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Robert Whitaker has won numerous awards as a journalist covering medicine and science, including  the George Polk Award for Medical Writing and a National Association for Science Writers’ Award for best magazine article. In 1998, he co-wrote a series on psychiatric research for the Boston Globe that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Anatomy of an Epidemic won the 2010 Investigative Reporters and Editors book award for best investigative journalism.
The Mapmaker’s Wife was named by the American Library Association as one of the best biographies of 2004. The book was translated into eight foreign languages.
Mad In America was named by Discover Magazine as one of the best science books of 2002; the American Library Association named it one of the best history books of that year.
On The Laps of Gods (2008) won the Anthony J. Lukas work-in-progress award. The San Francisco Chronicle named it one of the 50 best non-fiction books of 2008.
Anatomy of an Epidemic won the Investigative Reporters and Editors 2010 award for best investigative journalism (books category.)