Beyond Imported Magic: Essays on Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America

Beyond Imported Magic: Essays on Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America

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Overview

Studies challenging the idea that technology and science flow only from global North to South.

The essays in this volume study the creation, adaptation, and use of science and technology in Latin America. They challenge the view that scientific ideas and technology travel unchanged from the global North to the global South—the view of technology as “imported magic. ” They describe not only alternate pathways for innovation, invention, and discovery but also how ideas and technologies circulate in Latin American contexts and transnationally. The contributors' explorations of these issues, and their examination of specific Latin American experiences with science and technology, offer a broader, more nuanced understanding of how science, technology, politics, and power interact in the past and present.

The essays in this book use methods from history and the social sciences to investigate forms of local creation and use of technologies; the circulation of ideas, people, and artifacts in local and global networks; and hybrid technologies and forms of knowledge production. They address such topics as the work of female forensic geneticists in Colombia; the pioneering Argentinean use of fingerprinting technology in the late nineteenth century; the design, use, and meaning of the XO Laptops created and distributed by the One Laptop per Child Program; and the development of nuclear energy in Argentina, Mexico, and Chile.

Contributors
Pedro Ignacio Alonso, Morgan G. Ames, Javiera Barandiarán, João Biehl, Anita Say Chan, Amy Cox Hall, Henrique Cukierman, Ana Delgado, Rafael Dias, Adriana Díaz del Castillo H. , Mariano Fressoli, Jonathan Hagood, Christina Holmes, Matthieu Hubert, Noela Invernizzi, Michael Lemon, Ivan da Costa Marques, Gisela Mateos, Eden Medina, María Fernanda Olarte Sierra, Hugo Palmarola, Tania Pérez-Bustos, Julia Rodriguez, Israel Rodríguez-Giralt, Edna Suárez Díaz, Hernán Thomas, Manuel Tironi, Dominique Vinck

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262526203
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 08/15/2014
Series: Inside Technology
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 410
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Eden Medina is Associate Professor of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University Bloomington and the author of Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende's Chile . She received the IEEE Life Member's Prize in Electrical History in 2007 for her work on Chile's experiments with cybernetics and socialism.

Ivan da Costa Marques is Associate Professor in the graduate school of História das Ciências e das Técnicas e Epistemologia (HCTE) at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

Christina Holmes is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anthropology at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Eden Medina is Associate Professor of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University Bloomington and the author of Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende's Chile . She received the IEEE Life Member's Prize in Electrical History in 2007 for her work on Chile's experiments with cybernetics and socialism.

Ivan da Costa Marques is Associate Professor in the graduate school of História das Ciências e das Técnicas e Epistemologia (HCTE) at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

Christina Holmes is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anthropology at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Anita Say Chan is Assistant Research Professor of Communications in the Department of Media and Cinema Studies and the Institute of Communications Research in the College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

Morgan G. Ames is a faculty member in the School of Information and Associate Director of Research at the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, & Society at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dominique Vinck is Professor at Pierre Mendès-France University and at the Polytechnic National Institute of Grenoble. He is also a member of CRISTO, a research center associated with CNRS that focuses on sociotechnical innovation and industrial organizations.

Javiera Barandiarán is Assistant Professor in the Global Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Table of Contents

Foreword Marcos Cueto vii

Preface xi

1 Introduction: Beyond imported Magic Eden Medina Ivan da Costa Marques Christina Holmes 1

Part I Latin American Perspectives on Science, Technology, and Society

2 Who Invented Brazil? Henrique Cukierman 27

3 Innovation and Inclusive Development in the South: A Critical Perspective Mariano Fressoli Rafael Dias Hernán Thomas 47

4 Working with Care: Narratives of Invisible Women Scientists Practicing Forensic Genetics in Colombia Tania Pérez-Bustos María Fernanda Olarte Sierra Adriana Díaz del Castillo H. 67

5 Ontological Politics and Latin American Local Knowledges Ivan da Costa Marques 85

6 Technology in an Expanded Field: A Review of History of Technology Scholarship on Latin America in Selected English-Language Journals Michael Lemon Eden Medina 111

Part II Local and Global Networks of Innovation

7 South Atlantic Crossings: Fingerprints, Science, and the State in Turn-of-the-Twentieth-Century Argentina Julia Rodriguez 139

8 Tropical Assemblage: The Soviet Large Panel in Cuba Hugo Palmarola Pedro Ignacio Alonso 159

9 Balancing Design: OLPC Engineers and 1CT Translations at the Periphery Anita Say Chan 181

10 Translating Magic: The Charisma of One Laptop per Child's XO Laptop in Paraguay Morgan C. Ames 207

11 Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: How an Emerging Area on the Scientific Agenda of the Core Countries Has Been Adopted and Transformed in Latin America Noela Invernizzi Matthieu Hubert Dominique Vinck 225

12 Latin America as Laboratory: The Camera and the Yale Peruvian Expeditions Amy Cox Hall 245

Part III Science, Technology, and Latin American Politics

13 Bottling Atomic Energy: Technology, Politics, and the State in Peronist Argentina Jonathan Hagood 267

14 Peaceful Atoms in Mexico Gisela Mateos Edna Suárez-Díaz 287

15 Neoliberalism as Political Technology: Expertise, Energy, and Democracy in Chile Manuel Tironi Javiera Barandiarán 305

