Dr. Golem: How to Think about Medicine

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9780226113678: Dr. Golem: How to Think about Medicine

A creature of Jewish mythology, a golem is an animated being made by man from clay and water who knows neither his own strength nor the extent of his ignorance. Like science and technology, the subjects of Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch's previous volumes, medicine is also a golem, and this Dr. Golem should not be blamed for its mistakes—they are, after all, our mistakes. The problem lies in its well-meaning clumsiness.

Dr. Golem explores some of the mysteries and complexities of medicine while untangling the inherent conundrums of scientific research and highlighting its vagaries. Driven by the question of what to do in the face of the fallibility of medicine, Dr. Golem encourages a more inquisitive attitude toward the explanations and accounts offered by medical science. In eight chapters devoted to case studies of modern medicine, Collins and Pinch consider the prevalence of tonsillectomies, the placebo effect and randomized control trials, bogus doctors, CPR, the efficacy of Vitamin C in fighting cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS cures, and vaccination. They also examine the tension between the conflicting faces of medicine: medicine as science versus medicine as a source of succor; the interests of an individual versus the interests of a group; and the benefits in the short term versus success rates in the long term. Throughout, Collins and Pinch remind readers that medical science is an economic as well as a social consideration, encapsulated for the authors in the timeless struggle to balance the good health of the many—with vaccinations, for instance—with the good health of a few—those who have adverse reactions to the vaccine.

In an age when the deaths of research subjects, the early termination of clinical trials, and the research guidelines for stem cells are front-page news, Dr. Golem is a timely analysis of the limitations of medicine that never loses sight of its strengths.

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About the Author:

Harry Collins is Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology at Cardiff University; director of the Centre for the Study of Knowledge, Expertise, and Science; and author of Gravity's Shadow: The Search for Gravitational Waves, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Trevor Pinch is professor in and chair of the Department of Science and Technology Studies and professor of sociology at Cornell University. Together, they are the authors of The Golem: What You Should Know about Science and The Golem at Large: What You Should Know about Technology.

From Publishers Weekly:

The golem is a beast of Yiddish lore, made of mud and, when brought to life, is able to defend its master against any onslaught. But the golem is also volatile-it can go out of control and wreak wanton destruction. This is the cautioning metaphor the authors took up in their previous books on science (The Golem) and technology (The Golem at Large) and which they now apply to medicine, focusing each of eight chapters on a different aspect of modern medicine's capabilities and shortcomings. According to the authors' review of numerous studies, "Medicine as we know it does little to increase the average expectation of life; diet, hygiene, and lifestyle have a much greater impact" Their answer is that we should understand more precisely what medicine is-and especially is not-capable of. In a compelling dissection of the placebo effect and its logical quandaries, and in a disturbing analysis of tonsillitis' over-diagnosis, the authors make it clear that medicine can be inadequate and imprecise, with sometimes dangerous outcomes. This is not to say that it is to be discarded; the authors' straightforward writing makes this message easy to grasp, but answers to the big questions brought up are buried beneath the case studies.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2008. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Dr. Golem explores some of the mysteries and complexities of medicine while untangling the inherent conundrums of scientific research and highlighting its vagaries. In eight chapters devoted to case studies of modern medicine, Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch consider the prevalence of tonsillectomies, the placebo effect and randomized control trials, bogus doctors, CPR, the efficacy of vitamin C in fighting cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS cures, and vaccination. Throughout, Collins and Pinch remind readers that medical science is an economic as well as a social consideration, encapsulated for the authors in the timeless struggle to balance the good health of the many with the good health of a few. Dr. Golem is a timely analysis of the limitations of medicine that never loses sight of its strengths. Nº de ref. de la librería AAH9780226113678

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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2008. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Dr. Golem explores some of the mysteries and complexities of medicine while untangling the inherent conundrums of scientific research and highlighting its vagaries. In eight chapters devoted to case studies of modern medicine, Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch consider the prevalence of tonsillectomies, the placebo effect and randomized control trials, bogus doctors, CPR, the efficacy of vitamin C in fighting cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS cures, and vaccination. Throughout, Collins and Pinch remind readers that medical science is an economic as well as a social consideration, encapsulated for the authors in the timeless struggle to balance the good health of the many with the good health of a few. Dr. Golem is a timely analysis of the limitations of medicine that never loses sight of its strengths. Nº de ref. de la librería AAH9780226113678

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Descripción The University of Chicago Press. Paperback. Estado de conservación: new. BRAND NEW, Dr. Golem: How to Think About Medicine, Harry Collins, Trevor Pinch, Dr. Golem explores some of the mysteries and complexities of medicine while untangling the inherent conundrums of scientific research and highlighting its vagaries. In eight chapters devoted to case studies of modern medicine, Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch consider the prevalence of tonsillectomies, the placebo effect and randomized control trials, bogus doctors, CPR, the efficacy of vitamin C in fighting cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS cures, and vaccination. Throughout, Collins and Pinch remind readers that medical science is an economic as well as a social consideration, encapsulated for the authors in the timeless struggle to balance the good health of the many with the good health of a few. Dr. Golem is a timely analysis of the limitations of medicine that never loses sight of its strengths. Nº de ref. de la librería B9780226113678

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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2008. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Dr. Golem explores some of the mysteries and complexities of medicine while untangling the inherent conundrums of scientific research and highlighting its vagaries. In eight chapters devoted to case studies of modern medicine, Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch consider the prevalence of tonsillectomies, the placebo effect and randomized control trials, bogus doctors, CPR, the efficacy of vitamin C in fighting cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS cures, and vaccination. Throughout, Collins and Pinch remind readers that medical science is an economic as well as a social consideration, encapsulated for the authors in the timeless struggle to balance the good health of the many with the good health of a few. Dr. Golem is a timely analysis of the limitations of medicine that never loses sight of its strengths. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780226113678

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