Books

Gitelman’s Paper Knowledge and Kafka’s The Demon of Writing

Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents
Duke University Press, 2012, 224 pages

by Lisa Gitelman

 

The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork
Zone Books, 2012, 208 pages

by Ben Kafka

 

Ben Kafka and Lisa Gitelman, colleagues at New York University, have both written books about the intricate nature of paper as a medium. While …

Books

Ilana Lӧwy’s Preventive Strikes

Preventive Strikes
Women, Precancer, and prophylactic Surgery

by Ilana Löwy

Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010, 344 pages

In April 2014, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association identified a disturbing correlation between cancer screening and “overtreatment.”   Mammography, it turns out, may result in some women enduring grueling therapies that they do not even need.  In fact, some …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Accidents and myths

What role do accidents play in determining our lives and histories? What, even, is an accident? How does something come to be thought of as “accidental”? This month’s Web Roundup features stories on accidents and their aftermath.

Starting us off, Slate has an excellent article about Phineas Gage, the most famous patient of neurosurgery ever. For those who don’t …

Features

Diagnostics for Development

Having been left in the long grass for several years while donors, activists, governments and public health experts focused on the question of access to vital medicines, the issue of diagnosis is today at the very top of the global health agenda. The rise of diagnosis as a global health issue has tracked its reformulation into a question of access …

Features

On dialogue: disability studies and science & technology studies

I am grateful to Somatosphere for inviting to me to write a post for the blog. I was asked to write about the relationship between disability studies and science and technology studies (STS). So in this blog post, I want to explore some particular ways of thinking about this relationship.

I have been writing for some time now about the …

Books

The High Table: When Metaphor Becomes History – a review of “The Paleobiological Revolution” (Sepkoski and Ruse, eds.)

The Paleobiological Revolution
Essays on the Growth of Modern Paleontology

Edited by David Sepkoski and Michael Ruse

University of Chicago Press, 2009

 

To show that the facts of paleontology were consistent with the mechanisms of natural selection and geographical speciation…rather the to propose novel mechanisms…the attitude of population geneticists to any paleontologists rash enough to offer a contribution to