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The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear Hardcover – January 11, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
The Panic Virus focuses primarily on the debate over vaccines, thimerosal, and autism, but it doesn't end there. Mnookin doesn't gloss over mistakes that were made by the CDC and other government bodies in overseeing the safety of multiple vaccines. Even as someone who has a lot of respect for the contributions of vaccines to public health, I was taken aback by some of the points he made regarding the lack of rigorous safety studies in some areas related to vaccines.
However, he also presents the science that has demonstrated as conclusively as possible that vaccines do not cause autism. Those looking for the ultimate proof of a negative will not find it here, because it cannot be done using science, as Mnookin points out. He also covers some of the psychological reasons for why people are so willing to believe in junk science, and discusses Andrew Wakefield's chicanery in detail. Finally, he gives a voice to families whose children have been harmed by the anti-vaccination movement.
In fairness, one or two of the more esoteric points about the science are a tiny bit off the mark.Read more ›
I was wrong. This book places the current anti-vaccine/ anti-science plague spreading across America in a historical context in which I had never considered it. It was fascinating to read about the flawed polio trials, and how fear of vaccinations has been with us even though crude, ur-vaccinations were present in 8th Century India.
I don't want to give everything away about this book because Mr. Mnookin writes so wonderfully. To attempt to distill it into a few words here would be unfair. If you are interested in learning more about how and why people cling to anti-scientific beliefs, and how history keeps on repeating itself despite all of our advances, you absolutely must read this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a super informative and well-researched book.
Documenting the history of the anti-vaccine movement the book gives examples of the dangers of not vaccinating and... Read more
This is one of the most important books any logical person can read.
It depicts beautifully the reasoning of scientific thinking while describing the history and thinking of... Read more
Do a short search on the Web for the Oct 29, 2015 CBS report by Ben Swann re. the CDC's systematic cover-up of data to hide the MMR vaccine's link to autism. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book is interesting and clearly well researched, but the writing style is a little alarmist, which mimics the tendency to use emotions instead of facts found in the... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Birdiegirl314
Interesting topic, but written in over-the-top journalism-ese. I couldn't stand it. Wanted to like it but... just... no.Published 12 months ago by Bricorna
Every generation has people who refuse to believe in scientific progress. Fortunately, the number of people has decreased over time as scientific method and research continue to... Read morePublished 12 months ago by William Capodanno
A good read for a boring subject. Definitely timely for understanding the real pros and cons of vaccines and the mass hysterias caused by their use.Published 13 months ago by W. K. Macallister
It was obvious that lots of thought out research had taken place. Open mind at beginning of research. Was sympathetic towards children and families affected by Autism. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Ana Saravia