Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: The MIT Press
Series: Inside Technology
Title Page, Copyright Page
This book has taken a very long time to complete. It owes its existence to the generosity and support of many people. To start with, I would like to thank the MRI scientists in India, Britain, and the United States who not only agreed to be interviewed by me but also...
“The world is flat.” As soon as I wrote [these words], I realized that this was the underlying message that I had seen and heard in Bangalore in two weeks of filming. The global competitive field was being leveled. The world was being flattened. I had come to Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley, on my own Columbus-like journey...
1. “Invention” of MRI: Priority Dispute, Contested Identities, and Authorship Regime
In 2003, when Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield were awarded the Nobel Prize for their contribution to the development of MRI, Raymond Damadian reacted sharply to his exclusion. “The Nobel committee is rewriting history,” he told Reuters.3 To give voice to their outrage, Damadian and...
2. Translating a Dream into Reality: Birth of MRI and Genesis of a “Big Science”
Celebration of MRI as “the ultimate imaging technique” is today neither uncommon nor unwarranted. But, in the 1970s, scientists and nonscientists alike were unsure whether it could ever be developed. Thus, when it came to MRI, even Ervin Hahn, one of the pioneers of NMR research, was...
3. Marketing Medicine’s “Sports Car”: The United States Becomes the “Center”
“People want this smart test [MRI],” John Caronna, a professor of clinical neurology, told the New York Times in 1991. “There’s no way to shut it off. The doctors crave it, it’s reassuring, and patients crave it.”2 The professor was not far off the mark: the MRI market did expand rapidly in the second...
4. Recovering “Peripheral” History: Genealogy of MRI Research in India
If the history of “modern science” in the non-West has been constituted as the “other” of the history of science in the West, Euro/West-centric historicism has ensured that it also remain inextricably bound and subservient to that same history.1 Consequently, it has become an appended and...
5. Three Cultures of MRI: Local Practices and Global Designs
Despite fears to the contrary, “scientific culture” remains among the most pervasive and influential cultures in the world.1 As a universal culture of exalted values, it also continues to present “a map for the rearrangement” of other cultures.2 Nevertheless, sociological investigators have found the...
Conclusion: Looking Back/Moving Forward
The Manchester Guardian’s 2011 headline “Nobel Prizes: Asian Scientists Set to Topple America’s Run of Wins” may seem premature, but it no longer sounds implausible.2 In fact, its discursive presence reflects a recent dramatic shift in the transnational geography of technoscience.3 Yet, even in this...