In the latest New Scientist, I have a lengthy review of the following new books, which couldn’t be better timed in light of the recent devastation of the Wakefield paper that started the whole autism scare:
The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear by Seth Mnookin, who’s an editor at Vanity Fair and wrote the New York Times bestseller Feeding the Monster.
Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All, by Paul Offit, previously well known as the author of Autism’s False Prophets and a Point of Inquiry guest
You can’t read the full review online unless you have a subscription, but suffice it to say that these are both great books and they’re actually quite different and complementary as well. Mnookin is more of a narrative writer. Offit is devastating on the science, and on the incredible risk now posed to innocent children by those who fail to vaccinate. If you care about science and reason, both should be in your library.
I want to add something else: Please go to Amazon and see all the one star reviews that vaccine denialists are giving to Offit’s newest–and it doesn’t seem like they’ve even read the book. Guess he touched a nerve. After you read it, I recommend going over there and balancing the score.
I’m also going to be having Mnookin on Point of Inquiry tomorrow. Stand by for that.