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What are the results for american citizens whilst actors who play medical professionals on tv advocate scientific items, or whilst a whole city within the Midwest prepares for an earthquake in keeping with the specious recommendation of a zoologist? those are only of the various questions Christopher Toumey asks in his research of the position of technology in American tradition. Toumey makes a speciality of the ways that the symbols of technological know-how are hired to suggest medical authority in a number of instances, from the promoting of scientific items to the making of public coverage approximately AIDS/HIV––a perform he calls "conjuring" technology. it truly is this "conjuring" of the pictures and emblems of medical authority that issues Toumey and leads him to mirror at the historical past of public realizing and perceptions of technological know-how within the usa. He argues that whereas such a lot americans make investments loads of authority in technology, there's a vacuum of realizing approximately medical wisdom. This hole among trust and figuring out enormously affects public coverage judgements and democratic processes.           

Toumey argues that rather than comprehending medical wisdom, tools, or criteria, so much americans be aware of technology in simple terms by way of symbols that stand for technology and that stand among humans and medical figuring out. He breaks this paradox down into 3 questions. First, what are the historic stipulations that experience triggered the tradition of technological know-how to be so estranged from different elements of yank tradition? moment, how does technology healthy into American democratic tradition at the present time? And 3rd, if the symbols of technology are getting used to recommend or legitimize sure values and meanings, yet no longer the values and meanings of technological know-how, then to what do they refer?            

In witty, readable prose, Toumey investigates those questions through proposing 5 episodes of technological know-how in American existence: the fluoridation controversies; the 1986 California referendum on AIDS/HIV coverage; the chilly fusion controversy; the anti-evolution of creationism; and the mad- scientist tales of fiction and film.     

 

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