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

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

Description:

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

Language:

English


Episodes

Mark Rice, "Making Machu Picchu: The Politics of Tourism in Twentieth-Century Peru" (UNC Press, 2018)

12/11/2018
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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.” Millions of travelers have since followed Bingham’s advice. When Bingham first encountered Machu Picchu, the site was an obscure ruin. Now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu is the focus of Peru’s tourism economy. In Making Machu...

Duration:01:01:49

Paola Bertucci, "Artisanal Enlightenment: Science and the Mechanical Arts in Old Regime France" (Yale UP, 2018)

12/6/2018
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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. As savants attempted to appropriate leadership of the mechanical arts while deriding artisans as mere laborers, some of these refashioned themselves as artistes, capable of blending craft knowledge with intellectual esprit. Through the little studied and understood Société des Arts, these...

Duration:00:53:12

McKenzie Wark, "General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century" (Verso, 2017)

12/6/2018
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McKenzie Wark’s new book offers 21 focused studies of thinkers working in a wide range of fields who are worth your attention. The chapters of General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century (Verso, 2017) introduce readers to important work in Anglophone cultural studies, psychoanalysis, political theory, media theory, speculative realism, science studies, Italian and French workerist and autonomist thought, two “imaginative readings of Marx,” and two “unique takes on...

Duration:01:01:16

Alireza Doostdar, "The Iranian Metaphysicals: Explorations in Science, Islam, and the Uncanny" (Princeton UP, 2018)

12/5/2018
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Winner of the Middle East Studies Association’s 2018 Albert Hourani Book Award, Alireza Doostdar’s The Iranian Metaphysicals: Explorations in Science, Islam, and the Uncanny (Princeton University Press, 2018) is a mesmerizing study of discourses and practices surrounding the Occult sciences or ‘metaphysicals’ in contemporary Iran. Thoroughly disrupting the common association of the Occult with popular religion and mystical enchantment, this book explores the complex and conflicting...

Duration:00:59:14

Amanda H. Lynch and Siri Veland, "Urgency in the Anthropocene" (MIT Press, 2018)

12/3/2018
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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. Lynch and Veland examine how the ostensible state of constant urgency we live in is identified and addressed in political discourse. With detailed analyses of major climate accords and theories of geo-engineering, they demonstrate how this discourse limits our imagined possibilities for...

Duration:00:53:20

Stefanos Geroulanos and Todd Meyers, "The Human Body in the Age of Catastrophe: Brittleness, Integration, Science, and the Great War" (U Chicago Press, 2018)

11/28/2018
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The prologue to The Human Body in the Age of Catastrophe: Brittleness, Integration, Science, and the Great War (University of Chicago Press, 2018) begins by provocatively invoking a question American physiologist Walter Cannon first asked in 1926: “Why don’t we die daily?” In the erudite chapters that follow, Stefanos Geroulanos and Todd Meyers explore how practitioners and theorists working during and after World War I tried to answer that very thorny problem in light of the challenges of...

Duration:00:58:18

Stefanos Geroulanos and Todd Meyers, “The Human Body in the Age of Catastrophe: Brittleness, Integration, Science, and the Great War” (U Chicago Press, 2018)

11/26/2018
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The prologue to The Human Body in the Age of Catastrophe: Brittleness, Integration, Science, and the Great War (University of Chicago Press, 2018) begins by provocatively invoking a question American physiologist Walter Cannon first asked in 1926: “Why don’t we die daily?” In the erudite chapters that follow, Stefanos Geroulanos and...

Duration:00:58:10

Michael E. Staub, “The Mismeasure of Minds: Debating Race and Intelligence Between Brown and The Bell Curve” (UNC Press, 2018)

11/21/2018
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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 The Bell Curve (University of North Carolina Press, 2018), Michael E. Staub, Professor of English and American Studies at Baruch College, City University of New York, investigates neuropsychological studies published between Brown and the...

Duration:00:36:00

Shobita Parthasarathy, “Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe” (U Chicago Press, 2017)

11/21/2018
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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. This is an understudied area of STS that Parthasarathy carefully navigates in order to understand how knowledge production interacts with law. The reader learns the differences in values, law and objects between US and European patent politics. This comparison...

