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June 2022 Vol. 59 No. 10

University of Chicago Press

The following review appeared in the June 2022 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email

Science & Technology

Nature remade: engineering life, envisioning worlds, ed. by Luis A. Campos et al. Chicago, 2021. 320p bibl index ISBN 9780226783260, $135.00; ISBN 9780226783437 pbk, $45.00; ISBN 9780226783574 ebook, $44.99.

Many contributions to this unusual collection are from scholars in the humanities, who nevertheless bring interesting material to bear on areas of experimental biology and biotechnology. For example, an essay describing feral pigs in the American South (by Abraham Gibson) explores ambivalence about their status as an invasive species, prey animal, or possible biomedical resource. Another contribution, describing the development of orange farming in Palestine during the British Mandate period (by Tiago Saraiva) shines new light on the Zionist settler project. Especially interesting is the contribution charting the rise and decline of Michael Crichton's 1969 novel The Andromeda Strain as a frequent reference for scientists, politicians, journalists, and the public when discussing extraterrestrial contamination and genetic engineering (by Luis Campos). Some essays will leave readers wanting more information, such as the contribution (by Alexandra Ginsburg) about data collections from US nuclear weapons tests conducted in the Pacific during the 1940s and 1950s. Least successful is an essay denouncing geoengineering, using language more often associated with newspaper op-ed journalism than sober academic discourse (e.g., fantasy, sketchy, and disruptive). Notwithstanding the now-outdated climate policy perspective the latter essay expresses, the contributions considered as a whole make this a generally informative if controversial volume.

--J. C. Hickman, Berry College

Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates. Graduate students and faculty.