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Masons, Tricksters and Cartographers: Comparative Studies in the Sociology of Scientific and Indigenous Knowledge (Studies in the History of Science, Technology & Medicine) 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-9058230010
ISBN-10: 9058230015
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Editorial Reviews

Review

DATAFIELD Turnbull is an innovative theorist and astute writer, and this book makes a major contribution to our understanding of the ways knowledge practices work. - History of Consciousness Department, University of California at Santa Cruz, USA

DATAFIELD This beautiful, passionate and inspiring book is essential reading for everyone interested in post colonialism and science and technology studies. - History of Consciousness Department, University of California at Santa Cruz, USA
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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in the History of Science, Technology & Medicine
  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis; 1 edition (August 3, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9058230015
  • ISBN-13: 978-9058230010
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,998,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Professor Turnbull's particular speciality is the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge. This is a controversial field, since some argue that science (Western techno-Science) is objective truth itself and therefore can not be a subject for sociology whose subject is people.
Turnbull shows that knowledge systems are always local human constructs. Masons building cathedrals without blueprints, Australian aborigines navigating across a trackless land through the dream-time, and western scientists engaged in turbulence research are a few of the examples of what he calls "knowledge spaces."
While this is a textbook-and a very radical and bold one at that-Turnbull is a very clear writer. This isn't jargon wars, and the material presented is truly fascinating.
David Turnbull evidently hails from down under. His excellent 1993 work "Maps are Territories: Science Is an Atlas" is available to us on amazon.com thanks to the University of Chicago Press. (This book, with its beautiful "Fool's Cap" world map, is from Holland).
Turnbull argues for the validity and worth of all knowledge systems. We need science to deal with the problems science itself has created (nuclear waste, for example), but we need diversity of approach to deal with local problems and to understand what approaches other knowledge systems employ. Turnbull's examination of malaria vaccine research best demonstrates these issues.
It's hard to stay calm while writing this review 'cause the book was just so exciting. Reading "Maps Are Territories..." might prepare the cartographically inclined for this witty and way deep book.
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Format: Paperback
I knew D Turnbull by reading John Law's work. Turnbull's work encompasses quite of an eclectic array of case studies (ranging from Gothic cathedral building knowledge transference to Micronesian navigation or the 'art/science' of the cartographers) where he analyses knowledge production and the intricacies to transfer (by transforming) such knowledge. I really recommend this book.
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