What are the new challenges facing those who chronicle the history of recent science, medicine
and technology? What makes their task distinct from what historians faced in earlier times?
Writing Recent Science offers a rare and engaging look
at writing contemporary history, when historical records are more likely preserved on fragile computer hard-drives
rather than in filing cabinets. Have historians failed to consider what oral and photographic evidence can reveal?
Are historians fixated on "East-West" scientific transactions, ignoring the profound explosion of "North-South"
relations? Are science journalists, seduced by Carl Sagan, ignoring the somber lessons of Thomas Kuhn?
Writing Recent Science features original contributions by sixteen distinguished writers
and historians who face these challenges. It includes a work of historical fiction and the fascinating story of
how a review criticizing a contract history of English medicine was nearly barred from publication, a case that
reverberated all the way to the British Cabinet Office. It raises important questions: how does secrecy affect
modern science? How have politicians inappropriately used history to justify contemporary policy for victims of
eugenics practice? Should biography now confront the ethical dimensions of scientists' lives?
This book is a superb read for those fascinated by the role of science, medicine and technology
in contemporary society.
Published September 2006. ISBN 0415391423 paperback
the book now. [Available in hardback and paperback editions -- correct price for paperback
is $43 . Both hardback and paperback are currently available.]