New Books in Science, Technology, and...

Interviews with Scholars of Science, Technology, and Society about their New Books

Science
Social Sciences
401
Greta LaFleur, "The Natural History of Sexualit...
The book effectively historicizes categories that are often take for granted (sex, race, vice, habit), and shows us not only their temporal contingency, but by inviting the reader to delve into the strangeness of early modern ontologies and epistemologies...
77 min
402
Robin Scheffler, “A Contagious Cause: The Ameri...
Could cancer be a contagious disease? Although this possibility might seem surprising to many of us, it has a long history...
38 min
403
Anna Rose Alexander, "City on Fire: Technology,...
Alexander examines the approaches to dealing with the ever-present threat of fire in Mexico City in an era in which technology and modernity were transforming the city in fundamental ways...
37 min
404
David Beer, “The Data Gaze: Capitalism, Power a...
What is the social role of data?
34 min
405
Daniel Nemser, "Infrastructures of Race: Concen...
Nemser examines the long history of how Spanish imperial rule depended upon spatial concentration – the gathering of people and things into centralized spaces – to control populations and consolidate power...
60 min
406
Philip W. Clements, "Science in an Extreme Envi...
Clements discusses the 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition...
30 min
407
Matthew Edney, "Cartography: The Ideal and Its ...
Edney chronicles precisely how the ideal of cartography that has developed in the West since 1800 has gone astray...
56 min
408
Amy Lippert, "Consuming Identities: Visual Cult...
Lippert explores the significance of the pictorial revolution in one of its vanguard cities: San Francisco, the revolving door of the gold rush...
115 min
409
David Munns, "Engineering the Environment: Phyt...
The phytotron was not only at the center of post-war plant science, but also connected to the Cold War, commercial agriculture, and long-duration space flight...
31 min
410
Paul Ramírez, "Enlightened Immunity: Mexico’s E...
Ramirez explores how laypeople impacted the new medical techniques and technologies implemented by the imperial state in the final decades of Spanish rule in colonial Mexico...
54 min
411
Pauline W. Chen, "Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Refle...
Dr. Pauline Chen shares her experiences as a medical student and transplant surgeon and how they’ve shaped the way she practices medicine.
39 min
412
Camisha Russell, "The Assisted Reproduction of ...
While there is a robust scientific consensus that there is no meaningful genetic basis for race, Russell’s analysis of the role of race in ARTs reveals that when it comes to producing kinship, race is still doing a great deal of work.
75 min
413
Heidi Tworek, "News from Germany: The Competiti...
Tworek explores how elites in academia, business, and government fought over the regulation of news at home and sought to use communications to extend German power abroad.
55 min
414
Terence Keel, "Divine Variations: How Christian...
With trenchant analyses of Christian intellectual history and the founding figures of ethnology, Keel documents an infrastructure of  thought – about universalism, the supercession of knowledge, creation, and human dispersion – that shaped and still shapes the science of race...
51 min
415
Jeannette Eileen Jones, "Search of Brightest Af...
Jones talks about the many different groups, from naturalists and conservationists to African American artists and intellectuals, who begin to recast Africa in the America imagination in the early 20th century...
27 min
416
Thomas Dodman, "What Nostalgia Was: War, Empire...
Dodman explores the history of nostalgia from the late seventeenth to the late nineteenth century...
59 min
417
Nara Milanich, "Paternity: The Elusive Quest fo...
Milanich explains how fatherhood, long believed to be impossible to know with certainty, became a biological “fact” that could be ascertained with scientific testing...
61 min
418
Abigail De Kosnik and Keith P. Feldman, "#Ident...
De Kosnik and Feldman bring together a broad array of chapters that dive into multiple perspectives on social media engagement, especially around hashtag activism and the ways that individuals think about and interact with others via Twitter in regard to social movements and political involvement...
58 min
419
Scott Wallace, "The Unconquered: In Search of t...
Wallace talks about a 2002 FUNAI expedition to find the Arrow People, one of the last uncontacted tribes in the world.,,
32 min
420
Kerim Yasar, "Electrified Voices: How the Telep...
Kerim Yasar argues that modern technologies of sound reproduction and transmission have had profound—and often underappreciated—social, economic, and political effects...
