Steve Silberman

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Steve Silberman
Nationality American
Alma mater Oberlin College,
University of California, Berkeley
Genre non-fiction
Notable work Neurotribes
Notable awards Kavli Science Journalism Award for Magazine Writing
Samuel Johnson Prize

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 "The Placebo Problem"[1] discussed the impact of placebos on the pharmaceutical industry.[2]

Silberman's 2015 book, Neurotribes,[3] about autism and neurodiversity was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize.[4][5] 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] By contrast, Silberman's viewpoints on autism have been criticized by Autism Speaks for downplaying the difficulties faced by low-functioning autistics.[8] Silberman's Twitter account made Time magazine's list of the best Twitter feeds for the year 2011.[9]

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.[10]

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

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.[13] The Beat Generation are a regular subject in Silberman's writings. Silberman lives with his husband Keith, a middle-school science teacher, to whom he has been married since 2003.[14]

Neurotribes[edit]

Silberman's 2015 book Neurotribes dealt with the history and origins of autism from a neurodiversity viewpoint. The book was positively received in both the scientific and the popular press.[citation needed] In The New York Times Book Review, Jennifer Senior wrote that the book was "beautifully told, humanizing, important";[15] the Boston Globe called it "as emotionally resonant as any [book] this year";[16] 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."[17] It was named one of the best books of 2015 by The New York Times,[18] The Economist,[19] Financial Times,[20] The Guardian,[21] and many other outlets.[citation needed] Some other reviews were less positive, for example Dr. James C. Harris of Johns Hopkins University criticized Neurotribes as a book that pushes an agenda, saying that Silberman misrepresented Leo Kanner as somebody that had a negative view towards autistics and their parents, rather than, as Harris argued, an advocate for individualized treatment for every child.[22]

Awards[edit]

  • 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize[23]
  • 2015 Books for a Better Life Psychology Award, Southern New York National Multiple Sclerosis Society[24]
  • 2016 Health Book of the Year, Medical Journalists' Association[25]
  • 2016 Silver Medal, Nonfiction, California Book Awards[26]
  • 2016 Erikson Institute Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media[27]
  • 2016 ARC Catalyst Awards Author of the Year[28]

Selected works[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Silberman, Steve (2015). NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently (1st ed.). Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-760-11363-6. 
  • Shenk, David; Silberman, Steve (1994). Skeleton Key: A Dictionary for Deadheads. New York: Main Street Books. ISBN 978-0-385-47402-3. 

Essays[edit]

Reviews[edit]

Interviews[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Silberman, Steve (August 2009). "Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why". Wired. 17 (9). Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Communicating Science: A Conversation with Science Writer Steve Silberman". The Kavli Foundation. 2010. Retrieved 18 October 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. 9 (12). Retrieved 18 October 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. ^ Feld, Liz (25 August 2015). "A call for unity". Autism Speaks. Retrieved 10 December 2016. 
  9. ^ Melnick, Meredith. The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011, Time, March 28, 2011. Accessed 10-18-2013
  10. ^ a b Moss, Stephen (3 November 2015). "Steve Silberman on Winning the Samuel Johnson Prize: 'I Was Broke, Broke, Broke'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  11. ^ Silberman, Steve. "The Song that Changed My Life: Steve Silberman". Rexly. Retrieved 17 August 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. 
  12. ^ Silberman, Steve (5 January 2011). "Lessons from an Old Copy of 'Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind'". Lion's Roar. Shambhala Sun Foundation. 
  13. ^ Ginsberg, Allen (September 1987). "No More Bagels: An Interview with Allen Ginsberg". Whole Earth Review (Interview). 
  14. ^ "Happily Ever After" (PDF). Lion's Roar. Shambhala Sun Foundation: 23–24. May 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  15. ^ Senior, Jennifer (2015-08-17). "‘NeuroTribes,’ by Steve Silberman". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  16. ^ "Capsule reviews of four new nonfiction books - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  17. ^ "'A rallying call to respect difference' | The Psychologist". thepsychologist.bps.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  18. ^ "100 Notable Books of 2015". The New York Times. 2015-11-27. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  19. ^ "Shelf life". The Economist. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  20. ^ "The FT’s best books of 2015". Financial Times. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  21. ^ Fenn, Chris. "Best books of 2015 – part one". the Guardian. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  22. ^ 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. 
  23. ^ "The 2015 Shortlist". The Samuel Johnson Prize. 11 October 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Books for a Better Life Awards 2015 | Bookreporter.com". www.bookreporter.com. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  25. ^ Editor, Content. "Mr Brown’s joys — the 2016 MJA Awards winners". Medical Journalists' Association. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  26. ^ "California Book Awards | Commonwealth Club". www.commonwealthclub.org. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  27. ^ "Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media | Austen Riggs Center". www.austenriggs.org. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  28. ^ "Author of the Year 2016 «  The Catalyst Awards". catalystawards.org. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 

External links[edit]