Duration:00:59:56

Steven Shaviro, “Discognition” (Repeater Books, 2016)

11/20/2018
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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, a human being, a rock, a star, a neutrino? Discognition looks at a series of fascinating science fiction narratives – in some cases reading philosophical or scientific literature as speculative fiction – to raise important questions about consciousness and...

Duration:01:05:51

Geraint F. Lewis and Luke A. Barnes, “A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos” (Cambridge UP, 2016)

11/13/2018
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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, philosophers and the popular press. In A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos (Cambridge University Press, 2016), Geraint Lewis (Professor of Astrophysics, Sydney Institute of Astronomy, the University of Sydney) and Luke Barnes (John...

Duration:00:40:43

David P. Barash, “Through a Glass Brightly: Using Science to See Our Species as We Really Are” (Oxford UP, 2018)

11/13/2018
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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 own unique self-importance and argues that it is as dangerous as it is false. In his recent book, Through a Glass Brightly: Using Science to See Our Species as We Really Are (Oxford University Press, 2018), Barash explores the process by which...

Duration:01:19:56

Andrew C. A. Elliott, “Is That a Big Number?” (Oxford UP, 2018)

11/9/2018
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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. This book helps us not only to realize the relative magnitudes of many of the numbers which surround us, but also helps us understand precisely how and why our understanding of the universe often comes down to the numbers which describe it. It’s...

Duration:00:51:29

Anindita Banerjee, “Russian Science Fiction Literature and Cinema: A Critical Reader” (Academic Studies Press, 2018)

11/8/2018
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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. In her introduction to this volume, Anindita Banerjee outlines the specificity of Russian science fiction literature and cinema and emphasizes transformative effects produced and trigged by the launch of Sputnik in 1957: “Sputnik’s impact—crossing the boundaries of...

Duration:00:41:05

Raymond Boyle, “The Talent Industry: Television, Cultural Intermediaries and New Digital Pathways” (Palgrave, 2018)

11/6/2018
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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 Cultural Policy Research, explores this question by focusing on the idea of talent. The book offers a rich theoretical and empirical engagement with the contemporary television landscape, giving detailed analysis of the history of talent...

Duration:00:38:35

Daniel Stolz, “The Lighthouse and the Observatory: Islam, Science, and Empire in Late Ottoman Egypt” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

11/5/2018
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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, looking at how astronomy tied together the state and religious practice. We talk about how religious authority was negotiated through astronomy, the zij (the genre of astronomic handbooks used by astronomers), translation, and how print affected the distribution...

Duration:00:55:25

Mike Ananny, “Networked Press Freedom: Creating Infrastructures For a Public Right to Hear” (MIT Press, 2018)

11/5/2018
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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. Drawing on a variety of disciplines from journalism studies, political theory and technological studies, Ananny argues press freedom is a result of an interplay of duty, autonomy, social, and institutional forces. Focusing on the public right to hear,...

Duration:00:42:28

J. Obert, A. Poe, A. Sarat, eds., “The Lives of Guns” (Oxford UP, 2018)

11/1/2018
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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, 2018). In it, contributors discuss the political, social and personal “lives” of guns from a variety of perspectives. Join us to hear editors Obert and Poe help us consider new ways of thinking about American narratives of ballistic...

Duration:00:31:42

Nathan K. Finney and Tyrell O. Mayfield, “Redefining the Modern Military: The Intersection of Profession and Ethics” (Naval Institute Press, 2018)

10/31/2018
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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 changes to modern warfare. Contributors examine philosophical and legal questions about what constitutes a profession, the requirements of a military professional, and military education. Additionally, the authors tackle questions of ethics related...

Duration:00:51:31

Caitlin C. Rosenthal, “Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management” (Harvard UP, 2018)

10/31/2018
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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 turnover by providing housing and fulfilling community needs. Many of these firms were, of course, dependent on the availability of cotton from the South where, as Caitlin C. Rosenthal argues, modern management practices were expanded and refined...

Duration:00:37:08