Des Fitzgerald writes of his book, Tracing Autism, “This is a book about scientists talking about their own practice, in tones that are beset by ambiguity, uncertainty, complexity, and even some anxiety” (9). This is true, and after reading the book one might find the description a little understated. By now the idea that neuroscience, any science, is fraught with uncertainty and complexity is the baseline for science studies and kindred fields of study. In Tracing Autism: Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and the Affective Labor of Neuroscience, Des Fitzgerald uses this insight as a point of departure and puts these concepts to work––to trace the work they do––in (and through) the words of his scientist-interlocutors. Words are key. He structures his chapters around quoted speech which he amplifies through his interpretations, reflections, restatements, and rebuttals, which makes the book feel like part transcript, part therapy session notes, and part eavesdropping on a wholly intriguing conversation. The following are a diverse and careful set of commentaries on Tracing Autism––we hope you enjoy.
The Unicorn and the Trash Bag: A Defense of Wariness
Social Science vs. Neuroscience? Epistemologies and Stereotypes
M. Ariel Cascio
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) and McGill University
Beyond “Paranoia” and “Reparation”: Tracing Autism Neuroscience
University of Rio de Janeiro
- Sara Shostak's "Exposed Science: Genes, the Environment, and the Politics of Population Health"
- Tobias Rees's Plastic Reason: An Anthropology of Brain Science in Embryogenetic Terms
- Book Forum––Fernando Vidal and Francisco Ortega's Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject
- Book Forum--Elizabeth A. Wilson's Gut Feminism
- Top of the heap: Janelle Taylor and Hannah Landecker