Pandora's Gamble: Lab Leaks, Pandemics, and a World at Risk (Hardcover)

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This fearless, deeply reported book about laboratory accidents asks the haunting question some elite scientists don’t want the public to entertain: Did the COVID-19 pandemic start with a lab leak in Wuhan, China?
This is an obvious question. Yet there’s been an extraordinary effort by government officials in China, as well as leading scientific experts in the United States and around the world, to shut down any investigation or discussion of the lab leak theory. In private, however, some of the world’s elite scientists have seen a lab accident as a very real and horrifying possibility. They know what the public doesn’t. Lab accidents happen with shocking frequency. Even at the world’s best-run labs.

That’s among the revelations from Alison Young, the award-winning investigative reporter who has spent nearly 15 years uncovering shocking safety breaches at prestigious U.S. laboratories for USA Today and other respected news outlets.
In Pandora’s Gamble, Young goes deep into the troubling history -- and enormous risks -- of leaks and accidents at scientific labs. She takes readers on a riveting journey around the world to some of the worst lab mishaps in history, including the largely unknown stories of the lab workers at the U.S. Army’s Camp Detrick who suffered devastating infections at alarming rates during World War II. And her groundbreaking reporting exposes for the first time disturbing new details about recent accidents at prestigious laboratories – and the alarming gaps in government oversight that put all of us at risk. 
Sourced through meticulous reporting and exclusive interviews with key players including Dr. Anthony Fauci, former CDC Director Tom Frieden and others, Young’s examination reveals that the only thing rare about lab accidents is the public rarely finds out about them. Because when accidents happen, powerful people and institutions often work hard to keep the information secret.

About the Author

Alison Young is a veteran journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for national and regional news organizations, including USA Today, the Detroit Free Press and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. While in Atlanta, Young covered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her work has revealed safety lapses at biological research labs, food manufacturers and nursing homes; hazards in municipal water systems and near forgotten lead factories; and the role of substandard hospital care in maternal deaths.

Young’s investigative reporting on science and health issues has received dozens of journalism awards, including three National Press Club Awards, three Scripps Howard Awards, three Gerald Loeb Awards, the Hillman Prize, a Sigma Delta Chi Award, and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award. Her work has also been honored by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 

Young is a past president of Investigative Reporters and Editors, an international journalism training organization. In 2019, she joined the faculty of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where she helps train the next generation of journalists in the school’s Washington, D.C. program.

Praise For…

"Before the rest of us were paying attention, Alison Young was covering the dangers of safety lapses at the world’s top laboratories. She opens her meticulously reported, deeply alarming book by exploring the 'horrifying possibility' that Covid-19 was the result of just such a breach in China. Essential reading for policymakers – and the public."—Susan Page, Washington Bureau chief, USA TODAY, and author of Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power

Product Details
ISBN: 9781546002932
ISBN-10: 1546002936
Publisher: Center Street
Publication Date: April 25th, 2023
Pages: 352
Language: English