Falling for Science: Objects in Mind

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Overview

edited and with an introduction by Sherry Turkle [as per Sherry]"This is a book about science, technology, and love," writes Sherry Turkle. In it, we learn how a love for science can start with a love for an object—a microscope, a modem, a mud pie, a pair of dice, a fishing rod. Objects fire imagination and set young people on a path to a career in science. In this collection, distinguished scientists, engineers, and designers as well as twenty-five years of MITstudents describe how objects encountered in childhood became part of the fabric of their scientific selves. In two major essays that frame the collection, Turkle tells a story of inspiration and connection through objects that is often neglected in standard science education and in our preoccupation with the virtual. The senior scientists' essays trace the arc of a life: the gears of a toy car introduce the chain of cause and effect to artificial intelligence pioneer Seymour Papert;microscopes disclose the mystery of how things work to MIT President and neuroanatomist SusanHockfield; architect Moshe Safdie describes how his boyhood fascination with steps, terraces, and the wax hexagons of beehives lead him to a life immersed in the complexities of design. The student essays tell stories that echo these narratives: plastic eggs in an Easter basket reveal the power of centripetal force; experiments with baking illuminate the geology of planets; LEGO bricks model worlds, carefully engineered and colonized. All of these voices—students and mentors—testify to the power of objects to awaken and inform young scientific minds. This is a truth that is simple,intuitive, and easily overlooked.Sherry Turkle is Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the SocialStudies of Science and Technology at MIT and Director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.

She is the author of The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit (Twentieth Anniversary Edition,MIT Press, 2005) and Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet and the editor ofEvocative Objects: Things We Think With (MIT Press, 2007).

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Turkle's thought-provoking collection represents an admirable invitation to further exploration of science and human sensibility, of the mysterious web of human choice and feeling." --
American Scientist

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262516761
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2011
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Sherry Turkle is Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science andTechnology at MIT and Founder and Director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. Apsychoanalytically trained sociologist and psychologist, she is the author of The SecondSelf: Computers and the Human Spirit (Twentieth Anniversary Edition, MIT Press),Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, andPsychoanalytic Politics: Jacques Lacan and Freud's French Revolution. She is the editor of Evocative Objects: Things We Think With, Falling for Science: Objects inMind, and The Inner History of Devices, all three published by the MITPress.

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