to discuss how science really works. Students read a newspaper article that originally appeared in the Washington Times. Then, they answer questions about the article. You should discuss students' answers as a class (or have them break into groups first to discuss their answers).
You will have some great discussions, but the basic premise of the activity is that things in science aren't true because we want them to be true, but because empirical evidence has shown them to be likely. Sometimes the evidence can point to some very uncomfortable findings that can be upsetting to many, as in the case of vaccines and autism. However, we don't get to vote on whether a scientific fact is true or not. The article discusses some of the negative consequences we would encounter if science did in fact involve people voting on scientific facts.
This is a wonderful foundational piece that you can refer back to with students throughout the year when they question how scientific facts are weighed, evaluated, and accepted by the scientific community.