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Lost and Found in Translation: Popular Neuroscience in the Emerging Neurodisciplines

Sociological Reflections on the Neurosciences

ISBN: 978-1-84855-880-9, eISBN: 978-1-84855-881-6

ISSN: 1057-6290

Publication date: 17 October 2011

Abstract

Recent years have seen an explosion in research by scholars from the social sciences and humanities who apply neuroscience to research in their home disciplines. One way these ‘neuroscholars’ have engaged in conversations with neuroscience is by incorporating books of popular neuroscience into their work. This chapter explores some of the textual changes that result from the translation of neuroscience to popular neuroscience, and through rhetorical analysis, examines how popular neuroscience is used to support claims in emerging disciplines like neuroeconomics, neuroliterary criticism, neurolaw, and neuroeducation. An examination of scholarship from several disciplines – including sociology – reveals that popular neuroscience is often marshaled not as a translation or accommodation of science, but as science itself via two primary rhetorical strategies we have termed ‘fact finding’ and ‘theory building.’

Citation

Johnson, J.M. and Littlefield, M.M. (2011), "Lost and Found in Translation: Popular Neuroscience in the Emerging Neurodisciplines", Pickersgill, M. and Van Keulen, I. (Ed.) Sociological Reflections on the Neurosciences (Advances in Medical Sociology, Vol. 13), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 279-297. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1057-6290(2011)0000013016

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited