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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

Nancy D. Campbell, "OD: Naloxone and the Politics of Overdose" (MIT Press, 2020)

1/24/2020
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For years, drug overdose was unmentionable in polite society. OD was understood to be something that took place in dark alleys―an ugly death awaiting social deviants―neither scientifically nor clinically interesting. But over the last several years, overdose prevention has become the unlikely object of a social movement, powered by the miracle drug naloxone. In OD: Naloxone and the Politics of Overdose (MIT Press, 2020), Nancy D. Campbell charts the emergence of naloxone as a technological...

Duration:00:37:49

Neil Maher, "Apollo in the Age of Aquarius" (Harvard UP, 2017)

1/24/2020
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Neil Maher talks about the social forces that shaped NASA in the 1960s and 70s, connecting the space race with the radical upheavals of the counterculture. Maher is a professor of history at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University, Newark. He is the author of Apollo in the Age of Aquarius (Harvard University Press, 2017). The summer of 1969 saw astronauts land on the moon for the first time and hippie hordes descend on Woodstock. This lively and original account of...

Duration:00:31:24

Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger, "Re-Engineering Humanity" (Cambridge UP, 2018)

1/23/2020
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Every day, new warnings emerge about artificial intelligence rebelling against us. All the while, a more immediate dilemma flies under the radar. Have forces been unleashed that are thrusting humanity down an ill-advised path, one that's increasingly making us behave like simple machines? In Re-Engineering Humanity (Cambridge University Press, 2018), Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger examine what's happening to our lives as society embraces big data, predictive analytics, and smart...

Duration:01:26:18

Safi Bahcall, "Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries" (St. Martins, 2019)

1/21/2020
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Safi Bahcall's Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries (St. Martin's Press, 2019) reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs. Bahcall, a physicist and entrepreneur, shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing new ideas to rejecting them, just as flowing water will...

Duration:00:55:34

J. L. Anderson, "Capitalist Pigs: Pigs, Pork, and Power in America" (West Virginia UP, 2019)

1/21/2020
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In this this interview, Dr. Carrie Tippen talks with J. L. Anderson about the 2019 book Capitalist Pigs: Pigs, Pork, and Power in America published by West Virginia University Press. Anderson provides a history of pigs in America from the first arrival on the continent in the Columbian Exchange to the modern agribusiness of pork production, describing how we have “remade” the animal through breeding, feeding, medicating, legislating, and housing hogs. Despite the contemporary association...

Duration:00:55:54

Ben Green, "The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future" (MIT Press, 2019)

1/20/2020
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The “smart city,” presented as the ideal, efficient, and effective for meting out services, has capture the imaginations of policymakers, scholars, and urban-dweller. But what are the possible drawbacks of living in an environment that is constantly collecting data? What important data is ignored when it is not easily translated into 1s and 0s? In his new book, The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in Its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future, critical data scientist Ben Green, an...

Duration:00:31:36

Daniel Kennefick, "No Shadow of Doubt: The 1919 Eclipse that Confirmed Einstein’s Theory of Relativity" (Princeton UP, 2019)

1/17/2020
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Daniel Kennefick talks about resistance to relativity theory in the early twentieth century and the huge challenges that faced British astronomers who wanted to test the theory during the solar eclipse of 1919. Kennefick is an associate professor of physics at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He’s the author of No Shadow of Doubt: The 1919 Eclipse that Confirmed Einstein’s Theory of Relativity (Princeton University Press, 2019). Michael F. Robinson is professor of history at...

Duration:00:37:24

James Schwartz, "The Ethics of Space Exploration" (Springer, 2016)

1/16/2020
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The Ethics of Space Exploration (Springer, 2016), edited by James S. J. Schwartz and Tony Milligan, aims to contribute significantly to the understanding of issues of value (including the ultimate value of space-related activities) which repeatedly emerge in interdisciplinary discussions on space and society. Although a recurring feature of discussions about space in the humanities, the treatment of value questions has tended to be patchy, of uneven quality and even, on occasion,...

Duration:01:05:23

Jessica Lynne Pearson, "The Colonial Politics of Global Health: France and the United Nations in Postwar Africa" (Harvard UP, 2018)

1/15/2020
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International organizations throw up several obstacles—their immense scale, their dry bureaucratic language—to the historian trying to piece together their past. In her book, The Colonial Politics of Global Health: France and the United Nations in Postwar Africa (Harvard University Press, 2018), Jessica Lynne Pearson steers clear of these obstacles and tells a captivating and consequential story about the relationship between global governance and empires. And that is no small feat. The...

Duration:00:46:53

Rachel Louise Moran, "Governing Bodies: American Politics and the Shaping of the Modern Physique" (U Penn Press, 2018)

1/14/2020
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How did the modern, American body come into being? According to Rachel Louise Moran this is a story to be told through the lens of the advisory state. In her book, Governing Bodies: American Politics and the Shaping of the Modern Physique (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), she tracks the emergence of the American advisory state -- a key analytic introduced and developed by the author in this book -- and draws attention to polyvalence of bodies as both instruments and objects of...

Duration:00:48:37

Alice Hill, "Building a Resilient Tomorrow: How to Prepare for the Coming Climate Disruption" (Oxford UP, 2019)

1/10/2020
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Climate change impacts-more heat, drought, extreme rainfall, and stronger storms-have already harmed communities around the globe. Even if the world could cut its carbon emissions to zero tomorrow, further significant global climate change is now inevitable. Although we cannot tell with certainty how much average global temperatures will rise, we do know that the warming we have experienced to date has caused significant losses, and that the failure to prepare for the consequences of...

Duration:00:42:42

Neil McArthur, "Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications" (MIT Press, 2017)

1/9/2020
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Sexbots are coming. Given the pace of technological advances, it is inevitable that realistic robots specifically designed for people's sexual gratification will be developed in the not-too-distant future. Despite popular culture's fascination with the topic, and the emergence of the much-publicized Campaign Against Sex Robots, there has been little academic research on the social, philosophical, moral, and legal implications of robot sex. Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications (MIT...

Duration:01:10:19

Lydia Barnett, "After the Flood: Imagining the Global Environment in Early Modern Europe" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019)

1/8/2020
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Many centuries before the emergence of the scientific consensus on climate change, people began to imagine the existence of a global environment: a natural system capable of changing humans and of being changed by them. In After the Flood: Imagining the Global Environment in Early Modern Europe (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), Lydia Barnett traces the history of this idea back to the early modern period, when the Scientific Revolution, the Reformations, the Little Ice Age, and the...

Duration:00:43:22

Robert Rozehnal, "Cyber Sufis: Virtual Expressions of the American Muslim Experience" (OneWorld, 2019)

1/8/2020
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What happens when the digital world meets Sufism? This is the question raised in the exciting new book Cyber Sufis: Virtual Expressions of the American Muslim Experience (OneWorld Academic, 2019) by Robert Rozehnal, a professor of Islamic Studies and South Asian Religions and the founding director of the Center for Global Islamic Studies at Lehigh University. This exhilarating new book explores how the Inayati Order, the oldest Sufi community in the west, under the current leadership of...

Duration:01:02:11

Leor Halevi, "Modern Things on Trial: Islam’s Global and Material Reformation in the Age of Rida, 1865-1935" (Columbia UP, 2019)

1/7/2020
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How did Muslims respond to foreign goods in an age characterized by global exchange and European imperial expansion? What sort of legal reasoning did scholars apply in order to appropriate – or reject – items like the synthetic toothbrush, toilet paper, gramophones, photographs, railway lines, banknotes, hats, and other commodities? What role did laypeople play in shaping the contours of the scholarly debates around these items and projects? How did the entanglements of imperial power...

Duration:00:51:34

Raj Patel, "A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things" (U California Press, 2017)

1/7/2020
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Award winning activist and researcher Raj Patel has teamed up with innovative environmental historian and historical geographer Jason W. Moore to produce an accessible book which provides historical explanations for the world ecological crises and the global crisis in capitalism. Using the framework of "cheapness," A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet (University of California Press, 2017) takes the reader through the long...

Duration:00:46:07

Joe Miller, "US of AA: How the Twelve Steps Hijacked the Science of Alcoholism" (Chicago Review Press, 2019)

1/7/2020
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In the aftermath of Prohibition, America’s top scientists joined forces with members of a new group, called Alcoholics Anonymous, and put their clout behind a campaign to convince the nation that alcoholism was a disease rather than a moral failing. Their campaign spanned decades, and from it grew a multimillion-dollar treatment industry that actively promoted AA groups and the Twelve Steps as the primary way to deal with problem drinking. In our conversation about his new book US of AA: How...

Duration:00:49:47

Matthew D. O'Hara, "The History of the Future in Colonial Mexico" (Yale UP, 2018)

1/6/2020
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Latin America – especially colonial Latin America – is not particularly known for futurism. For popular audiences, the region’s history likely evokes images of book burning, the Inquisition, and other symbols of orthodoxy and fatalism. Specialists too tend to associate Latin America with a deep sense of historicism: the weight of memory – conquest, genocide, state violence – deeply marks the region’s politics and culture. On the other hand, in traditional historical narratives, a cognitive...

Duration:00:34:16

Jorge Canizares-Esguerra, "Nature, Empire, And Nation: Explorations of the History of Science in the Iberian World" (Stanford UP, 2006)

1/3/2020
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In the late 1500s, the mines of Potosí –a mountain in southern Bolivia — produced 60% of the world’s silver. It was a place of great wealth and terrible suffering. It is also a place, Jorge Canizares-Esguerra argues, that challenges the very idea of the Scientific Revolution. Canizares-Esguerra discusses Potosí and how its peoples and technologies shaped 16th century science. He is the Alice Drysdale Sheffield Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. His work has been...

Duration:00:35:52

Susan Schulten, "A History of American in 100 Maps" (U Chicago Press 2018)

1/3/2020
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In her new book A History of American in 100 Maps (University of Chicago Press 2018), historian Susan Schulten uses maps to explore five centuries of American history, from the voyages of European discovery to the digital age. Schulten’s “visual tour of American history” considers the different purposes for which maps are created—maps as tools of statecraft and diplomacy, maps made to amuse and entertain, and maps made as instruments of social reform. Some of the maps she discusses document...

Duration:01:24:28