Steve Silberman at the 2016 ICDL Annual Conference

Keynote: Steve Silberman, Author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

Steve Silberman is an award-winning science writer whose articles have appeared in Wired, the New Yorker, the MIT Technology Review, Nature, Salon, Shambhala Sun, and many other publications. He is the author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity (Avery 2015), which Oliver Sacks called a “sweeping and penetrating history…presented with a rare sympathy and sensitivity.” The book became a widely-praised bestseller in the United States and the United Kingdom, and won the 2015 Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction. It was chosen as one of the Best Books of 2015 by The New York Times, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Boston Globe, The Independent, and many other publications. In April 2016, Silberman gave the keynote speech at the United Nations for World Autism Awareness Day. His TED talk, “The Forgotten History of Autism,” has been viewed more than a million times and translated into 25 languages. His article “The Placebo Problem” won the 2010 Science Journalism Award for Magazine Writing from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Kavli Foundation, and was featured on The Colbert Report. His writing on science, culture, and literature has been collected in a number of major anthologies including The Best American Science Writing of the Year and The Best Business Stories of the Year. Silberman’s Twitter account @stevesilberman made Time magazine’s list of the best Twitter feeds for the year 2011. He is proud to be a member of the PEN American Center.

Silberman also won a gold record from the Recording Industry Association of America for co-producing the Grateful Dead’s career-spanning box set So Many Roads (1965-1995), which was Rolling Stone’s box set of the year. His liner notes have been featured in CDs and DVDs by Crosby, Stills, and Nash, the Jerry Garcia Band, and many other groups. As a young man, he was Allen Ginsberg’s teaching assistant at Naropa University. He lives with his husband Keith in San Francisco.


Winner of the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction

Winner of a 2016 Books for a Better Life Award

Shortlisted for the 2016 Welcome Book Prize

2016 California Book Award finalist

One of the Best Books of 2015
The New York Times, Financial Times,
The Guardian, The Economist, Forbes,
National Public Radio, The Independent, Tech Insider,
The Globe and Mail, Boston Globe, Gizmodo,
International Business Times, San Francisco Chronicle,
Times Higher Education, The Big Issue,
Evening Standard

“A sweeping and penetrating history, presented with a rare sympathy and sensitivity.
It is fascinating reading; it will change how you think of autism.”
— From the foreword by Oliver Sacks, author of An Anthropologist On Mars and Awakenings
“The definitive book on autism’s past.”
The Economist