89 min
421
Gökçe Günel, "Spaceship in the Desert: Energy, ...
Gökçe Günel explores the United Arab Emirates’s planned Masdar City, an experimental attempt at designing an emissions-free society.
41 min
422
Heike Bauer, "The Hirschfeld Archives: Violence...
Influential sexologist and activist Magnus Hirschfeld founded Berlin's Institute of Sexual Sciences in 1919 as a home and workplace to study homosexual rights activism and support transgender people...
39 min
423
Martin Collins, "A Telephone for the World: Mot...
Using Motorola as a case study, A Telephone for the World tracks how U.S. businesses navigated the end of the twentieth century, a moment marked by the rise of neoliberalism, the economic challenge of Japan, and the end of the Cold War.
50 min
424
Matthew Hersch, "Inventing the American Astrona...
It seems logical that would NASA select military test pilots to be the first astronauts, right?
35 min
425
F. Grillo and R. Nanetti, "Democracy and Growth...
Is democracy still the best political regime for countries to adapt to economic and technological pressures and increase their level of prosperity?
38 min
426
David Bissell, "Transit Life: How Commuting Is ...
What kind of time do we endure on our daily commutes? What kind of space do we occupy? What new sorts of urbanites do we thereby become?
61 min
427
Jennifer Thomson, "The Wild and the Toxic: Amer...
Jennifer Thomson revisits canonical figures and events from the environmental movement in the United States and finds everywhere talk of health. At its best, viewing the environment through the lens of health encouraged decentralized organizing and a sense of collective responsibility...
43 min
428
Diane Tober, "Romancing the Sperm: Shifting Bio...
The development of a whole suite of new reproductive technologies in recent decades has contributed to broad cultural conversations and controversies over the meaning of family in the United States...
50 min
429
Raul Espejo, "Cybernetics and Systems: Social a...
67 min
430
Karin Rosemblatt, "The Science and Politics of ...
Rosemblatt traces how U.S.- and Mexican-trained intellectuals, social and human scientists, and anthropologists applied their ethnographic field work on indigenous and Native American peoples on both sides of the Rio Grande to debates over race, national culture, and economic development...
51 min
431
Clayton Whisnant, "Queer Identities and Politic...
Germany in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries witnessed key developments in LGBT history...
66 min
432
Eric Topol, "Deep Medicine: How Artificial Inte...
Eric Topol explores how AI can help to fix many of the issues medicine is facing today...
38 min
433
Peter Daou, "Digital Civil War: Confronting the...
Daou analyzes the daily political skirmishing that rages online, urges progressives to engage on the “digital battlefield.”
41 min
434
Nikolai Krementsov, "With and Without Galton: V...
Krementsov provides a fascinating analysis of the vicissitudes of Russian attempts to improve the human species...
79 min
435
Chris Bernhardt, "Quantum Computing for Everyon...
Even a math-phobic can read the book, skip the math, and then more than hold his or her own in any but the highest-level discussion of quantum computing...
53 min
436
Crystal Abidin, "Internet Celebrity: Understand...
What does it mean to be famous on the Internet?
47 min
437
James L. A. Webb, "The Long Struggle against Ma...
It is estimated that malaria kills between 650,000 to 1.2 million Africans every year; experts believe that nearly 90 percent of these deaths occur in Africa...
66 min
438
Christof Spieler, "Trains, Buses, People: An Op...
"Trains, Buses, People' is a fascinating book about “How To” develop better transportation modes for US cities and urban...
46 min
439
Kate Brown, "Manuel for Survival: A Chernobyl G...
By digging into recently opened regional archives, conducting dozens of interviews, and visiting sites across Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, Brown sought to understand the extent of the damage from the 1986 explosion of Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4.
44 min
440
Emily Dawson, "Equity, Exclusion and Everyday S...
Who is excluded from science?
47 min
441
Christopher Preston, "The Synthetic Age: Outdes...
Dr. Christopher Preston argues that what is most startling about the Anthropocene is not only how much impact humans have had, but how much deliberate shaping humans will do...
50 min
442
Lukas Engelmann, "Mapping AIDS: Visual Historie...
What role do visual media play in establishing a medical phenomenon?
48 min
443
Robert A. Voeks, "The Ethnobotany of Eden: Reth...
