I just got a first-run copy of the new book “Worlds of Sciencecraft” which is written and edited by Sal Restivo, Sabrina M. Weiss, and Alexander I. Stingl.
In a series of posts coming-up I’ll review the book chapter-by-chapter and comment on matters of style and tone, content and controversy, and so on.
Upon even opening the book and casually reading the first few pages, I can already tell that the book will read something like a roller-coaster, which, in the academic realm, means that the book takes an unapologetic tone — in this case, both with the reader as well as between the authors, which is quite peculiar to my mind — and will challenge a few basic ideas most of us have (inherited) about the sciences. For starters, the book’s title, which implicates “Sciencecraft” is a play on “Warcraft,” as in, “World of Warcraft” the massive on-line role playing game … and so starts the roller-coaster!
Bravo, Sal and Co.!
Those curious for a blurb, here is the dust jacket:
A response to complex problems spanning disciplinary boundaries, Worlds of ScienceCraft offers bold new ways of conceptualizing ideas of science, sociology, and philosophy. Beginning with the historical foundations of civilization and progress, assumptions about the categories we use to talk about minds, identities, and bodies are challenged through case studies from mathematics, social cognition, and medical ethics. Offering innovative approaches to these issues, such as an integrated social brain-mind-body model and a critique of divisions between the natural and technological, this book provides novel conceptions of self, society and an emerging ‘cyborg’ generation. From the micro level of brains and expanding all the way out to biopolitical civics, disciplinary boundaries are made permeable, emphasizing the increased need for interdisciplinary scholarship. By rejecting outdated and restrictive categories and classifications, new horizons in studies of science, technology, and medicine can be explored through the incorporation of feminist, international, and postmodern perspectives. A truly interdisciplinary examination of science and technology as cultural phenomena, Worlds of ScienceCraft will appeal to scholars and students of science and technology studies, as well as philosophers, historians, and sociologists of science, technology, and medicine.