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The Alchemy of Us By Ainissa Ramirez

The Alchemy of Us by Ainissa Ramirez

Condition - Like New
$30.99
Out of stock

Summary

In the bestselling tradition of Stuff Matters and The Disappearing Spoon: a clever and engaging look at materials, the innovations they made possible, and how these technologies changed us.

The Alchemy of Us Summary

The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another by Ainissa Ramirez

In the bestselling tradition of Stuff Matters and The Disappearing Spoon: a clever and engaging look at materials, the innovations they made possible, and how these technologies changed us.

In The Alchemy of Us, scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez examines eight inventions-clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips-and reveals how they shaped the human experience. Ramirez tells the stories of the woman who sold time, the inventor who inspired Edison, and the hotheaded undertaker whose invention pointed the way to the computer. She describes, among other things, how our pursuit of precision in timepieces changed how we sleep; how the railroad helped commercialize Christmas; how the necessary brevity of the telegram influenced Hemingway's writing style; and how a young chemist exposed the use of Polaroid's cameras to create passbooks to track black citizens in apartheid South Africa. These fascinating and inspiring stories offer new perspectives on our relationships with technologies.

Ramirez shows not only how materials were shaped by inventors but also how those materials shaped culture, chronicling each invention and its consequences-intended and unintended. Filling in the gaps left by other books about technology, Ramirez showcases little-known inventors-particularly people of color and women-who had a significant impact but whose accomplishments have been hidden by mythmaking, bias, and convention. Doing so, she shows us the power of telling inclusive stories about technology. She also shows that innovation is universal-whether it's splicing beats with two turntables and a microphone or splicing genes with two test tubes and CRISPR.

The Alchemy of Us Reviews

By explaining how inventions both exotic and mundane transformed society, Ramirez's ingenious survey illuminates the effect of science in a manner accessible to a wide readership.

-Publishers Weekly

[T]echnology buffs should appreciate Ramirez's efforts to raise the attention of issues impacting scientists, engineers, and technologists.

-Library Journal

About Ainissa Ramirez

Ainissa Ramirez is a materials scientist and sought-after public speaker and science communicator. A Brown and Stanford graduate, she has worked as a research scientist at Bell Labs and held academic positions at Yale University and MIT. She has written for Time, Scientific American, the American Scientist, and Forbes, and makes regular appearances on PBS's SciTech Now.

Additional information

GOR010842541
9780262043809
0262043807
The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another by Ainissa Ramirez
Used - Like New
Hardback
MIT Press Ltd
2020-04-03
328
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
The book has been read, but looks new. The book cover has no visible wear, and the dust jacket is included if applicable. No missing or damaged pages, no tears, possible very minimal creasing, no underlining or highlighting of text, and no writing in the margins

Customer Reviews - The Alchemy of Us