Jungle medicine: it's everywhere, from chia seeds to ginseng tea to CBD oil..
45 min
444
Tom Wheeler, "From Gutenberg to Google: The His...
Wheeler is a former President of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and former CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association...
56 min
445
Tina Sikka, "Climate Technology, Gender, and Ju...
How can feminist theory help address the climate crisis?
38 min
446
Michael C. Desch, "Cult of the Irrelevant: The ...
In Cult of the Irrelevant, Desch traces the history of the relationship between the Washington and the academy across the 20th century...
24 min
447
Discussion of Massive Online Peer Review and Op...
In the information age, knowledge is power. Hence, facilitating the access to knowledge to wider publics empowers citizens and makes societies more democratic...
29 min
448
Gregory Dawes, "Galileo and the Conflict betwee...
Open conflict between religion and science may not be inevitable, but a germ of discord resides in some of the fundamental commitments of both...
44 min
449
Kartik Hosanagar, "A Human’s Guide to Machine I...
Knowledge of algorithms can in some sense be considered to be the literacy of the 21st century...
52 min
450
Kate Ervine, "Carbon" (Polity, 2018)
Kate Ervine provides an accessible and trenchant introduction to the severity of our situation and the international climate politics of the past 30 years...
48 min
451
David Colander and Craig Freedman, "Where Econo...
If you are reading this, you have probably run into the "Chicago" model at some point or another,..
40 min
452
Emily Baum, "The Invention of Madness: State, S...
Baum's book is a genealogy of “psychiatric modernity,” of the invention and reinvention of modern mental illness in Beijing, 1901-1937...
63 min
453
Rick Van Noy, "Sudden Spring: Stories of Adapta...
Van Noy decided not to follow the well-trodden path of trying to prove climate change science, nor did he bark about an irreversible tipping point. Instead, he provides us with a much-needed focus on communities...
46 min
454
James Schwoch, "Wired into Nature: The Telegrap...
It's been called the first Internet. In the nineteenth century, the telegraph spun a world wide web of cables and poles, carrying electronic signals with unprecedented speed...
47 min
455
Michael Ruse, "The Problem of War: Darwinism, C...
What accounts for the antagonism between Christianity and Darwinism?
55 min
456
Thomas F. Gieryn, "Truth-Spots: How Places Make...
During this interview Dr. Gieryn offers an in-depth explanation of how history and biography have fed the narratives told about truth-spots...
61 min
457
Trent MacNamara, "Birth Control and American Mo...
MacNamara traces the multiple avenues in which birth control entered the lives of everyday Americans and gained social acceptance...
50 min
458
Geraldine Heng, "The Invention of Race in the E...
In creating a detailed impression of the medieval race-making that would be reconfigured into the biological racism of the modern era, Heng reaches beyond medievalists and race-studies scholars to anyone interested in the long history of race.
58 min
459
Joy Lisi Rankin, "A People’s History of Computi...
Rankin makes a compelling case for a social history of computing...
37 min
460
Jieun Baek, "North Korea's Hidden Revolution: H...
Based on interviews with North Koreans who have settled in the South, Baek shows how everything from television programs to foreign affairs coverage and fashion has made its way into the country from the outside world....
60 min
461
Peter Hotez, "Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s A...
The alleged link between vaccines and autism has long been disproven, but it is still a belief held onto by the anti-vaccine movement...
39 min
462
Adrienne Mayor, "Gods and Robots: Myths, Machin...
The first robot to walk the earth was a bronze giant called Talos...
39 min
463
Matthew Longo, "The Politics of Borders: Sovere...
The Politics of Borders: Sovereignty, Security, and the Citizen after 9/11 (Cambridge University Press, 2017) is not simply about the border because, as the book makes clear, borders are in no way simple...
52 min
464
John Torpey, "The Three Axial Ages: Moral, Mate...
29 min
465
Jan English-Lueck, "Cultures@SiliconValley: Sec...
Silicon Valley is understood to be one of the most fast-paced regions on earth, where innovation and upheaval are part and parcel of daily life...
65 min
466
Nicholas Bauch, "Geography of Digestion: Biotec...
While most people in the US are familiar with the ubiquitous Kellogg cereal brand, few know how it relates to US geography, science and technology around the turn of the 20th century...
