No Family History presents compelling evidence of environmental links to breast cancer, ranging from everyday cosmetics to industrial waste. Sabrina McCormick weaves the story of one survivor with no family history into a powerful exploration of the big business of breast cancer. As drugs, pink products, and corporate sponsorships generate enormous revenue to find a cure, a growing number of experts argue that we should instead increase focus on prevention–reducing environmental exposures that have contributed to the sharp increase of breast cancer rates.
“Mobilizing Science offers a sharp and focused analysis of the complicated relationship between scientists and lay-people in grassroots movements aimed at influencing policies on issues that have a strong technical component. McCormick grounds her arguments in two detailed cases that are extremely different in their overall contexts. Yet she is able to identify similar mechanisms at work, which have useful distinctions that are helpful in thinking about these types of movements more generally.”
— William Gamson, Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Media Research and Action Project at Boston College
Mobilizing Science theoretically and empirically explores the rise of a new kind of social movement—one that attempts to empower citizens through the use of scientific research. Sabrina McCormick advances theories of social movements, development, and science and technology studies by examining how these fields intersect in cases around the globe.
McCormick grounds her argument in two very different case studies: the anti-dam movement in Brazil and the environmental breast cancer prevention movement in the U.S. These, and many other cases, show that the scientization of society, where expert knowledge shapes institutions and lay people are marginalized, gives rise to these new types of movements. Activists who engage in science often instigate new methods that result in surprising findings and innovative scientific tools; however, these movements still often fail due to superficial participatory institutions and tightly knit corporate/government relationships.