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Cultivating Science Harvesting Power

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Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 026226319X
Size: 73.49 MB
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Just south of San Francisco lies California's Salinas Valley, the heart of a multi-billion dollar agricultural industry that dominates U. S. vegetable production. How did the sleepy valley described in the stories of John Steinbeck become the nation's "salad bowl"? In Cultivating Science, Harvesting Power, Christopher R. Henke explores the ways that science helped build the Salinas Valley and California's broader farm industry. Henke focuses on the case of University of California "farm advisors," scientists stationed in counties throughout the state who have stepped forward to help growers deal with crises ranging from labor shortages to plagues of insects. These disruptions in what Henke terms industrial agriculture's "ecology of power" provide a window onto how agricultural scientists and growers have collaborated -- and struggled -- in shaping this industry. Through these interventions, Henke argues, science has served as a mechanism of repair for industrial agriculture. Basing his analysis on detailed ethnographic and historical research, Henke examines the history of state-sponsored farm advising -- in particular, its roots in Progressive Era politics -- and looks at both past and present practices by farm advisors in the Salinas Valley. He goes on to examine specific examples, including the resolution of a farm labor crisis during World War II at the Spreckels Sugar Company, the use of field trials for promoting new farming practices, and farm advisors' and growers' responses to environmental issues. Beyond this, Henke argues that the concept of repair is broadly applicable to other cases and that expertise can be deployed more generally to encourage change for the future of American agriculture.

Low Power To The People

Author: Christina Dunbar-Hester
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262028123
Size: 62.43 MB
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The United States ushered in a new era of small-scale broadcasting in 2000 when it began issuing low-power FM (LPFM) licenses for noncommercial radio stations around the country. Over the next decade, several hundred of these newly created low-wattage stations took to the airwaves. In Low Power to the People, Christina Dunbar-Hester describes the practices of an activist organization focused on LPFM during this era. Despite its origins as a pirate broadcasting collective, the group eventually shifted toward building and expanding regulatory access to new, licensed stations. These radio activists consciously cast radio as an alternative to digital utopianism, promoting an understanding of electronic media that emphasizes the local community rather than a global audience of Internet users.Dunbar-Hester focuses on how these radio activists impute emancipatory politics to the "old" medium of radio technology by promoting the idea that "microradio" broadcasting holds the potential to empower ordinary people at the local community level. The group's methods combine political advocacy with a rare commitment to hands-on technical work with radio hardware, although the activists' hands-on, inclusive ethos was hampered by persistent issues of race, class, and gender. Dunbar-Hester's study of activism around an "old" medium offers broader lessons about how political beliefs are expressed through engagement with specific technologies. It also offers insight into contemporary issues in media policy that is particularly timely as the FCC issues a new round of LPFM licenses.

Producing Power

Author: Sonja D. Schmid
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262028271
Size: 36.37 MB
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An examination of how the technical choices, social hierarchies, economic structures, and political dynamics shaped the Soviet nuclear industry leading up to Chernobyl.

Developer S Dilemma

Author: Casey O'Donnell
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262028190
Size: 18.12 MB
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Examines the creative collaborative practice of typical game developers, investigating why they work the way they do, the organzation of work, and the market forces that shape (and are shaped by) media industries.

Beyond Imported Magic

Author: Eden Medina
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262027453
Size: 36.90 MB
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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.ContributorsPedro 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

Genetic Improvement Of Bioenergy Crops

Author: Wilfred Vermerris
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 0387708057
Size: 30.53 MB
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Ethanol as an alternative fuel is receiving a lot of attention because it addresses concerns related to dwindling oil supplies, energy independence, and climate change. The majority of the ethanol in the US is produced from corn starch. With the US Department of Energy’s target that 30% of the fuel in the US is produced from renewable resources by 2030, the anticipated demand for corn starch will quickly exceed the current production of corn. This, plus the concern that less grain will become available for food and feed purposes, necessitates the use of other feedstocks for the production of ethanol. For the very same reasons, there is increasing research activity and growing interest in many other biomass crops. Genetic Improvement of Bio-Energy Crops focuses on the production of ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass, which includes corn stover, biomass from dedicated annual and perennial energy crops, and trees as well as a number of important biomass crops. The biomass is typically pretreated through thermochemical processing to make it more amenable to hydrolysis with cellulolytic enzymes. The enzymatic hydrolysis yields monomeric sugars that can be fermented to ethanol by micro-organisms. While much emphasis has been placed on the optimization of thermo-chemical pretreatment processes, production of more efficient hydrolytic enzymes, and the development of robust microbial strains, relatively little effort has been dedicated to the improvement of the biomass itself.

Eine Kurze Geschichte Der Menschheit

Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publisher: DVA
ISBN: 364110498X
Size: 22.79 MB
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Krone der Schöpfung? Vor 100 000 Jahren war der Homo sapiens noch ein unbedeutendes Tier, das unauffällig in einem abgelegenen Winkel des afrikanischen Kontinents lebte. Unsere Vorfahren teilten sich den Planeten mit mindestens fünf weiteren menschlichen Spezies, und die Rolle, die sie im Ökosystem spielten, war nicht größer als die von Gorillas, Libellen oder Quallen. Vor 70 000 Jahren dann vollzog sich ein mysteriöser und rascher Wandel mit dem Homo sapiens, und es war vor allem die Beschaffenheit seines Gehirns, die ihn zum Herren des Planeten und zum Schrecken des Ökosystems werden ließ. Bis heute hat sich diese Vorherrschaft stetig zugespitzt: Der Mensch hat die Fähigkeit zu schöpferischem und zu zerstörerischem Handeln wie kein anderes Lebewesen. Anschaulich, unterhaltsam und stellenweise hochkomisch zeichnet Yuval Harari die Geschichte des Menschen nach und zeigt alle großen, aber auch alle ambivalenten Momente unserer Menschwerdung.