59 min
467
Julian Gill-Peterson, "Histories of the Transge...
With transgender rights front and center in American politics, media, and culture, the pervasive myth still exists that today’s transgender children are a brand new generation...
61 min
468
Megan Finn, "Documenting Aftermath: Information...
Documenting Aftermath is a very timely book, for as global warming promises more frequent catastrophes, large-scale social media and government information systems increasingly dictate how information moves...
53 min
469
Alex Bentley and Michael O'Brien, "The Accelera...
Our evolutionary success, according to co-authors Alex Bentley and Michael O'Brien, lies in our ability to acquire cultural wisdom and teach it to the next generation...
49 min
470
Lindsey Fitzharris, "The Butchering Art: Joseph...
oseph Lister changed the world of medicine...
45 min
471
Paul A. Offit, "Do You Believe in Magic?: Vitam...
Is alternative medicine quackery?
49 min
472
Audra J. Wolfe, "Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold...
Science’s self-concept as politically neutral and dedicated to empirical observation free of bias has often been at odds with its collaboration with the purposes of the Cold War state...
58 min
473
Pamela E. Klassen, "The Story of Radio Mind: A ...
At the dawn of the radio age in the 1920s, Frederick Du Vernet—Anglican archbishop and self-declared scientist—announced a psychic channel by which minds could telepathically communicate across distance...
49 min
474
Perrin Selcer, "The Postwar Origins of the Glob...
Having been born into a world in which people knew about anthropogenic global warming, I grew up in the “global environment.”
63 min
475
Suman Seth, "Difference and Disease: Medicine, ...
Suman Seth's new book Difference and Disease: Medicine, Race, and the Eighteenth-Century British Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2018) provides a new angle on the formation of modern ideas of race through the formation of the British Empire....
40 min
476
Howard Chiang, "After Eunuchs: Science, Medicin...
Howard Chiang’s new book is a masterful study of the relationship between sexual knowledge and Chinese modernity...
66 min
477
Mark Rice, "Making Machu Picchu: The Politics o...
Speaking at a 1913 National Geographic Society gala, Hiram Bingham III, the American explorer celebrated for finding the “lost city” of the Andes two years earlier, suggested that Machu Picchu “is an awful name, but it is well worth remembering.”
61 min
478
Paola Bertucci, "Artisanal Enlightenment: Scien...
Paola Bertucci's Artisanal Enlightenment: Science and the Mechanical Arts in Old Regime France (Yale University Press, 2018) is an innovative new look at the role of artisans in the French Enlightenment.
53 min
479
McKenzie Wark, "General Intellects: Twenty-One ...
McKenzie Wark’s new book offers 21 focused studies of thinkers working in a wide range of fields who are worth your attention...
61 min
480
Alireza Doostdar, "The Iranian Metaphysicals: E...
Thoroughly disrupting the common association of the Occult with popular religion and mystical enchantment, this book explores the complex and conflicting rationalities that inform varied metaphysical experimentations occupying a range of Iranian actors.
59 min
481
Amanda H. Lynch and Siri Veland, "Urgency in th...
Amanda Lynch and Siri Veland’s Urgency in the Anthropocene (MIT Press, 2018) is a fascinating and trenchant analysis of the core beliefs and ideas that motivate current political responses to global warming...
53 min
482
Stefanos Geroulanos and Todd Meyers, "The Human...
58 min
483
Michael E. Staub, “The Mismeasure of Minds: Deb...
The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision required desegregation of America’s schools, but it also set in motion an agonizing multi-decade debate over race, class, and IQ. In The Mismeasure of Minds: Debating Race and Intelligence Between Brown and...
36 min
484
Shobita Parthasarathy, “Patent Politics: Life F...
In Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2017), Shobita Parthasarathy takes us through a thirty year history of the legal debates around patents.
60 min
485
Steven Shaviro, “Discognition” (Repeater Books,...
Steven Shaviro’s book Discognition (Repeater Books, 2016) opens with a series of questions: What is consciousness? How does subjective experience occur? Which entities are conscious? What is it like to be a bat, or a dog, a robot, a tree,
66 min
486
Geraint F. Lewis and Luke A. Barnes, “A Fortuna...
