Tag Archives: Libelous

PLoS Enables Seth Mnookin to Violate Community Guidelines Unchallenged


Editor’s Note: Below is my rejected guest submission to the Public Library of Science (PLoS) Blogs Network responding to a libelous post that Seth Mnookin had written about me on PLoS last year in violation of PLoS’ own community guidelines listed above.

Jake Crosby Responds to Seth Mnookin

I am responding to the most egregious of the false allegations made on PLoS by Seth Mnookin, July 25th, 2013, that I “jabbed” him “in the chest” and that I also “crashed” his “invitation-only event” at the PRIMR conference in December of 2011. Please refer to the announcement of his event, which still exists on the Duke University website (scroll down to page 2 at 11:45am).

Mr. Mnookin’s event was clearly open to the public – no invitation necessary:


These false jabbing and crashing allegations appeared in his first and so far only blog post about me where he wrote (boldface mine):

“Jake, as I told you the first time you accosted me at a talk, in New York City in June 2011 — you remember that, right? It was the time you refused to shake my hand and instead jabbed me in the chest in front of dozens of people…”

What’s so remarkable is that not only does Seth Mnookin’s claim that I jabbed him in the chest instead of shaking his hand contradict what actually happened, but what actually happened was chronicled by me in my article that ran online one week after our exchange. It included this quote from him followed by what transpired, which he did not dispute (boldface added for emphasis):

“’So you aren’t gonna shake my hand, now? C’mon!’

Despite my hesitation, I shook his hand.”

His account of my jabbing him in the chest, among other fallacies of his about our encounters, came in a blog post almost two years later – ironically titled:

“Crosby’s labyrinth, or why I couldn’t stop myself from replying to the vaccine conspiracy theorist to end all conspiracy theorists.”

After I wrote a post refuting his allegations titled, Seth Mnookin Claims My Handshake Was Jab in His Chest, Mnookin responded by doubling down on his lie that I jabbed him in the chest with the following embellishment:

“When Jake approached me, I stuck out my hand, which he refused to shake…Then he came back to make a final point about his “proof” that I was on the take — and when he came back, he marched over and jabbed me in the chest.”

Although he is considered a “science writer,” what Seth Mnookin alleged on his PLoS blog is not at all about science, never happened and amounts to nothing more than libel – a violation of the PLoS Blog Network’s community guidelines. Please read my aformentioned article correcting Seth Mnookin’s false statements about me as well as my Age of Autism article titled My Conversation with Seth Mnookin which details my first encounter with him. Those who follow Mnookin’s writings, whether on the PLoS blogs or elsewhere, should not accept anything he writes as factual unless it can be independently verified by a reliable source.

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.