Ask me anything: Reddit thread open for Mahola video interview

July 26th, 2011 → 8:02 pm @

Mahalo, the “human search engine” with the motto “Learn anything,”^ has asked me to take part in their “ask me anything” author video series. If you have a question you’d like to throw into the mix, put it in the comments of this Reddit thread before tomorrow, June 27, at 4pm Eastern time.

I’m sure there’ll be lots of questions about The Panic Virus, but as the name of the feature indicates, it’ll cover pretty much everything — and some of the questions posted up there so far have to do with the future of print media (a topic I write about in this week’s New York magazine) and the common threads between my books. I’ll be answering some of the most interesting queries via Skype; the video will be posted sometime in the next week.

^ Mahalo is a Hawaiian word that actually means “thank you.” If you haven’t previously checked it out, there’s an explanation of  how the Mahalo Answers work here and the answers to some other Mahalo FAQ over here.

Post Categories: Housekeeping & Interviews

Highlights from the NYT Magazine profile of Andrew Wakefield

April 21st, 2011 → 9:41 am @

This morning, The New York Times Magazine posted Susan Dominus’s lengthy profile of Andrew Wakefield.

As I told Dominus, I have conflicted feelings about pieces like this. On one level, I think they run the risk of simply giving more oxygen to someone who has already taken significantly more of the media’s attention than he deserves. There’s a sort of bizarro-world nature to the correlation between the attention Wakefield receives and the total scientific bankruptcy of his notions…and in a month when an entire Virginia school had to be shut down because of a whooping cough outbreak spread by non-vaccinated students and ten (and counting) children have been hospitalized in Minnesota because of a measles outbreak started by a deliberately unvaccinated child, I’m not sure the rantings of a disgraced doctor who was caught on tape joking about drawing blood from children at his son’s birthday party needs any more attention. (more…)

Post Categories: & Blog post

NYT piece on “doubting” science features graphic by controversial autism researcher

February 2nd, 2011 → 8:49 am @

Yesterday, The New York Times energy and environment blog ran a post titled “Are We Hard Wired to Doubt Science?” The central question posed by the piece — “How, in a rational society, does one understand those who reject science, a common touchstone of what is real and verifiable?” — is also the central question of my book, so it’s obviously a topic I’m very much interested in.

What struck me right off the bat was the use of the following illustration, which described “The cerebral cortex and hippocampus amygdala (in red) in a normal brain.”* The image was credited to Dr. Martha Herbert of Mass General Hospital. (more…)

Post Categories: Blog post