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The Sociology of Science, Technology and the Military: Science

Study of people and machines

Science and Pseudoscience

A highly selective bibliography of resources available through Princeton catalogs

The Sociology of Science, Technology and the Military

  Science in Many Guises

“DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.”  Bill Gates  (1995).

“It's an astonishing similarity: a common gene that takes action in some of the earliest stages of development. And it works in animals as far apart in evolution as a snail and a human.” P Z Myers, writing in the journal Science, (2009.)

Science has long been used to explain differences among groups of people.  Among the works Princeton holds which can shed light on this phenomenon  are the following.

DNA and Modern Genetics

  • Brain development and sexual orientation, by Jacques Balthazart.   San Rafael, Calif. (1537 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA 94901 USA) : Morgan & Claypool, c2012.  123 pages, illustrations. ONLINE through Princeton’s catalogs.
     “Sexual orientation (homo- vs. heterosexuality) is one of many sex differences observed in humans. Sex differences can result from differential postnatal experiences (interaction with parents, environment) or from biological factors (hormones and genes) acting pre- or postnatally. The first option is often favored to explain sexual orientation although it is supported by little experimental evidence. In contrast, many sexually differentiated behaviors are organized during early life by an irreversible action of sex steroids. . . Prenatal endocrine (or genetic) factors seem to influence significantly human sexual orientation even if a large fraction of the variance remains unexplained to date. The possible interaction between biological factors acting prenatally and postnatal social influences remains to be investigated.”  Catalog record.  
  • Everyone is African : how science explodes the myth of race, by Daniel J. Fairbanks.  Amherst, New York : Prometheus Books, 2015.  191 pages.  (F) GN289 .F35 2015. |Contents:  What is race? -- African origins -- Ancestry versus race -- "The color of their skin" -- Human diversity and health -- Human diversity and intelligence -- The perception of race.“What does science say about race? In this book a ... research geneticist [posits] that traditional notions about distinct racial differences have little scientific foundation. In short, racism is not just morally wrong; it has no basis in fact, [and] the author ... describes in detail the factors that have led to the current scientific consensus about race"—Catalog record.
  • Fatal invention : how science, politics, and big business re-create race in the twenty-first century, by Dorothy Roberts.  New York:  New Press, 2011.  388 pages.  (F) GN269 .R64 2011 also ONLINE.Explores how the construct of “Race” affects all aspects of life – social, economic, and politicalGenetics and the unsettled past : the collision of DNA, race, and history, edited by Keith Wailoo, Alondra Nelson, and Catherine Lee.  New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c2012..  357 pages., illustrations.  (f) GN289 .G463 2012.N N Also ONLINE.Contents:  Who am I? Genes and the problem of historical identity  -- Reconciliation projects : from kinship to justice  -- The unspoken significance of gender in constructing kinship, race, and nation  -- A biologist’s perspective on DNA and race in the genomics era -- The dilemma of classification : the past in the present  -- The informationalization of race : communication, databases, and the digital coding of the genome -- Forensic DNA phenotyping : continuity and change in the history of race, genetics, and policing -- Forensic DNA and the inertial power of race in American legal practice  -- Making history via DNA, making DNA from history : deconstructing the race-disease connection in admixture mapping  -- Waiting on the promise of prescribing precision : race in the era of pharmacogenomics -- French families, paper facts : genetics, nation, and explanation  -- Categorization, census, and multiculturalism : molecular politics and the material of nation -- "It’s a living history, told by the real survivors of the times-DNA" : anthropological genetics in the tradition of biology as applied history  -- Cells, gene, and stories : HeLa’s journey from labs to literature  -- The case of the genetic ancestor -- Making sense of genetics, culture, and history : a case study of a native youth education program  -- Humanitarian DNA identification in post-apartheid South Africa  -- Forbidden or forsaken? The (mis)use of a forbidden knowledge argument in research on race, DNA, and disease  -- Genetic claims and credibility : revisiting history and remaking race. 
  • Identity politics and the new genetics : re/creating categories of difference and belonging, edited by Katharina Schramm, David Skinner and Richard Rottenburg.  New York : Berghahn Books, 2012./  221 pages.  (F) GN289 .I34 2012. 
    |” Racial and ethnic categories have appeared in recent scientific work in novel ways and in relation to a variety of disciplines: medicine, forensics, population genetics and also developments in popular genealogy. Once again, biology is foregrounded in the discussion of human identity. Of particular importance is the preoccupation with origins and personal discovery and the increasing use of racial and ethnic categories in social policy. This new genetic knowledge, expressed in technology and practice, has the potential to disrupt how race and ethnicity are debated, managed and lived. As such, this volume investigates the ways in which existing social categories are both maintained and transformed at the intersection of the natural (sciences) and the cultural (politics). The contributors include medical researchers, anthropologists, historians of science and sociologists of race relations; together, they explore the new and challenging landscape where biology becomes the stuff of identity.”  Berghahn Books.
  • Race and the genetic revolution : science, myth, and culture, edited by Sheldon Krimsky and Kathleen Sloan.  New York : Columbia University Press, c2011.  296 pages, illustrations. (F) GN289 .R33 2011  also ONLINE. Contents:  A short history of the race concept / Michael Yudell -- Natural selection, the human genome, and the idea of race / Robert Pollack -- Racial disparities in databanking of DNA profiles / Michael T. Risher -- Prejudice, stigma, and DNA databases / Helen Wallace -- Ancestry testing and DNA : uses, limits, and caveat emptor / Troy Duster -- Can DNA witness race? Forensic uses of an imperfect ancestry testing technology / Duana Fullwiley -- BiDil and racialized medicine / Jonathan Kahn -- Evolutionary versus racial medicine : why it matters? / Joseph L. Graves Jr. -- Myth and mystification : the science of race and IQ / Pilar N. Ossorio -- Intelligence, race, and genetics / Robert J. Sternberg ... [et al.] -- The elusive variability of race / Patricia J. Williams -- Race, genetics, and the regulatory need for race impact assessments / Osagie K. Obasogie
  • Social life of DNA : race, reparations, and reconciliation after the genome, by Alondra Nelson.  Boston : Beacon Press, [2016].  200 pages.  (F) E185.625 .N45 2016.
    Contents:  Reconciliation projects -- Ground work -- Game changer -- The pursuit of African ancestry -- Roots revelations -- Acts of reparation -- The Rosa Parks of the reparation litigation movement -- DNA diasporas -- Racial politics after the genome.
    |"The unexpected story of how genetic testing is affecting race in America,"—Catalog record