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The Historiography of Contemporary Science, Technology, and by Ronald E. Doel, Thomas Söderqvist

By Ronald E. Doel, Thomas Söderqvist

As historians of technological know-how more and more flip to paintings on fresh (post 1945) technology, the historiographical and methodological difficulties linked to the historical past of latest technology are debated with becoming frequency and urgency. Bringing jointly professionals at the background, historiography and method of contemporary and modern technology, this booklet studies the issues dealing with historians of know-how, modern technology and medication, and explores new methods ahead. With contributions from key researchers within the box, the textual content covers subject matters that may be of ever expanding curiosity to historians of post-war technological know-how, together with the problems of gaining access to and utilizing mystery archival fabric, the interactions among archivists, historians and scientists, and the politics of proof and ancient debts.

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Additional resources for The Historiography of Contemporary Science, Technology, and Medicine: Writing Recent Science (Routledge Studies in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine)

Example text

And at present, The System is busy bankrolling billions of dollars of new technologies that might well make this world a much worse place to live. You would hardly know it, though, judging by the generally optimistic, upbeat science coverage of the research upon which those new technologies are based. Our coverage of biotech and nanotechnology, in particular, often reads like rewrites of press releases from corporate marketeers. One way to stiffen our spines—to make us less vulnerable to the marketeers’ hype—is by learning more about the history of science.

Whatever we think in private, in print we science writers come across as science worshippers. Science reporters love their jobs more than any other reporters, save perhaps those who fanatically cover sports and fashion. In my experience, political reporters despise politicians; many business reporters mock Bill Gates, and some of them nurse socialist sentiments; film and art critics grow sick of the mediocre tripe they must review day after day. A few crime reporters relish their grisly “beat”—the Miami Herald’s Edna Buchanan was a poet of the sordid—but many more develop tics and ulcers.

J. ” We expected (as did many observers) that Simpson would be convicted and we did not want to keep the archive open through multiple appeals. In fact, of course, Simpson was acquitted. Although a subsequent civil trial found him liable for the deaths of his wife and Goldman, we did not collect materials on that trial. 11 Then, in January 1999, one of Reflections on being a “contemporary archivist” 35 my graduate students, Joshua Greenberg, stopped by after returning from the winter holidays. I asked him how his break had been; “fine,” he said, except that he had returned to Cornell to find his apartment broken into and his computer stolen.

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