If the universe was even slightly different in some of its fundamental physical properties, life could not exist – such is the claim of ‘fine tuning’ of the universe for life. The topic of fine tuning has received attention from physicists,
40 min
487
David P. Barash, “Through a Glass Brightly: Usi...
Human beings have long seen themselves as the center of the universe, as specially-created creatures who are anointed as above and beyond the natural world. Professor and noted scientist David P. Barash calls this viewpoint a persistent paradigm of our...
80 min
488
Andrew C. A. Elliott, “Is That a Big Number?” (...
Andrew C. A. Elliott‘s Is That a Big Number? (Oxford University Press, 2018) is a book that those of us who feast on numbers will absolutely adore, but will also tease the palates of those for whom numbers have previously been somewhat distasteful.
51 min
489
Anindita Banerjee, “Russian Science Fiction Lit...
Russian Science Fiction Literature and Cinema: A Critical Reader (Academic Studies Press, 2018) offers a compelling investigation of the genre whose development was significantly reshaped in the second half of the 20th century.
41 min
490
Raymond Boyle, “The Talent Industry: Television...
What are the hidden structures of the television industry? In The Talent Industry: Television, Cultural Intermediaries and New Digital Pathways (Palgrave, 2018), Raymond Boyle, a professor of communications at the University of Glasgow‘s Centre for Cul...
38 min
491
Daniel Stolz, “The Lighthouse and the Observato...
Both a history of science and a history of Islam, The Lighthouse and the Observatory: Islam, Science, and Empire in Late Ottoman Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 2018) by Daniel Stolz tells the story of Ottoman Egypt and astronomy,
55 min
492
Mike Ananny, “Networked Press Freedom: Creating...
In Networked Press Freedom: Creating Infrastructures For a Public Right to Hear (MIT Press, 2018), journalism professor Mike Ananny provides a new framework for thinking about the media at a time of significant change within the industry.
42 min
493
J. Obert, A. Poe, A. Sarat, eds., “The Lives of...
What if guns “are not merely carriers of action, but also actors themselves?” That’s the question that animates and unites Jonathan Obert‘s and Andrew Poe‘s, and Austin Sarat‘s unique collection of essays, The Lives of Guns (Oxford University Press,
31 min
494
Nathan K. Finney and Tyrell O. Mayfield, “Redef...
Redefining the Modern Military: The Intersection of Profession and Ethics (Naval Institute Press, 2018), edited by Nathan K. Finney and Tyrell O. Mayfield, is a collection of essays examining military professionalism and ethics in light of major change...
51 min
495
Caitlin C. Rosenthal, “Accounting for Slavery: ...
The familiar narrative of American business development begins in the industrial North, where paternalistic factory owners, committed to a kind of Protestant ethic, scaled up their operations into ‘total institutions’—an effort to forestall labor turno...
37 min
496
N. M. Sambaluk, “The Other Space Race: Eisenhow...
Many people place the beginning of the American space program at 7:28pm, October 4, 1957 – the moment the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik I, into orbit.  This event prompted the United States to open up its own crash program to put f...
85 min
497
Hugh Cagle, “Assembling the Tropics: Science an...
Assembling the Tropics: Science and Medicine in Portugal’s Empire, 1450-1700 (Cambridge University Press, 2018) by Hugh Cagle is an exciting analysis of the production of the tropics as an idea and as a dimension of imperialism through the development ...
57 min
498
Lee Humphreys, “The Qualified Self: Social Medi...
Physical journals, scrapbooks, and photo albums all offer their owners the opportunity to chronicle both mundane and extravagant events. But unlike social media posting, this analog memorializing of life happenings is not encumbered with the negative t...
25 min
499
Wade Roush, ed., “Twelve Tomorrows” (MIT Press,...
Science fiction is, at its core, about tomorrow—exploring through stories what the universe may look like one or 10 or a million years in the future. Twelve Tomorrows (MIT Press, 2018) uses short stories to fit nearly a dozen possible “tomorrows” into ...
39 min
500
Yulia Frumer, “Making Time: Astronomical Time M...
Yulia Frumer’s new book follows roughly three hundred years of transformations in how time was conceptualized, measured, and materialized in Japan. Making Time: Astronomical Time Measurement in Tokugawa Japan (University of Chicago Press,
69 min