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Extended Audio Sample The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear, by Seth Mnookin Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,133 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Seth Mnookin Narrator: Dan John Miller Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Panic Virus is a gripping scientific detective story about how grassroots radicals, snake-oil salesmen, and cynical journalists have perpetrated the biggest health-scare hoax of all time. It explores what happens when the media treats all viewpoints as equally valid, regardless of facts, from parents who are convinced that vaccines caused their children's autism to right-wing radicals who believe that climate change is a myth. It also explains how the endless quantity of information available online has radicalized partisans by fueling their tendency to filter out anything that doesn't reinforce their way of thinking. Tens of millions of dollars have been wasted appeasing denialists who think the government is perpetrating a health "holocaust" on children. Declining vaccination rates have caused recent outbreaks of measles, whooping cough, and Hib-and children around the country are dying as a result. Like works by Oliver Sacks and Richard Dawkins, The Panic Virus uses everyday experiences to show how science affects our lives. Listeners will learn why definitive proof in science is virtually impossible, how rational decision making is ruled by emotion, and why paupers' graves in the 1880s led to an outbreak of throat cancer in the 1950s. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • A riveting and important chronicle of one life-and-death realm in which passionate, panicky belief has dangerously trumped reason---and put millions of children at risk. Kurt Andersen, author of Heyday

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sallie | 2/11/2014

    " Mnookin takes on the ever-growing anti-vaccine movement, armed with overwhelming scientific evidence rather than anecdotal support. There are many factors at play in the controversy, from Andrew Wakefield's severely flawed 1998 study linking the MMR vaccine to autism (sparking the current movement) to a media which chooses emotional soundbites over concrete evidence. Unfortunately, the decision to opt-out of vaccination is not a personal one; society as a whole is affected. Whooping cough, pertussis, measles and Hib are reappearing at alarming rates with often tragic consequences. Well-researched and clearly presented, Mnookin says what needs to be said. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Matt | 1/28/2014

    " Required reading for everyone, ever. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Bfg1971 | 12/9/2013

    " This was a well written book; however, it wasn't compelling enough to finish because all of the anti-vaxers relied on poor science and generally seemed to be kooks. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Michelle | 12/4/2013

    " The second very well-written and done expose of the antivaccine movement and what it costs us. This writer was not a scientist but a journalist and writer puzzled by the phenomenon of well-educated, affluent Americans who for odd reasons, believe in science, UNLESS it is science applied to vaccines, when they let fear-mongering and Playboy bunnies influence them instead. Another solid expression of the clear evidence, heart-rending stories of children who've been hurt by the loss of herd immunity, and clear finger-pointing. Mnookin is especially hard on the media and their coverage of the controversy, with almost completely one-sided reporting of the sensationalists only, with little understanding of the real science and the real issues. Top-rate, too bad we can't make it required reading for giving birth. "

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