**SHORTLISTED FOR THE WELLCOME BOOK PRIZE 2018 **
** A GUARDIAN SCIENCE BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017 **
Until the late 1960s, tens of thousands of children suffered crippling birth defects if their mothers had been exposed to rubella, popularly known as German measles, while pregnant; there was no vaccine and little understanding of how the disease devastated foetuses. The is story of a major breakthrough in cell biology.
**SHORTLISTED FOR THE WELLCOME BOOK PRIZE**
**A GUARDIAN SCIENCE BOOK OF THE YEAR**
‘Riveting … invites comparison to Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’
The epic and controversial story of a major breakthrough in cell biology that led to the conquest of rubella and other devastating diseases.
Until the late 1960s, tens of thousands of children suffered crippling birth defects if their mothers had been exposed to rubella, popularly known as German measles, while pregnant. There was no vaccine and little understanding of how the disease devastated foetuses. In June 1962, a young biologist in Philadelphia produced the first safe, clean cells that made possible the mass-production of vaccines against many common childhood diseases. Two years later, in the midst of a German measles epidemic, his colleague developed the vaccine that would one day effectively wipe out rubella for good.
This vaccine - and others made with those cells - have since protected hundreds of millions of people worldwide, the vast majority of them preschool children. Meredith Wadman’s account of this great leap forward in medicine is a fascinating and revelatory read.
It is a thriller - a beautifully researched and paced thriller - and is destined to be a classic piece of science writing in its navigation of the nexus of personality, research and ethics. -- Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with the Amber Eyes
An extraordinary story and Wadman is to be congratulated, not just for uncovering it but for relaying it in such a pacy, stimulating manner. This is a first-class piece of science writing' -- Robin McKie * Observer *
Extraordinary...The Vaccine Race is a tremendous feat of research and synthesis, its lucid technical explanations combined with forays into the business politics of big pharma, and portraits of the scientists whose work has saved untold lives. -- Steven Poole * Daily Telegraph *
Marvellous…fascinating…Wadman doesn’t shy away from some very difficult and unpleasant truths…The Vaccine Race bears comparison with Richard Rhodes’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb. I can pay no higher compliment to Meredith Wadman and her fine book -- Manjit Kumar * The Literary Review *
Wadman's brilliantly researched book unfolds like a thriller, but asks some tough ethical questions along the way. -- Sophie Ratcliffe, Associate Professor of English Literature, Oxford University
A riveting tale of scientific infighting, clashing personalities, sketchy ethics and the transformation of cell biology from a sleepy scientific backwater to a high-stakes arena where vast fortunes are made. * Wall Street Journal *
Riveting... invites comparison to Rebecca Skloot's 2007 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks... Wadman stands back from the sources and material to guide the reader through a narrative that is no less captivating. * Nature *
Epically readable - superb -- Chris van Tulleken
Meticulously researched... a success story for grown-ups... plenty of ammunition for those arguing with family or Facebook friends who have swallowed the conspiracy theories of the anti-vaccination community -- Sheena Cruickshank * New Scientist *
Superb ... It is a tale – told with pace and authority – of theft, evasion, deceit and obdurate overregulation -- Robin McKie * Observer, Books of the Year *
Meticulously researched and carefully crafted . . . The Vaccine Race, is an enlightening telling of the development of vaccines in the mid-20th century. . . . an intelligent and entertaining tome . . . [and] a comprehensive portrait of the many issues faced in the race to develop vaccines. * Science *
Explains complex science in methodical detail. * Mail on Sunday *
Excellent... an important story, well told * The Scotsman *
The Vaccine Race is an important read—for scientists, politicians, physicians, parents and everyone interested in how the world of medical research works... it is so important to read this book, to see how science works and how politics can and does interfere with what science does best and what is best for us. * Huffington Post *
An exemplary piece of medical journalism, and Wadman makes strikingly clear the human costs of medical developments as well as the roles of politics and economics. * Publishers Weekly *
Dimensions: 198mm x 127mm x 27mm