16 Creole Interferences: A Conflict over Biodiversity and Ownership in the South of Brazil Ana Delgado Israel Rodríguez-Giralt 331

17 The Juridical Hospital: Patient-Citizen-Consumers Claiming the Right to Health in Brazilian Courts João Biehl 349

Contributors 373

Index 379

What People are Saying About This

Warwick Anderson

In this enchanting book, leading scholars conjure up surprising and gripping new configurations of science and technology in Latin America. These essays reveal brilliantly how local and regional histories haunt so-called global scientific projects. Beyond Imported Magic brings Latin America into contemporary conversations about what makes technoscience appear so worldly and cosmopolitan, even as it is experienced as situated and place-bound in practice.
This book will cast a spell on anyone who wants to understand the multiple ways in which we try, and often fail, to be both modern and global.

David J. Hess

At one level the term 'beyond imported magic' situates this collection as a contribution to the critique of the traditional North-South diffusionist stories of science and technology, but at another level the essays take the reader beyond the 'imported magic' of Northern theories of STS. By connecting us with the reflexive and critical voices of Latin American STS scholarship, this book is a great introduction to contemporary modes of rethinking STS from Latin American perspectives.

Gabriela Soto Laveaga

This exciting and thought-provoking volume shows how analyzing Latin
America through an STS lens allows us to peer more closely at known histories and uncover new and in some cases existing but understudied connections. Once we divest ourselves of outdated adjectives such as 'peripheral' to explain the role of Latin
America in science we invariably begin to see the region as a center with a long history of scientific production and with the many complexities that this entails. By placing Latin America into longer narratives of (redefined or reemphasized) scientific research, the authors crucially demonstrate science as ever-present and not a relatively new, imported phenomena of the nineteenth/twentieth centuries.

Sandra Harding

This astonishing collection provides for both science and technology studies and postcolonial students and scholars valuable new pathways for thinking and illuminatingly different conceptual approaches. These authors usher in a much-needed expansive era for historians, philosophers, sociologists, political theorists, and ethnographers of science as well as for readers in other fields. I
can't wait to teach it.

Endorsement

This exciting and thought-provoking volume shows how analyzing Latin America through an STS lens allows us to peer more closely at known histories and uncover new and in some cases existing but understudied connections. Once we divest ourselves of outdated adjectives such as 'peripheral' to explain the role of Latin America in science we invariably begin to see the region as a center with a long history of scientific production and with the many complexities that this entails. By placing Latin America into longer narratives of (redefined or reemphasized) scientific research, the authors crucially demonstrate science as ever-present and not a relatively new, imported phenomena of the nineteenth/twentieth centuries.

Gabriela Soto Laveaga, author of Jungle Laboratories: Mexican Peasants, National Projects, and the Making of the Pill

From the Publisher

At one level the term 'beyond imported magic' situates this collection as a contribution to the critique of the traditional North-South diffusionist stories of science and technology, but at another level the essays take the reader beyond the 'imported magic' of Northern theories of STS. By connecting us with the reflexive and critical voices of Latin American STS scholarship, this book is a great introduction to contemporary modes of rethinking STS from Latin American perspectives.

David J. Hess , Sociology, Vanderbilt University

This astonishing collection provides for both science and technology studies and postcolonial students and scholars valuable new pathways for thinking and illuminatingly different conceptual approaches. These authors usher in a much-needed expansive era for historians, philosophers, sociologists, political theorists, and ethnographers of science as well as for readers in other fields. I can't wait to teach it.

Sandra Harding , Distinguished Professor, Departments of Education and Gender Studies, University of California, Los Angeles; Distinguished Affiliate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University; and author of Sciences from Below

In this enchanting book, leading scholars conjure up surprising and gripping new configurations of science and technology in Latin America. These essays reveal brilliantly how local and regional histories haunt so-called global scientific projects. Beyond Imported Magic brings Latin America into contemporary conversations about what makes technoscience appear so worldly and cosmopolitan, even as it is experienced as situated and place-bound in practice. This book will cast a spell on anyone who wants to understand the multiple ways in which we try, and often fail, to be both modern and global.

Warwick Anderson , University of Sydney, author of The Collectors of Lost Souls

This exciting and thought-provoking volume shows how analyzing Latin America through an STS lens allows us to peer more closely at known histories and uncover new and in some cases existing but understudied connections. Once we divest ourselves of outdated adjectives such as 'peripheral' to explain the role of Latin America in science we invariably begin to see the region as a center with a long history of scientific production and with the many complexities that this entails. By placing Latin America into longer narratives of (redefined or reemphasized) scientific research, the authors crucially demonstrate science as ever-present and not a relatively new, imported phenomena of the nineteenth/twentieth centuries.

Gabriela Soto Laveaga , author of Jungle Laboratories: Mexican Peasants, National Projects, and the Making of the Pill

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