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Seth Mnookin, photo by Sara James
Seth Mnookin


NYS Writers Institute, March 22, 2011
8:00 p.m. Reading | George Education Center Auditorium, School of Public Health, on the University at Albany’s East Campus, Discovery Drive, East Greenbush, NY
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Humanities Building Room 354, Uptown Campus

Seth Mnookin, eminent journalist and bestselling author of books about scandals at the New York Times and the rise of the Boston Red Sox, will discuss his new book, The Panic Virus (2011), about the autism-vaccine controversy on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. in the George Education Center Auditorium, School of Public Health, on the University at Albany’s East Campus, Discovery Drive, East Greenbush, NY. Earlier the same day Mnookin will hold an informal seminar at 4:15 p.m. in the Humanities Building Room 354 on UAlbany’s uptown campus. The events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and the School of Public Health in celebration of its 25th Anniversary, and are free and open to the public.


Seth Mnookin,
journalist, contributing editor for Vanity Fair, and former senior reporter for Newsweek,  is the bestselling author of three books on diverse subjects, including scandals at the New York Times, the rise of the Boston Red Sox, and the autism-vaccine controversy. Shortly before his death, Hunter S. Thompson proclaimed Mnookin, “one of the best and brightest journalists of this ominous post-American century.”

Mnookin’s latest book is The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear (2011), which explores the science of vaccination and the claims that vaccines cause autism and other developmental disorders. In particular, he examines how anti-scientific conclusions about vaccination gained credence among well-educated parents and in the mainstream media. Writing in Nature, Melvin Konner said, “[Mnookin’s] analysis is serious and gripping. … His careful science and compassion for both sides are examples for all journalists, and The Panic Virus should be read and pondered.” Trine Tsouderos of the Chicago Tribune called it, “Excellent…a must read for parents and parents to be. … Mnookin makes a plea for reason and to giving weight to facts, not feelings and personal stories.”

The Panic VirusMnookin’s first book, Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media (2004) was named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post.  The Post’s ombudsman, Michael Getler, said in a review, “Seth Mnookin… has done something that’s hard to do:  He has written a book about journalism that is hard to put down. Hard News reads like a thriller, a fast-paced novel unfolding inside a newspaper long viewed as the gold standard of American journalism.” New York magazine called it, “…a richly dramatic, hugely entertaining story, replete with egos run amok, duplicity, hypocrisy, and all the other stigmata of massive institutional failure, in the media and beyond.”

In 2006, Mnookin published Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top, which chronicles, among other things, the under-celebrated role of business managers (“the suits”) in the recent triumphs of the Boston Red Sox. Writing in the Washington Post, Jonathan Yardley called it, “A detailed, knowledgeable account of how a successful sports franchise operates, how it deals with failure and success, how hard it is to turn a profit in a business that seems, at least from the outside, to be swimming in money. … [R]esidents of Red Sox Nation will gobble it up, as may others who are interested in the inner workings of professional sports.”

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.