Seth Mnookin – The Panic Virus

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.

Author: Seth Mnookin
Narrator: Dan John Miller
Duration: 10 hours 44 minutes
Released: 11 Dec 2001
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Language: English

User Review:

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I told someone that I was listening to this book and was surprised that they believed that a contributing factor for disease in children was from all the vaccinations they take. Never mind that we’re now seeing growth in diseases that were around when I was a child in ’60s. I’m glad that both my children had all their vaccinations when they were young. It’s interesting that snake oil salesmen existed in the early years of this country because
there was to little information. Now they exist because we’re subjected to an overflow of information and we have a hard time separating fact from fiction