Download Conjuring science: scientific symbols and cultural meanings by Professor Christopher P. Toumey PDF

By Professor Christopher P. Toumey

What are the consequences for americans while actors who play medical professionals on tv advise scientific items, or whilst a whole city within the Midwest prepares for an earthquake according to the specious recommendation of a zoologist? those are only of the various questions Christopher Toumey asks in his research of the function of technological know-how in American tradition. Toumey makes a speciality of the ways that the symbols of technology are hired to suggest medical authority in quite a few circumstances, from the promoting of scientific items to the making of public coverage approximately AIDS/HIV––a perform he calls "conjuring" technology. it really is this "conjuring" of the pictures and emblems of medical authority that problems Toumey and leads him to mirror at the historical past of public realizing and perceptions of technology within the usa. He argues that whereas so much americans make investments loads of authority in technology, there's a vacuum of knowing approximately clinical wisdom. This hole among trust and knowing significantly affects public coverage judgements and democratic processes.           

Toumey argues that rather than comprehending medical wisdom, equipment, or criteria, such a lot american citizens recognize technological know-how basically when it comes to symbols that stand for technological know-how and that stand among humans and medical realizing. He breaks this paradox down into 3 questions. First, what are the ancient stipulations that experience prompted the tradition of technological know-how to be so estranged from different elements of yankee tradition? moment, how does technological know-how healthy into American democratic tradition this present day? And 3rd, if the symbols of technological know-how are getting used to recommend or legitimize definite values and meanings, yet now not the values and meanings of technology, then to what do they refer?            

In witty, readable prose, Toumey investigates those questions by means of proposing 5 episodes of technology in American existence: the fluoridation controversies; the 1986 California referendum on AIDS/HIV coverage; the chilly fusion controversy; the anti-evolution of creationism; and the mad- scientist tales of fiction and film.     


Show description

Read or Download Conjuring science: scientific symbols and cultural meanings in American life PDF

Best customs & traditions books

Consuming Habits: Global and Historical Perspectives on How Cultures Define Drugs

Overlaying a variety of components, together with opium, cocaine, espresso, tobacco, kola, and betelnut, from prehistory to the current day, this re-creation has been greatly up to date, with an up to date bibliography and new chapters on hashish and khat. eating conduct is the suitable spouse for all these drawn to how various cultures have outlined medicines around the a long time.

The Witness of Combines

Whilst Kent Meyers's father died of a stroke, there has been corn to plant, farm animals to feed, and a farm to take care of. right here, in a clean and colourful voice, Meyers recounts the wake of his father's demise while he used to be 16 and displays on households, farms, and rural existence within the Midwest. Meyers tells the tale of his existence at the farm, from the thrill of taking part in within the hayloft as a boy to the regular development of chores.

Sexual Sabotage: How One Mad Scientist Unleashed a Plague of Corruption and Contagion on America

To Andy Rooney and the "Greatest Generation," intercourse was once "only a rumor. " yet to an Indiana college zoology professor, healthy American early life have been actually promiscuous and adulterous. Alfred Kinsey's bias-masquerading-as-research turned accredited knowledge, hence tainting generations of american citizens. Now, in a entire and investigative style, Judith Reisman lines not just the results of Kinsey's diabolical "research," yet describes these early, falsely accused generations in very diverse phrases, simply because she lived via these occasions.

The Animalizing Imagination: Totemism,Textuality and Ecocriticism

Human-animal kinfolk aren't constrained to the literal animal, yet expand to mental, textual and conceptual animal presences. Drawing from quite a lot of disciplines, together with modern cultural occasions, this ebook tracks the importance of the animal for human pondering, mind's eye, faith and aesthetic existence.

Extra resources for Conjuring science: scientific symbols and cultural meanings in American life

Sample text

After all, they reasoned, the science of the new ethos was good science, but it could not be justified as such to voters, taxpayers, and elected officials. 1 This attitude was fine when hard results were plentiful and obvious but not so fine when the fruits of the new science were more abstract: thoughts about relativity, uncertainty, and the Hubble Constant or geology's hypothetical reconstructions of life on earth long ago. This attitude was also not so fine when scientists were candid about scientia gratia scientiae (science for the sake of science).

31Gone were the "autodictatic amateur" scientists who had sustained the Protestant model. 32In fact, says Walter Conser, as a result of the professionalization of science in a secular style, most of the Protestant ministry retreated from metaphysical questions about nature's role in verifying faith and turned instead to inner questions of God and conscience. 33 The scientific research ethos thus had several distinctive values. It was secular, that is, uncoupled from religious beliefs regarding purpose or method.

The intellectual friends of the scientific research ethos, most of whom were not scientists per se, gave much thought to that question about science and American culture.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.92 of 5 – based on 10 votes