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Seth Mnookin No Longer Blogging At PLoS After Libelous Remarks


By Jake Crosby

On July 21st, “Panic Virus” author and MIT assistant professor Seth Mnookin wrote on his personal website: “From mid-2011 through the end of 2013, I was blogging at the Public Library of Science; those archives can be found here. In the summer of 2014, I began blogging again on this site.”

He no longer links to his PLoS blog from his Twitter bio either. The announcement came only 10 days after I wrote the post PLoS Enables Seth Mnookin to Violate Community Guidelines Unchallenged, calling out PLoS for allowing him to blog there despite the fact that he wrote a libelous post about me one year prior.

The month after Mnookin’s last PLoS blog post, PLoS’s attorney received and acknowledged the evidence that was provided showing Mnookin fabricated the claim that I “crashed” his “invitation only event” at the Public Responsibility in Medicine and Resesarch (PRIMR) conference in December, 2011. In Mnookin’s same libelous blog post, he claimed I “jabbed” him “in the chest” even though I did no such thing. This accusation of jabbing him came two years after the event, and Mnookin provided zero evidence of it ever taking place. That, combined with his provably false allegation above likely led to his expulsion from PLoS.

Mnookin wasn’t nearly as excited about returning to his old blog as he was when he first joined PLoS blogs three years ago, having written:

“…this blog is being relocated to the PLoS Blog Network, which has been built up by the indefatigable Brian Mossop, another #SciO11′er. At  PLoS, I’ll be joining #SciO11 superstars Misha Angrist (Genomeboy), David Kroll (Take As Directed),  Hillary Rosner (Tooth and Claw) and the inimitable Steve Silberman (NeuroTribes), as well as Deborah Blum (Speakeasy Science)…

…so head on over, check out some of the other offerings, and enjoy!”

It is quite amusing to compare that to his terse, two-sentence departure announcement from PLoS. There is not even a farewell post to rave about what a supposedly great experience it was blogging alongside all those “indefatigable” and “inimitable” “superstars.”

Like Mnookin, I never wrote any farewell posts either when I was banished from contributing to Age of Autism. Unlike Mnookin, however, I was still up front about why I was no longer writing for AoA. That did not stop Mnookin from seizing on my ouster in his libelous post about me, concluding:

“Now he’s wandering in the wilderness, hoping that by including my name in the titles to his posts, someone will notice him throwing a tantrum in the corner.”

Looks like my “tantrum” was noticed by someone.

Welcome To The Jungle, Seth.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.