Steve Silberman is an American writer for Wired magazine and has been an editor and contributor there for 14 years. In 2010, Silberman was awarded the AAAS "Kavli Science Journalism Award for Magazine Writing." His featured article, known as "The Placebo Problem",[1] discussed the impact of placebos on the pharmaceutical industry.[2]

Steve Silberman
Silberman in 2016
Silberman in 2016
BornUnited States
Alma materOberlin College,
University of California, Berkeley
Notable workNeurotribes
Notable awardsKavli Science Journalism Award for Magazine Writing
Samuel Johnson Prize

Silberman's 2015 book Neurotribes,[3] which discusses the autism rights and neurodiversity movements, was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize.[4][5] Additionally, Silberman's Wired article "The Geek Syndrome",[6] which focused on autism in Silicon Valley, has been referenced by many sources and has been described as a culturally significant article for the autism community.[7]

Silberman's Twitter account made Time magazine's list of the best Twitter feeds for the year 2011.[8]

In 2016, he gave the keynote address at the United Nations on World Autism Awareness Day.[9][10]

Personal life edit

Silberman studied psychology at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, then received a master's degree in English literature from Berkeley, where his thesis advisor was Thom Gunn.[11]

Silberman moved to San Francisco in 1979, drawn by three factors: so that he could live "a gay life without fear";[11] because of the music of Crosby, Stills and Nash, the Grateful Dead, and others;[12] and so he could be near the San Francisco Zen Center.[13] He was friends with the musician David Crosby with whom he hosted a podcast.[14][10]

Silberman studied with Allen Ginsberg at Naropa University in 1977. After Silberman interviewed Ginsberg for Whole Earth Review in 1987 the two became friends and Ginsberg invited Silberman to be his teaching assistant the next term at Naropa University.[15] The Beat Generation is a regular subject in Silberman's writings. Silberman lives with his husband Keith, a high-school science teacher, to whom he has been married since 2003.[16]

NeuroTribes edit

Silberman's 2015 book NeuroTribes documents the origins and history of autism from a neurodiversity viewpoint. The book has received mostly positive reviews from both scientific and popular media. In a review published in Science-Based Medicine Harriet Hall, MD also known as The SkepDoc described Neurotribes as "the most complete history of autism I have seen" and recommends it as "a welcome ray of clarity, sanity, and optimism".[17] In The New York Times Book Review, Jennifer Senior wrote that the book was "beautifully told, humanizing, important";[18] the Boston Globe called it "as emotionally resonant as any [book] this year";[19] and in Science, the cognitive neuroscientist Francesca Happé wrote, "It is a beautifully written and thoughtfully crafted book, a historical tour of autism, richly populated with fascinating and engaging characters, and a rallying call to respect difference."[20] It was named one of the best books of 2015 by The New York Times,[21] The Economist,[22] Financial Times,[23] The Guardian,[24] and many other outlets.[citation needed] Anil Ananthaswamy described Silberman's book in Literary Review as a "comprehensive, thoroughly researched and eminently readable" book about autism, which showcases Silberman’s strengths as a journalist: "the writing is crisp, clear and engaging."[25]

Some other reviews were less positive, for example James Harris of Johns Hopkins University criticized NeuroTribes as a book that pushes an agenda, saying that Silberman misrepresented Leo Kanner as somebody who had a negative view towards autistics and their parents, rather than, as Harris argued, an advocate for individualized treatment for every child.[26] An autistic autism researcher named Sam Fellowes has also attacked the book on the basis of a prochronism.[27][28]

Silberman has stated that a key point from the book is to recognize the need for accommodating autism as a significant disability in the same way that society accommodates wheelchair users.[29]

Awards edit

Publications edit

Books edit

  • Shenk, David; Silberman, Steve (1994). Skeleton Key: A Dictionary for Deadheads. New York: Main Street Books. ISBN 978-0-385-47402-3.
  • Silberman, Steve (2015). NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity (1st ed.). Avery. ISBN 978-1-760-11363-6.

