017medicinesomatosphere_bkcoverSomatosphere 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 important sites of intellectual production, authorship, and exchange. In editorial departments such as "In the Journals" and "Web Roundup," authors distill recent scholarly contributions across disciplines and spaces. More recently, the editors have incubated creative digital endeavors such as Commonplaces, a "collaborative cabinet" that itemizes the technological present, with entries devoted to topics such as the petri dish, the brain, and the waiting room. Book Forum invites commentary from a range of authors, representing not only different scholarly disciplines but offering intriguing, timely, and often original angles on recent important texts. Thanks to its editorial vision and the palpable energy of its contributors, Somatosphere has become informative, creative, and essential reading.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Isabelle Dussauge, Claes-Fredrik Helgesson, and Francis Lee, eds.Value Practices in the Life Sciences and Medicine

September 26, 2015

Valuation is a central question in contemporary social science. Indeed the question of value has a range of academic projects associated with it, whether in terms of specific questions or in terms of emerging fora for academic publications. In Value Practices in the Life Sciences and Medicine (Oxford University Press, 2015), Isabelle Dussauge, Claes-Fredrik Helgesson, and […]

Read the full article →

Sandra HardingObjectivity and Diversity: Another Logic of Scientific Research

September 4, 2015

Sandra Harding's new book Objectivity and Diversity: Another Logic of Scientific Research (University of Chicago Press, 2015) raises new questions about two central concepts in STS – objectivity and diversity – and in doing so it allows us to animate them in new kinds of relationships and shows that objectivity and certain forms of diversity can be […]

Read the full article →

Tom JacksonChilled: How Refrigeration Changed the World and Might Do So Again

August 19, 2015

Tom Jackson's Chilled: How Refrigeration Changed the World and Might Do So Again (Bloomsbury, 2015) is a completely engrossing look into the history and technology of refrigeration.  This book reads like an expanded chapter of James Burke's classic book Connections.  Refrigeration is not only one of the most important foundation stones of our technological society, it's also […]

Read the full article →

James A. SecordVisions of Science: Books and Readers at the Dawn of the Victorian Age

July 3, 2015

James A. Secord's new book is both deeply enlightening and a pleasure to read. Emerging from the 2013 Sandars Lectures in Bibliography at the Cambridge University Library, Visions of Science: Books and Readers at the Dawn of the Victorian Age (University of Chicago Press, 2014) is a fascinating exploration of books and their readers during […]

Read the full article →

Tom McLeishFaith and Wisdom in Science

May 22, 2015

Much of the public debate about the relationship between science and theology has been antagonistic or adversarial. Proponents on both sides argue that their respective claims are contradictory–that the claims of science trump and even discredit the claims of religion or theology. Some have sought to portray the relationship in a different light. The evolutionary […]

Read the full article →

Thom van DoorenFlight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction

April 17, 2015

Thom van Dooren’s new book is an absolute must-read. (I was going to qualify that with a “…for anyone who…” and realized that it really needs no qualification.) Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction (Columbia University Press, 2014) is a beautifully written and evocative meditation on extinction. The book offers (and implicates us […]

Read the full article →

A. Mark SmithFrom Sight to Light: The Passage from Ancient to Modern Optics

March 21, 2015

A. Mark Smith’s new book is a magisterial history of optics over the course of two millennia. From Sight to Light: The Passage from Ancient to Modern Optics (University of Chicago Press, 2015) suggests that the transition from ancient toward modern optics was accompanied by a turn in optical studies from a concern with explaining […]

Read the full article →

Nick WildingGalileo’s Idol: Gianfrancesco Sagredo and the Politics of Knowledge

March 15, 2015

Nick Wilding’s new book is brilliant, thoughtful, and an absolute pleasure to read. Galileo’s Idol: Gianfrancesco Sagredo and The Politics of Knowledge (University of Chicago Press, 2014) takes an unusual approach to understanding Galileo and his context by focusing its narrative on his closest friend, student, and patron, the Venetian Gianfrancesco Sagredo. Though most readers […]

Read the full article →

Edmund RussellEvolutionary History: Uniting History and Biology to Understand Life on Earth

March 11, 2015

Evolution is among the most powerful ideas in the natural sciences. Indeed, the evolutionary theorist Theodosius Dobzhansky famously said nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. Yet despite its central place in the life sciences, relatively few geographers employ evolutionary theory in their work. In his new book Evolutionary History: Uniting History and Biology […]

Read the full article →