Seth Mnookin

Director of MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing · Boston, Massachusetts

Seth Mnookin is Director of the Graduate Program in Science Writing and a Professor of Comparative Media Studies/Writing at M.I.T. His most recent book, The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy, won the National Association of Science Writers “Science in Society” Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times book prize. He is also the author of the 2006 New York Times bestseller Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top and 2004’s Hard News: The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media, which was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year. His 2014 New Yorker piece on rare genetic diseases won the American Medical Writers Association prize for best story of the year and was included in the most recent Best American Science and Nature Writing anthology.

His essays and reporting have appeared in numerous publications, including The Boston GlobeSmithsonianNew YorkWiredThe New York TimesThe Washington PostSpinSlate,, and Vanity Fair, where he was a contributing editor for more than a decade. He has also written and spoken about his recovery from heroin addiction. A former music columnist for The New York Observer, he began his journalism career as a rock critic for the now-defunct webzine Addicted to Noise and has also worked as a crime reporter at The Palm Beach Post, a city hall reporter at the Forward, a presidential campaign reporter at Brill’s Content, and a jack-of-all-trades at He graduated from Harvard College in 1994 with a degree in History and Science, and was a 2004 Joan Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

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Topics: Media, Science (General), Skepticism
Subtopics: Alternative medicine, Comedy, Conspiracy theories, Journalism, Mental illness, Music, Pseudoscience, Science denial, Social media

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