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Seth Mnookin
Works at Vanity Fair
Lives in Cambridge
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Seth Mnookin

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It's been hard to avoid all of the news about the measles outbreak that's currently sweeping across the country. The roots of the outbreak can be found in a fraudulent 1998 study, since retracted, claiming the MMR vaccines was associated with autism. I looked into why so many people still are convinced this is true despite all of the evidence to the contrary in my book The Panic Virus, and my publisher, Simon & Schuster, has just put the ebook on sale for $2.99 -- so if you've been thinking about reading it but haven't taken the plunge, now's a good time to pick it up.
http://amzn.to/15Vl8hV
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/panic-virus-seth-mnookin/1102177688?ean=9781439165676&itm=1&usri=the+panic+virus
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Seth Mnookin

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Fantastic piece from +Kevin Hartnett in the Boston Globe's Ideas section on the question of whether Charles Dickens borrowed (read: stole) several crucial plot elements of A Christmas Carol from the writings of women who worked 12 hours a day spinning cotton in the Lowell mills. 

http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2013/12/15/dickens/vFjBRRSBUtzHVH9DXiCSSL/story.html
Dickens visited Lowell in 1842, touring the mills and taking notes for a travelogue. The next year, he published “A Christmas Carol.” The story was an immediate hit, shaping how we think of Christmas to this day. Now, new research by a Boston University professor and student, Natalie McKnight and Chelsea Bray, is suggesting that the book may have liberally borrowed plots and themes from amateur writings in a literary journal by the millworkers he...
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Seth Mnookin

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Tomorrow on +Katie Couric: Dangerous fear mongering & cheap rating ploys!  http://blogs.plos.org/thepanicvirus/?p=6051 …
I am interested in talking to Seth Mnookin about his book 'The Panic Virus.' I am researching a story about parents who opt out of immunizations for their children because of their personal beliefs. As Seth knows, parents' fears have lead to a resurgence of diseases like measles and Pertussis ...
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This Thursday at 5pm, Hilary Sargent (aka Chartgirl) will be giving a talk titled "Visualizing Information: An Alternative Route to Understanding and Explaining Complicated Information" as part of the MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing Colloquium Series. That's a dry, academic sounding title for what will be a free-ranging discussion of everything from Taylor Swift's maneating tendencies to to mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto. Hilary is awesome -- so much so that she should more than cancel out needing to see me moderate. Hope you Boston folks can make it there...
http://blogs.plos.org/thepanicvirus/?p=6035
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Seth Mnookin

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This has been a horribly painful day for me -- not because of the behavior and consequences of someone I considered a friend and a champion of causes I believe in but because his actions have made me realize the extent to which the women around me deal with inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment on a daily basis. 

http://blogs.plos.org/thepanicvirus/2013/10/16/misogyny-and-sexism-in-scicomm-pt-2-act-inappropriately-and-suffer-the-consequences-full-stop/
What makes this so hard to talk about—my experience and Monica's—is that it may not look like sexual harassment. There was no actual sex or inappropriate touching. Bora wasn't vulgar toward me, nor did he even directly announce his interest. It was all reading between the lines, which made it ...
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Yes, I'm biased, but it's nice to know that literally every review out there has agreed with my assessment that Hanya Yangihara's novel "People in the Trees" is a remarkable piece of work. The latest to weigh in is +The Boston Globe, which calls it "fascinating and multilayered" and says Hanya is like "a chef who manages to whip up a divine dish from an unlikely combination of ingredients. Her storytelling is masterful." Get this book. You'll thank me later. 
Book: http://amzn.to/15gNCSb
Globe review: http://b.globe.com/18WeNPv
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find  "The Boy in the Trees" by Italo Calvino...a great one...
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Seth Mnookin

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Until recently, Bertrand Might was the only known patient with a certain genetic disorder. His parents began searching for others. Credit Photograph by Phillip Toledano.
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Great piece. I think "glycomics" is under-appreciated as a source of variation because it's hard to study in the way we can look at DNA and protein sequence. I bet we'll see more of the consequences of that going forward.
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+Maryn McKenna is a flat-out, stone-cold inspiring reporter -- and here she does her usual bang-up job on a piece that's simultaneously sobering and terrifying. Also: incredible writing -- and a lead that is, ahem, to die for. 
https://medium.com/p/892b57499e77
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The whirling dervish that is Hanya Yanagihara picks up another well-deserved accolade: PW just named "People in the Trees" as one of its Top 10 books of the year. Rock on, Hanya. 

