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SUNY series in Science, Technology, and Society (discontinued)

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Published by: State University of New York Press

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SUNY series in Science, Technology, and Society (discontinued)

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Galileo's Pendulum

Science, Sexuality, and the Body-Instrument Link

Drawing on the theories of Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, and others who have written on the history of sexuality and the body, Galileo’s Pendulum explores how the emergence of the scientific method in the seventeenth century led to a de-emphasis on the body and sexuality. The first half of the book focuses on the historical modeling of the relation between pleasure and knowledge by examining a history of scientific rationality and its relation to the formation of the modern scientist’s subjectivity. Relying on Foucault’s history of sexuality, the author hypothesizes that Galileo’s pendulum, as an extension of mathematics and the body, must have been sexualized by schemes of historical representation to the same extent that such schemes were rationalized by Galileo. The second half of the book explores the problems of scientific methodology and attempts to return the body in an explicit way to scientific practice. Ultimately, Galileo’s Pendulum offers a discursive method and praxis for resexualizing the history of Galilean science.

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Nervous Conditions

Science and the Body Politic in Early Industrial Britain

Nervous Conditions explores the role of the body in the development of modern science, challenging the myth that modern science is built on a bedrock of objectivity and confident empiricism. In this fascinating look into the private world of British natural philosophers—including John Dalton, Lord Kelvin, Charles Babbage, John Herschel, and many others—Elizabeth Green Musselman shows how the internal workings of their bodies played an important part in the sciences’ movement to the center of modern life, and how a scientific community and a nation struggled their way into existence. Many of these natural philosophers endured serious nervous difficulties, particularly vision problems. They turned these weaknesses into strengths, however, by claiming that their well-disciplined mental skills enabled them to transcend their bodily frailties. Their adeptness at transcendence, they asserted, explained why men of science belonged at the heart of modern life, and qualified them to address such problems as unifying the British provinces into one nation, managing the industrial workplace, and accommodating religious plurality.

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Visions of STS

Counterpoints in Science, Technology, and Society Studies

Maps interconnections between science, technology, and society in order to understand both benefits and costs. Visions of STS brings together the views of ten leading scholars to clarify the nature of Science, Technology, and Society Studies and point toward future developments. The interdisciplinary field of STS maps out the interconnected relationships among science, technology, and society in order to better understand both the innumerable benefits as well as problematic challenges. This book, rather than presenting science and technology as autonomous entities, analyzes each contextually as societal-mediated processes that reflect cultural, political, and economic values. It contains four basic programmatic essays that deal with technological determinism, the social constructivist view, STS and policy information, and the issue of interdisciplinarity. Visions of STS also stresses more specialized perspectives of work, education, and public policy analysis, and challenges the way STS itself is pursued. Taken together, these essays offer an exciting and unusually broad overview of STS.

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