The Golem At Large

T.J. Pinch

In the very successful prequel to this book called The Golem: What You Should Know About Science, Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch likened science to the Golem, a creature from Jewish mythology, a powerful, bumbling giant which, while not evil, can be dangerous because of its clumsiness. In this second volume, the authors now consider the Golem of technology. Using the same successful format, a series of case studies, they demonstrate that imperfections in technology are related to uncertainties in science described in the first volume. The case studies cover the role of the Patriot anti-missile missile in the Gulf War, the Challenger space shuttle tragedy, tests of nuclear fuel flasks and of anti-misting kerosene as a fuel for airplanes, economic modeling, the question of the origins of oil, analysis of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and the contribution of lay expertise to the analysis of treatments for AIDS. Anyone who looks at technology with a wary eye will love The Golem at Large.

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