Friday, January 28, 2011

The Panic Virus

I have to highly recommend the book The Panic Virus; A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear by Seth Mnookin. The author is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and award winning books Hard News and Feeding the Monster. This book, his latest work, is an excellent blend of narrative of true stories of individuals caught up in the greatest medical hoax in history, the anti vaccine movement. He brings the history of vaccines and the learning process that occurred in developing the most effective prevention against the age old enemy of infection. He then weaves the story of how both old and new anti-vax movements began and how they behaved and what they fed on. How the media left its ethics at the door of the all mighty dollar to get any headline to sell the tripe of the baloney artists. Oprah, Jenny, Andrew, Robert among others are revealed for what and who they are. Con artists, self styled bottom feeders that live off the fear, and uncertainty that can explode within a movement. Seth is a virtuoso in describing how emotions, data and the public can be manipulated at the expense of public safety and good in the hunt for coin. He also gives us very valuable lessons in how real science is done with all of its limitations and uncertainties. But science is the only tool we have that has repeatedly shown how the real world works. I encourage you to buy this book, you will not regret it. It is in the societies books store.
Peace Skeptical DoDo

1 comment:

melanie said...

interesting post, thanks for sharing