From School Library Journal
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Written by scholars, the 400 alphabetically arranged entries are objective, 1,000-word narratives on individual technologies, objects, systems, or products. Coverage is heaviest in the areas of computers (Computers, analog; Global Positioning System; World Wide Web); health and medicine (Antibiotics, use after 1945; Dentistry; Intensive care and life support); and transportation (Air traffic control systems; Automobiles; Transport, foodstuffs). A further reading list of monographs, periodicals, and Internet sites follows each entry, as do see also references. There are 30 longer survey entries that explore broader questions of technological systems, such as Agriculture and food and Energy and power.
The scope is international, and the language, while sophisticated, is generally free enough of technical jargon for the serious student. Occasional black-and-white illustrations help to clarify the text. The index, however, is too broad. Names are largely excluded, as in the case of Dolly, the cloned sheep. Dolly is not indexed at all, and the closest subject in the index, cloning-animals, only references one of multiple relevant entries.
Topics such as artificial intelligence, mass spectrometry, and nanotechnology are also covered in any standard science and technology encyclopedia, including, for example, the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (9th ed., McGraw-Hill, 2002) and Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia (9th ed., Wiley, 2003). Still, this set offers some unique content and emphasizes the humanistic element of technology. It is probably closest in scope to The Cutting Edge: An Encyclopedia of Advanced Technologies (Oxford, 2000), which features only 102 less-detailed entries on newsworthy technology and its impact on everyday life but at a much cheaper price. The Facts On File Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Society (1999) is also somewhat similar, but it lacks satisfactory further reading lists. Recommended for academic and large public libraries. Susan Gardner
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