Reading list

Science is not neutral ground

Radical reads for STEM students!

Verso Books25 August 2022

Science is not neutral ground

During the pandemic we have seen the politicization of fields which many previously perceived as politically neutral. But STEM has never been neutral ground. Technology is weaponised in the workplace and on the battlefield to maintain the domination of the imperialist ruling class. In the UK, the ideal of universal healthcare is being eroded by the application of market principles, while 30 million Americans lack health insurance. And the rise of algorithms and AI are refiguring contemporary capitalism resulting in a manifold of oppressions and the reinforcement of biases.



[book-strip index="1" style="buy"]

Feyerabend critiques the social function and direction of science today.

[book-strip index="2" style="buy"]

In this analysis of the natural sciences Roy Bhaskar provides a definitive critique of the traditional, positivist conception of science and stakes out an alternative, realist position.

[book-strip index="3" style="buy"]

Draws the lines of connection between scientific theories and economic realities.

[book-strip index="4" style="buy"]

“Civilization or the militarization of science?”

Paul Virilio explores the dominion of techno-science over our lives, and deaths.

[book-strip index="5" style="buy"]

Traces the revolution in statistics and probability that has quietly underwritten the explosion of machine learning, big data and predictive algorithms that now decide many aspects of our lives.

[book-strip index="6" style="buy"]

A consensus-shattering account of automation technologies and their effect on workplaces and the labor market.

[book-strip index="7" style="buy"]

Behind the gleaming surface of automation and algorithms stand millions of workers, often in the Global South, manually processing data for a pittance.

[book-strip index="8" style="buy"]

The first comprehensive study of a revolutionary approach to mental health care.

[book-strip index="9" style="buy"]

Electric cars are not a silver bullet for sustainability, autonomous vehicles won’t guarantee road safety, and micromobility services will not replace car travel any sooner than we will see the arrival of the long-awaited flying car.

[book-strip index="10" style="buy"]

A journey through the uncomputable remains of computer history.

[book-strip index="11" style="buy"]

A searing analysis of health and illness under capitalism from hosts of the hit podcast “Death Panel”.

[book-strip index="12" style="buy"]

A masterful survey of the history of Marxist philosophy of science.

[book-strip index="13" style="buy"]

Today, the market has arrived into outer space and exploration is the plaything of superrich technology billionaires, who plan to privatise the mineral wealth for themselves. Are other worlds really possible?

[book-strip index="14" style="buy"]

The Care Manifesto puts care at the heart of the debates of our current crisis: from intimate care - childcare, healthcare, elder care - to care for the natural world.

All books are 40% off as part of our Student Reading Sale. Ends September 30 at 11:59PM EST. See all our student reading lists here.

Science in a Free Society
No study in the philosophy of science created such controversy in the seventies as Paul Feyerabend’s Against Method. In this work, Feyerabend reviews that controversy, and extends his critique beyo...
A Realist Theory of Science
A Realist Theory of Science is one of the few books that have changed our understanding of the philosophy of science. In this analysis of the natural sciences, with a particular focus on the experi...
The Crisis in Physics
Christopher Caudwell’s The Crisis in Physics is a stylish and readable analysis of the lines of connection between scientific theories and economic realities. Caudwell provides a trenchant critique...
The Information Bomb
“Civilization or the militarization of science?”With this typically hyperbolic and provocative question as a starting point, Paul Virilio explores the dominion of techno-science, cyberwar and the n...
Revolutionary Mathematics
Our finances, politics, media, opportunities, information, shopping and knowledge production are mediated through algorithms and their statistical approaches to knowledge; increasingly, these metho...
Automation and the Future of Work
Silicon Valley titans, politicians, techno-futurists and social critics have united in arguing that we are living on the cusp of an era of rapid technological automation, heralding the end of work ...
Work Without the Worker
We are told that the future of work will be increasingly automated. Algorithms, processing massive amounts of information at startling speed, will lead us to a new world of effortless labour and a ...
The Man Who Closed the Asylums
In 1961, when Franco Basaglia arrived outside the grim walls of the Gorizia asylum, on the Italian border with Yugoslavia, it was a place of horror, a Bedlam for the mentally sick and excluded, r...
Road to Nowhere
Silicon Valley wants us to believe that technology will revolutionize our cities and the ways we move around. Autonomous vehicles will make us safer, greener, and more efficient. On-demand servi...
Narrating some lesser known episodes from the deep history of digital machines, Alexander R. Galloway explains the technology that drives the world today, and the fascinating people who brought the...
Health Communism
In this fiery, theoretical tour de force, Beatrice Adler-Bolton and Artie Vierkant offer an overview of life and death under capitalism and argue for a new global left politics aimed at severing th...
Marxism and the Philosophy of Science
Skillfully deploying a large cast of characters, Sheehan retraces the development of Marxist philosophy of science through detailed and highly readable accounts of the debates that have characteriz...
Space Forces
Many societies have imagined going to live in space. What they want to do once they get up there - whether conquering the unknown, establishing space "colonies," privatising the moon's resources -...
The Care Manifesto
The Care Manifesto puts care at the heart of the debates of our current crisis: from intimate care—childcare, healthcare, elder care—to care for the natural world. We live in a world where careless...

Filed under: student-reading-2022, versoreadinglists