Science and Society in Latin America

book_Science and Society in Latin America

Pablo Kreimer
Routledge, 2019

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In the form of a sociological pilgrimage, this book approaches some topics essential to understanding the role of science in Latin America, juxtaposing several approaches and exploring three main lines: First, the production and use of knowledge in these countries, viewed from a historical and sociological point of view; second, the reciprocal construction of scientific and public problems, presented through significant cases such as Latin American Chagas Disease; and third, the past and present asymmetries affecting the relationships between centers and peripheries in scientific research. These topics show the paradox of being at the same time “modern” and “peripheral.” Continue reading

La argentina transgénica: De la resistencia a la adaptación, una etnografía de las poblaciones campesinas

book_La argentina transgénica

Pablo Lapegna
Siglo XXI, 2019

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La Argentina transgénica no es ninguna novedad: el cultivo de soja genéticamente modificada para resistir los herbicidas se expande cada vez más, al tiempo que las empresas de agronegocios se concentran en unos pocos jugadores transnacionales. Frente al fenómeno, están los que celebran este modelo tecnoproductivista, afirmando que permitirá “solucionar el hambre en el mundo”, y quienes advierten sobre el daño ambiental y llaman a resistir activamente el modelo. ¿Hay modo de abordar esto por fuera de un enfoque de buenos y malos, de víctimas sumisas por un lado y élites perversas por el otro? ¿Hay modo de pensar más allá de un optimismo sin verdadero fundamento, pero también de los críticos que idealizan un mundo rural perdido como si fuera posible recuperarlo? Continue reading

A Portrait of Assisted Reproduction in Mexico: Scientific, Political, and Cultural Interactions

book_A portrait of Assisted Reproduction in Mexico

Sandra P. González-Santos
Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. 2019

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This book paints a comprehensive portrait of Mexico’s system of assisted reproduction first from a historical perspective, then from a more contemporary viewpoint. Based on a detailed analysis of books and articles published between the 1950s and 1980s, the first section tells the story of how the epistemic, normative, and material infrastructure of the assisted reproduction system was built. It traces the professionalization process of assisted reproduction as a medical field and the establishment of its professional association. Drawing on ethnographic material, the second part looks at how this system developed and flourished from the 1980s up to 2010, its commercialization process, how the expansion of reproductive services took place, and the messages regarding reproductive technologies that circulated within a wide discursive landscape. Given its scope and methods, this book will appeal to scholars interested in science and technology studies, reproduction studies, history of medicine, medical anthropology, and sociology.

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Ways of Hearing

book_ WaysofHearing

Damon Krukowski
Foreword by Emily Thompson
MIT, 2019

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A writer-musician examines how the switch from analog to digital audio is changing our perceptions of time, space, love, money, and power.

Our voices carry farther than ever before, thanks to digital media. But how are they being heard? In this book, Damon Krukowski examines how the switch from analog to digital audio is changing our perceptions of time, space, love, money, and power. In Ways of Hearing—modeled on Ways of Seeing, John Berger’s influential 1972 book on visual culture—Krukowski offers readers a set of tools for critical listening in the digital age. Just as Ways of Seeing began as a BBC television series, Ways of Hearing is based on a six-part podcast produced for the groundbreaking public radio podcast network Radiotopia. Inventive uses of text and design help bring the message beyond the range of earbuds. Continue reading

The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in Its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future

book_Smart Enough City

Ben Green
Foreword by Jascha Franklin-Hodge
MIT Press, 2019

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Why technology is not an end in itself, and how cities can be “smart enough,” using technology to promote democracy and equity.

The open access edition of this book was made possible by generous funding from the MIT Libraries.

Smart cities, where technology is used to solve every problem, are hailed as futuristic urban utopias. We are promised that apps, algorithms, and artificial intelligence will relieve congestion, restore democracy, prevent crime, and improve public services. In The Smart Enough City, Ben Green warns against seeing the city only through the lens of technology; taking an exclusively technical view of urban life will lead to cities that appear smart but under the surface are rife with injustice and inequality. He proposes instead that cities strive to be “smart enough”: to embrace technology as a powerful tool when used in conjunction with other forms of social change—but not to value technology as an end in itself. Continue reading