11 de marzo de 2016

NEW BOOK / NOVEDAD BIBLIOGRÁFICA / NOU LLIBRE: Geophysics, Realism, and Industry

Geophysics, Realism, and Industry
How Commercial Interests Shaped Geophysical Conceptions, 1900-1960
Aitor Anduaga
Oxford University Press, January 2016, 339 p.
ISBN: 9780198755159 
Did industry and commerce affect the concepts, values and epistemic foundations of different sciences? If so, how and to what extent? This book suggests that the most significant influence of industry on science in the two case studies treated here had to do with the issue of realism. Using wave propagation as the common thread, this is the first book to simultaneously analyse the emergence of realist attitudes towards the entities of the ionosphere and of the earth's crust. However, what led physicists and engineers to adopt realist attitudes? This book suggests that a new kind of realism --a realism of social and cultural origins- is the answer: a preliminary, entity realism responding to specific commercial and engineering interests, and a realism that was neither strictly instrumental nor exclusively operational. The book has two parts: while Part I focuses on the study of the ionosphere and how the British radio industry affected ionospheric physics, Part II focuses on the study of the Earth's crust and how the American oil industry affected crustal seismology.
REVIEWS:
"Anduaga presents a challenging, deeply informed analysis of the effects of commercial interest on the content of 20th-century science. The global sciences of radio propagation and seismic study of Earth's interior provide the scenes for his critique of realism and its social/cultural origins in commercial science. This book provides essential background and tools for historians of modern global science." --Greg Good, American Institute of Physics
"Remote sensing is a severely underdeveloped fertile ground for historians of science and technology to explore important philosophical, technical, conceptual, social, and political issues. Anduaga's Geophysics, Realism, and Industry breaks the ice and further advances the area by comparing the development of radio ionospheric propagation with that of crustal seismology in the twentieth century. For readers interested in the complex interplay between ontology and industry in light of a new experimental technology, this book is highly recommended." --Chen-Pang Yeang, University of Toronto, Canada
"Anduaga takes readers on a journey through important but little-explored realms of twentieth century geophysics. A must-read for those interested in the rise of the modern earth sciences." --Ronald E. Doel, Florida State University, USA