Technologies that alter subjectivity
Author: Gill Haddow

Using a range of social science methods and drawing on the sociology of the body, biomedicine and technology, Haddow invites readers of ‘Embodiment and everyday cyborgs’ to consider whether they might prefer organs from other humans or non-human animals (known as xenotransplantation), or implantable ‘cybernetic’ technologies to replace their own? In discovering that individuals have a very clear preference for human organs but not for the non-human, Haddow suggests that the inside of our bodies may be more important to our sense of identity than may have previously been thought.

Whereas organs from other (once) living bodies can contaminate the body of the recipient (simultaneously altering subjectivity so they inherit traits e.g. gender), cybernetic technology is acclimatised to and becomes part of the body and subjectivity. In organ transplantation the organ has the potential to alter subjectivity – whereas with cybernetic technology it does not alter identity but is incorporated into existing subjectivity.

Technologies are clean from previous organic fleshy associations and although they may malfunction or cause infection, they do not alter identity in the way that an organ might. Yet, we are arguably creating a 21st-century identity crisis through an increasing reliance on cybernetic technologies such as implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) creating new forms of ‘un-health’ and a new category of patient called ‘everyday cyborgs’ who have to develop strategies to incorporate device alienation as well as reinserting human agency over ICD activation.

Theatre of Debate
Simon Parry

proceeded from specific concepts, diagnoses or technologies often associated with biomedicine. In the 1990s this included HIV/AIDS, Friedreich ataxia, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, xenotransplantation, depression and genetic modification. In the 2000s this meant stem cells, organ transplants, behavioural genetics, post-traumatic stress, dementia, animals in health research, climate change, surveillance, clinical trials and electronic patient records. In the 2010s they tackled pharmacogenetics, cancer, neurotechnologies, nutrition and diabetes. While live theatre

in Science in performance
Disease, conflict and nursing in the British Empire, 1880–1914
Angharad Fletcher

be viewed within the context of more general sanitary reforms designed to address the immediate threat of plague and at the same time, demonstrate that the colony was doing all it could to improve standards of cleanliness, in accordance with new understandings of hygiene science. The period between 1880 and 1914 saw significant shifts in the understanding of disease and the provision of healthcare, underpinned by transnational developments in biomedicine, economic priorities and broader social changes. The plague bacillus, for example, was first isolated in 1894 in

in Colonial caring
Open Access (free)
Theatre and the politics of engagement
Author: Simon Parry

This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.

Open Access (free)
Coreen Anne McGuire

embraced as objective ways of testing, which could confound malingerers and allow for testing of large groups of people. The resulting disconnect between objective and subjective measures has emerged as a crucial theme in this book. Biomedicine demands quantitative data, and yet there is growing realisation that testing procedures fail to measure breathlessness or capture the rich realm of feeling associated with it. Despite the multidimensional aspects of hearing and breathing, hearing loss and breathlessness that were not obviously biological were misinterpreted in

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
Open Access (free)
Environmental justice and citizen science in a post-truth age
Editors: Thom Davies and Alice Mah

This book examines the relationship between environmental justice and citizen science, focusing on enduring issues and new challenges in a post-truth age. Debates over science, facts, and values have always been pivotal within environmental justice struggles. For decades, environmental justice activists have campaigned against the misuses of science, while at the same time engaging in community-led citizen science. However, post-truth politics has threatened science itself. This book makes the case for the importance of science, knowledge, and data that are produced by and for ordinary people living with environmental risks and hazards. The international, interdisciplinary contributions range from grassroots environmental justice struggles in American hog country and contaminated indigenous communities, to local environmental controversies in Spain and China, to questions about “knowledge justice,” citizenship, participation, and data in citizen science surrounding toxicity. The book features inspiring studies of community-based participatory environmental health and justice research; different ways of sensing, witnessing, and interpreting environmental injustice; political strategies for seeking environmental justice; and ways of expanding the concepts and forms of engagement of citizen science around the world. While the book will be of critical interest to specialists in social and environmental sciences, it will also be accessible to graduate and postgraduate audiences. More broadly, the book will appeal to members of the public interested in social justice issues, as well as community members who are thinking about participating in citizen science and activism. Toxic Truths includes distinguished contributing authors in the field of environmental justice, alongside cutting-edge research from emerging scholars and community activists.

Open Access (free)
Towards a future of techno-organic hybridity
Gill Haddow

recourse of the unique abilities of non-human animal organs – better the ‘clean machine’ than the ‘dirty animal’. Everyday cyborgs offer a narrative of the contemporary practices of modifying human bodies through bionic, prosthetic and cybernetic technologies that invite a critical understanding of the consequences for the person and whether enhancement does make people better (Van Den Eede, 2015 ). Increasingly, and running parallel to such a discourse on human enhancement, is a reliance on biomedicine for technological solutions to the developed world health

in Embodiment and everyday cyborgs
The Fowlers and modern brain disorder
Kristine Swenson

this heterodox medical practice. Phrenology had enjoyed widespread, if controversial, application within Western medicine in the century's first decades, but by the 1840s, it had been marginalised and largely branded as quackery, as laboratory-based biomedicine increasingly monopolised the medical marketplace. Phrenology began in the late eighteenth century under the Viennese physician Franz Joseph Gall, who argued that the brain is an aggregate of mental ‘organs’, each with localised and specific functions such as fidelity, ambition, or poetic

in Progress and pathology
Daktar Binodbihari Ray Kabiraj and the metaphorics of the nineteenth-century Ayurvedic body
Projit Bihari Mukharji

To varying extents, all these countries have carved out officially recognised spaces for various so-called ‘traditional medicines’ within their state health systems, albeit often at a level subordinate to biomedicine. The nomenclature notwithstanding, these allegedly ‘traditional medicines’ do share the contemporary present with biomedicine and have done so for some time now. Yet it is partly by their continued framing as ‘traditional’ that their official subordination to biomedicine and their frequent erasure from scholarly overviews of the medical present is

in Progress and pathology
Open Access (free)
Tania Anne Woloshyn

to the individual patient. This is the focus of Section II . Despite being latent, variable, and unique to each patient, practitioners spent enormous time and energy trying to standardise erythema production so as to ‘dose’ ultraviolet radiation safely and effectively. This tension between standardisation and individualisation, the hallmarks of biomedicine and holism respectively, lay at the heart of a struggle to control and legitimise light

in Soaking up the rays