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/59796-pw-reveals-top-101-best-books-of-2013.html
The best books of 2013, as picked by PW's reviews editors in fiction, nonfiction, comics, romance, mystery, religion, and more.
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If you're in the science communication or science journalism world, you know there's been a lot going on the last few days at +Scientific American, most recently with +ScienceOnline co-founder +Bora Zivkovic.  I know Bora, which has made this especially difficult for me. I'm hoping this leads to some tough, but necessary, discussions about our field. 

http://blogs.plos.org/thepanicvirus/2013/10/15/a-chance-to-discuss-sexism-misogyny-in-science-communication-dnlee-bora-the-sciam-fiasco/
If you're reading this blog, chances are good that you already know the backstory for this: Last week, an editor at Biology Online asked Danielle N. Lee, a zoology postdoc and well-known blogger, to contribute posts to the site. She asked how much she would be paid — and when he responded that ...
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Seth Mnookin

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In memory of the great Elmore Leonard, who died earlier today at age 87: His wonderful 2001 "Writers on Writing" essay in The New York Times: "Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle." This is one of the first things I assign my writing students each year...
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/16/arts/writers-writing-easy-adverbs-exclamation-points-especially-hooptedoodle.html
These are rules I've picked up along the way to help me remain invisible when I'm writing a book, to help me show rather than tell what's taking place in the story. If you have a facility for
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(Late, sorry, I was held up by time ;-))

I especially love his caveats in 1, 5, 7 and 9.  Which basically say: There are no rules.  Find your voice, and whatever your voice tells you to say, say it.  If the voice is good, the words will be good, whatever rules they'll follow, or violate.

He also says that in the big about the rules of composition not being allowed to stand in the way of the narrative.

Now, finding this voice is the hard part.
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Have him in circles
3,881 people
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Work
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Journalist
Employment
  • Vanity Fair
    Contributing editor, 2005 - present
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Co-director, Graduate Program in Science Writing, 2011 - present
  • The Panic Virus
    author, 2011 - 2011
  • Feeding the Monster
    author, 2006 - 2006
  • Hard News
    author, 2004 - 2004
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Currently
Cambridge
Previously
Manhattan - Brooklyn - Somerville - Delray Beach - Newton
Seth Mnookin's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Fighting a One-of-a-Kind Disease
www.newyorker.com

Matt Might and Cristina Casanova met in the spring of 2002, as twenty-year-old undergraduates at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Cristi

The Autism Vaccine Controversy and the Need for Responsible Science Jour...
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The seemingly never-ending contraction of the media industry has resulted in a shedding of specialists in every journalistic medium. That do

Acid Reflux in Pregnancy
www.disabled-world.com

It is estimated that as much as 80% of pregnant women have GERD symptoms and the symptoms vary from mild to very severe

An Open Letter to My Fellow "Natural Parents"
www.redbookmag.com

Why this "Natural Parent" says "yes" to vaccines.

Why So Many Parents Are Delaying or Skipping Vaccines | Parade.com
www.parade.com

The truth and consequences behind the growing movement to skip vaccines for children — and what it means for the rest of us.

Autism Roundtable: Cross-Disability Solidarity, Goals for the Future, an...
www.huffingtonpost.com

I asked some of the people who've influenced my thinking about autism to collaborate on a virtual roundtable. This conversation, which t

The story behind ‘the best NYT correction ever’ | JIMROMENESKO.COM
jimromenesko.com

The story behind 'the best NYT correction ever'. An article on Monday about Jack Robison and Kirsten Lindsmith, two college students