The Golem at Large: What You Should Know about Technology (Canto)

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9780521012706: The Golem at Large: What You Should Know about Technology (Canto)
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In the very successful and widely discussed first volume in the Golem series, The Golem: What You Should Know About Science, Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch likened science to the Golem, a creature from Jewish mythology, a powerful creature which, while not evil, can be dangerous because it is clumsy. In this second volume, the authors now consider the Golem of technology. In a series of case studies they demonstrate that the imperfections in technology are related to the uncertainties in science described in the first volume. The case studies cover the role of the Patriot anti-missile missile in the Gulf War, the Challenger space shuttle explosion, tests of nuclear fuel flasks and of anti-misting kerosene as a fuel for airplanes, economic modeling, the question of the origins of oil, analysis of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and the contribution of lay expertise to the analysis of treatments for AIDS.

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From the hardback: 'What The Golem did for science, The Golem at Large does for technology ... My experiences in using the book for teaching, however, have been wholly positive, perhaps because it does not seek to give all the answers. In such a short book, there is no space for detailed post mortems; general comments come in a short concluding chapter. I found it useful, too, as a way of linking together historical studies of science and technology with issues of current concern. That is, the Golem at Large gave me another way of encouraging students to re-examine past science and technology in context and in culture by showing them one way of teasing apart the complex politics of contemporary technology.' B. Marsden, Annals of Science

'Of the many impressive texts that use case studies to convey 'what you should know about technology', The Golem at Large is the clearest and simplest. The authors rework existing materials with great care to produce a valuable introduction to their topic that is accessible to anyone.' Barry Barnes, Nature

'Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch have followed up their book about so-so science, The Golem, with The Golem at Large: What You Should Know About Technology. What you should know is that nothing is simple once humans are involved, especially humans with points to score or reputations to lose. During the Gulf war, how useful was the Patriot missile? What did President Bush mean when he said 41 out of 42 Iraqi Scud missiles were 'intercepted'? Who do you blame for the disaster of the Challenger shuttle mission in 1986? How do you work out where oil really comes from? Why would anyone believe one economist, let alone a group of seven?' Tim Radford, The Guardian

'... riveting.' Robert Gaitskell, The Times Higher Education Supplement

Book Description:

In this follow up to their earlier book, The Golem: What You Should Know About Science, the authors now consider the Golem of technology. Using the same successful format, in a series of case studies they demonstrate that the imperfections in technology are related to the uncertainties in sciences.

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9781107688285: The Golem at Large: What You Should Know About Technology (Canto Classics)

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ISBN 10:  1107688280 ISBN 13:  9781107688285
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2014
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9780521551410: The Golem at Large: What You Should Know about Technology

Cambri..., 1998
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