Category: STS

Book Review: The Surprisingly Imprecise History of Measurement

In this cross-post, Christie Aschwanden reviews James Vincent’s Beyond Measure, The Hidden History of Measurement, finding a book which highlights the social complexity and limits to measurement, whilst at the same time opening up new ways of kno…

The great convergence – Does increasing standardisation of journal articles limit intellectual creativity?

Drawing on a recent survey of forty years of research papers in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and interviews with authors, Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner, Kean Birch, Thed van Leeuwen and Maria Amuchastegui observe an increasing homogenisat…

Book Review: Technology Is Not Neutral: A Short Guide to Technology Ethics by Stephanie Hare

In Technology Is Not Neutral, Stephanie Hare provides a practical overview of the complex topic of technology ethics. This is an accessible introduction that guides the reader through common questions, including whether technology can be neutral, where…

Book Review: Power Shift: The Global Political Economy of Energy Transitions by Peter Newell

In Power Shift: The Global Political Economy of Energy Transitions, Peter Newell examines energy transitions at all levels of governance, drawing out the lessons learned from prior energy transitions to unlock an actionable understanding of today’s str…

Creating what we seek to measure – How to understand the performative aspect of impact evaluation?

A common feature of evaluation mechanisms across many fields of activity is the influence they have on shaping perceptions and practices within them. In the UK a key argument in favour of the inclusion of impact within the REF has been the way in which…

Book Review: Probing the Corporate Manipulation of Science

In this repost, Christie Aschwanden reviews David Michaels’ The Triumph of Doubt: Dark Money and the Science of Deception, finding the book to provide a combative and unflinching account of the way in which corporate interests have infiltrated regulatory science. Their secrets are out — the tobacco industry’s decades-long campaign to undermine the science linking their products to cancer … Continued

Book Review: Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime by Bruno Latour

In Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime, Bruno Latour explores the political and philosophical challenges proper to a time defined by an environmental and socio-economic crisis. Rodrigo Muñoz-González welcomes this energetic, compelling and provocative attempt to find an alternative vision to the contradictory and flawed project of modernity.  This post originally appeared on LSE Review of Books. If you would like to contribute […]

Book Review: Can Science Make Sense of Life? by Sheila Jasanoff

In Can Science Make Sense of Life?, Sheila Jasanoff questions whether the scientific capacity to manipulate life at the molecular level should also give science the authority to define what life is for. Exploring various cases to show how (techno)scientific knowledge embeds and is embedded in our social practices, identities, norms, institutions and ways of speaking, this book is a salient introduction to […]

Book Review: The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos by Leonard Mlodinow

The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos is an accessible grand history of science and many of its most crucial figures, enlivened by personal anecdotes and insights by physicist Leonard Mlodinow. Mlodinow evocatively demonstrates how scientific developments are not solely the product of isolated genius, but are dependent upon the convergence of systems, […]