The title is just right: Mody invites us to consider -- at once and in the same frame -- innovation in a scientific and technological instrument and innovation in organizational forms. The one gives practitioners astounding abilities to represent and intervene at micro-levels; the other permits them to extend the institutional environments in which the instrument can thrive. Instrumental Community is a major achievement.
(Steven Shapin, Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University)
This original and absorbing book brings into focus the mutual development of a new instrument -- the scanning tunneling microscope -- and its community of users. Paying close attention to both technical details and social dynamics, Mody offers keen insights on the interfaces between research and commerce, science and engineering, and the genesis of nanotechnology. A story of applied science in action.
(Angela N. H. Creager, Princeton University)
In Instrumental Community, Cyrus Mody provides one of the richest analyses to date of the ways a new tool becomes an obligatory instrument -- and how the instrument and its users evolve in tandem. Like the powerful microscopes at the center of this story, Instrumental Community reveals surprising structures and craggy interfaces: between academic disciplines, corporate laboratories, and heterogeneous networks of researchers; scientific research and commercialization; and hype and hope in the crystallization of nanotechnology. A remarkable achievement.
(David Kaiser, author of Drawing Theories Apart
and How the Hippies Saved Physics
Mody has shown us what can happen when historical scholarship of the highest quality is applied to an area of science and technology.
(Chris Toumey Nature Nanotechnology
About the Author
Cyrus C. M. Mody is Assistant Professor in the History Department at Rice University.