Battleground: Science and Technology
by Sal Restivo, Peter H. Denton, Editors
October 2008, 616pp, 7x10
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-34164-9
$203, £157, 177€, A279
eBook Available: 978-1-56720-743-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The modern world is filled with debate and controversy, and science and technology—the most characteristic features of the modern world—are not immune. Science and technology are implicated in many if not all of the issues, troubles, and problems students are likely to come across in their classes and in their everyday lives. Science and technology serve as a primary pathway to understanding front page headlines on everything from war to AIDS, and from oil exploration to global warming. Battleground: Science and Technology examines the most hot-button issues involving science and technology and provides a balanced assessment of the arguments on all sides of the often strident debates.

The approximately 100 issues examined in Battleground: Science and Technology include topics in the brain sciences, including the controversies over the cause of autism and the reliability of memory, as well as the debates over parapsychology; debates surrounding information technology, such as only privacy, the impact of video games on social behavior, and the advent of virtual reality; the complexity over drugs and medications, such as the testing of the efficacy of medications, the war on recreational drugs, and the costs of pharmaceutical research; and hot-button topics that are constantly in the news, such as evolution and creationism, DNA testing, stem-cell research, and genetically modified organisms.

Each entry provides a list of accessible resources useful for further research.

Reviews

"This collection of essays by various authors, wide ranging in their backgrounds and qualifications and covering a wide expanse of topics, goes beyond the scope of most encyclopedia-type volumes....This resource will prove useful to teachers and students. It summarizes in one compact place many of the aspects of issues around which some controversy swirls. These essays, especially the lengthier ones, can serve as starting points for more elaborate and in-depth investigation of topics. This text offers instant access (through the table of contents) to information that can lead in many directions for more investigations. It's a worthwhile addition to a classroom resource bank for information on the implications of scientific and technological applications to society."—NSTA Recommends, June 30, 2005

"This is the seventh in the publisher’s Battleground series exploring today’s controversial topics. The editors of this entry approach science and technology as they relate to culture and society. However, 'science and technology' is a much broader subject than those treated in other Battleground titles, and that makes the coverage here seem less focused. Topics range from the really broad, such as Social sciences, to the very specific, such as Green building design. In between are subjects as varied as Censorship, Coal, and Healing touch. The contributors have a range of backgrounds and experience, some not directly related to their topics. Some of their contributions are philosophic discussions of the assigned topics, while others give more prosaic accounts of the history of their topics and the pros and cons. There is a good index, and crossreferences are provided for each entry. Each entry also includes a selection of further readings, the currency of which varies. The reading level varies from article to article as well, but overall this would probably be best suited for a college-level audience looking for brief introductions. It’s hard to know how libraries will use this title, since the treatment is so broad that it is likely to be overlooked by a patron doing research on a specific topic."—Booklist, May 1, 2009

"Examples of subjects tackled by the volumes include alien abductions, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, chaos theory, drugs and direct-to-consumer advertising, the Gaia hypothesis, genetically modified organisms, green building design, information technology, intellectual property, medical marijuana, parapsychology, quarks, reproductive technology, research ethics, the scientific method, urban warfare, virtual reality, waste management, and wind energy. The entries are written in a style accessible to beginning undergraduates and up."—SciTech Book News, March 1, 2009

"Battleground: Science & Technology offers a basic introduction and overview to the topics addressed...This set is most appropriate for high school libraries, public libraries, and community college library that have a need for introductory material on the topics presented."—ARBA, March 1, 2009

"Battleground Science and Technology, which also includes a substantial bibliography and an index, would be an appropriate acquisition for public and academic libraries."—Catholic Library World, December 1, 2009
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