Ronald ChaseSchizophrenia: A Brother Finds Answers in Biological Science

Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013

by Mikey McGovern on January 26, 2016

Ronald Chase

View on Amazon

In his book, Schizophrenia: A Brother Finds Answers in Biological Science (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), biologist Ronald Chase explores the frequently misunderstood condition through an engaging combination of scientific exploration and personal memoir. In recounting the life of his older brother, Jim, who was a bright young graduate student at UCLA when his episodes began to intensify, Chase tells the story of how the treatment of schizophrenia has changed since the 1950s, connecting events in his own life to research on the causation and treatment of schizophrenia. He grapples with difficult questions about why the condition persists from an evolutionary perspective, and the stigma associated with it.

Chase takes a hard line on the physical nature of schizophrenia; only by accepting it as a disorder of the biological brain, rather than the moral mind, can we begin to find the right, albeit complex answers and accommodate those who suffer from the condition. Though individuals with schizophrenia can live long lives, Chase's meetings with Jim call upon the reader to ask themselves how we, as a society, can help make these lives more meaningful. This book is essential reading for those interested in the stories behind brain disorders, and those who want to learn more about how mental illness has changed over the last 50 years.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Erik Linstrum Ruling Minds: Ruling Minds: Psychology in the British Empire

December 30, 2015

In Ruling Minds: Psychology in the British Empire (Harvard University Press, 2016), Erik Linstrum examines how the field of psychology was employed in the service of empire. Linstrum explores the careers of scientists sent to the South Pacific, India, and Africa to verify and define characteristics of white racial superiority. Far from confirming the inferiority […]

Read the full article →

Natasha MyersRendering Life Molecular: Models, Modelers, and Excitable Matter

December 21, 2015

After reading Natasha Myers's new book, the world begins to dance in new ways. Rendering Life Molecular: Models, Modelers, and Excitable Matter (Duke University Press, 2015) is a sensory ethnography of protein crystallographers that is based on five years of fieldwork conducted between 2003-2008 at a research university on the East Coast of the US. "Protein modelers […]

Read the full article →

Brian P. CopenhaverMagic in Western Culture: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment

December 15, 2015

Belief in magic was pervasive in Greco-Roman times, persisted through the Renaissance, and then fell off the map of intellectual respectability in the Enlightenment. What happened? Why did it become embarrassing for Isaac Newton to have sought the philosopher's stone, and for Robert Boyle to have urged the British Parliament to repeal a ban on […]

Read the full article →

Brian CleggHow Many Moons Does the Earth Have?: The Ultimate Science Quiz Book

December 7, 2015

Brian Clegg, who is arguably the most prolific science writer since Isaac Asimov, and almost certainly the most prolific British one, has written a delightfully tantalizing book entitled How Many Moons Does the Earth Have? The Ultimate Science Quiz Book (Icon Books, 2015). It's a delectable collection of science quiz questions – and although it includes classics […]

Read the full article →

Nick HopwoodHaeckel’s Embryos: Images, Evolution, and Fraud

November 30, 2015

Nick Hopwood's Haeckel's Embryos: Images, Evolution, and Fraud (University of Chicago Press, 2015) blends textual and visual analysis to answer the question of how images succeed or fail. Hopwood is Reader in History of Science at Cambridge University, and creator on the online exhibition "Making Visible Embryos," which display some of the images from the book. […]

Read the full article →

Eric T. Meyer and Ralph SchroederKnowledge Machines: Digital Transformations of the Sciences and Humanities,

November 15, 2015

By now it is incontrovertible that new technology has had an effect on how regular people get information. Whether in the form of an online newspaper or a Google search, new technology has allowed individuals to access masses of information faster than ever before. What, then, has been the effect of digital tools on research […]

Read the full article →

John Allen PaulosA Numerate Life: A Mathematician Explores the Vagaries of Life, His Own and Probably Yours

November 12, 2015

John Allen Paulos, who has accomplished the unheard-of double of writing best-sellers about mathematics and inserting a word ('innumeracy') into the language, has attempted  another ambitious feat – bringing mathematics to bear on one of the few subjects it has yet to examine: biography and autobiography.  A Numerate Life (Prometheus Books, 2015) is simultaneously a charming memoir […]

Read the full article →

Anita GuerriniThe Courtiers’ Anatomists: Animals and Humans in Louis XIV’s Paris

November 4, 2015

Anita Guerrini's wonderful new book explores Paris as a site of anatomy, dissection, and science during the reign of Louis XIV between 1643-1715. The journey begins with readers accompanying a dead body to sites of dissection across the city, after which we are introduced to four anatomists – charter members of the Paris Academy of […]

Read the full article →

Eugene Raikhel, Editor; Todd Meyers, Associate Editor; Emily Yates-Doerr,

October 13, 2015

Somatosphere is "a collaborative website covering the intersections of medical anthropology, science and technology studies, cultural psychiatry, psychology and bioethics." Founded in July 2008, Somatosphere has evolved into an innovative platform for collaborative experiments, interdisciplinary exchange, and intellectual community. As such, it reveals how websites–and the communities of discourse that create and read them–have become […]

Read the full article →