Science Writing professor Seth Mnookin has been awarded the 2012 NASW Science in Society Award for his book “The Panic Virus”. The National Association of Science Writers established the Science in Society Journalism Awards to provide recognition for investigative or interpretive reporting about the sciences and their impact on society.
From the press release, “In Panic Virus (Simon & Schuster, 2012), Mnookin tells the story of the dire consequences of the 1998 publication of a subsequently discredited paper alleging that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine might cause autism. One judge commented that Mnookin “neatly dissects the issues behind the anti-vaccine movement, illuminating this intersection of science, politics and public health. The story is beautifully told, the people in it are compellingly rendered, and the missteps on all sides of the vaccine question told in clear detail…. In the end, the book offers both a telling look at how human beings can complicate even the most straight-forward attempts to protect public health and a warning of the risks to all of us when we choose fear- mongering over good science.”
The award will be presented at the ScienceWriters2012 meeting in October.