Selected articles edit

Film appearances edit

References edit

  1. ^ Silberman, Steve (August 2009). "Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why". Wired. Vol. 17, no. 9. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  2. ^ "Communicating Science: A Conversation with Science Writer Steve Silberman". The Kavli Foundation. 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  3. ^ Silberman, Steve (2015). Neurotribes, The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People who Think Differently. Crows Nest Australia: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-76011-362-9.
  4. ^ Anders, Charlie Jane. Why do we want autistic kids to have superpowers? io9, January 25, 2012. Accessed 10-18-2013
  5. ^ Pan, Deanna. The Media's Post-Newtown Autism Fail, Mother Jones, December 22, 2012. Accessed 10-18-2013
  6. ^ Silberman, Steve (December 2001). "The Geek Syndrome". Wired. Vol. 9, no. 12. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  7. ^ Shepard, Neil Patrick. Rewiring Difference and Disability: Narratives of Asperger's Syndrome in the Twenty-First Century, 2010, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Bowling Green State University, American Culture Studies/Ethnic Studies. Accessed 10-18-2013
  8. ^ Melnick, Meredith. The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011, Time, March 28, 2011. Accessed 10-18-2013
  9. ^ "World Autism Awareness Day 2 April". United Nations. April 2, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2023.
  10. ^ a b Young, Robin; Miller-Medzon, Karyn; Hagan, Allison (January 30, 2023). "Grieving David Crosby friend shares their decades of music and banter". WBUR Here & Now. WBUR. Retrieved April 26, 2023.
  11. ^ a b Moss, Stephen (November 3, 2015). "Steve Silberman on Winning the Samuel Johnson Prize: 'I Was Broke, Broke, Broke'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  12. ^ Silberman, Steve. "The Song that Changed My Life: Steve Silberman". Rexly. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2015. I ended up buying all the music I could by Crosby and the rest of the band, particularly Crosby's luminous first solo album 'If I Could Only Remember My Name,' which featured musicians from the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. Eventually, I would move to San Francisco in search of the elusive 'vibe' I got from that body of music; I still live there, 40 years later.
  13. ^ Silberman, Steve (January 5, 2011). "Lessons from an Old Copy of 'Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind'". Lion's Roar. Shambhala Sun Foundation.
  14. ^ "Interview with Steve Silberman". Interviews with Max Raskin. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  15. ^ Ginsberg, Allen (September 1987). "No More Bagels: An Interview with Allen Ginsberg". Whole Earth Review (Interview). Archived from the original on April 1, 2015.
  16. ^ "Happily Ever After" (PDF). Lion's Roar. Shambhala Sun Foundation: 23–24. May 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 30, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  17. ^ Hall, Harriet (December 22, 2015). "Neurotribes: A Better Understanding of Autism". Science-Based Medicine. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  18. ^ Senior, Jennifer (August 17, 2015). "'NeuroTribes,' by Steve Silberman". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  19. ^ "Capsule reviews of four new nonfiction books - The Boston Globe". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  20. ^ "'A rallying call to respect difference' | The Psychologist". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  21. ^ "100 Notable Books of 2015". The New York Times. November 27, 2015. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  22. ^ "Shelf life". The Economist. December 5, 2015. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  23. ^ "The FT's best books of 2015". Financial Times. November 27, 2015. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  24. ^ Fenn, Chris. "Best books of 2015 – part one". the Guardian. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  25. ^ Ananthaswamy, Anil (November 30, 2015). "Inner Worlds". Literary Review. Retrieved March 1, 2023.
  26. ^ Harris, James C. (August 2016). "Book forum". Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 55 (8): 729–735. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2016.06.004.
  27. ^ "Steve Silberman's Phony History of Autism Dealt Another Blow". January 11, 2021.
  28. ^
  29. ^ Muzikar, Debra (October 5, 2016). "An interview with Steve Silberman author of Neurotribes". The Art of Autism. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  30. ^ "The 2015 Shortlist". The Samuel Johnson Prize. October 11, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  31. ^ "Books for a Better Life Awards 2015 |". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  32. ^ "Mr Brown's joys — the 2016 MJA Awards winners". Medical Journalists' Association. June 24, 2016. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  33. ^ "California Book Awards | Commonwealth Club". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  34. ^ "Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media | Austen Riggs Center". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  35. ^ "Author of the Year 2016 « The Catalyst Awards". Archived from the original on March 19, 2017. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  36. ^ "Long Strange Trip". IMDb. Retrieved August 6, 2017.

External links edit