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RECENT PUBLICATIONS

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May 2019
University of Chicago Press
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A Contagious Cause

Robin Wolfe Scheffler
The American Hunt for Cancer Viruses and The Rise of Molecular Medicine
Is cancer a contagious disease? In the late nineteenth century this idea, and attending efforts to identify a cancer “germ,” inspired fear and ignited controversy. Yet speculation that cancer might be contagious also contained a kernel of hope that the strategies used against infectious diseases, especially vaccination, might be able to subdue this dread disease. Today, nearly one in six cancers are thought to have an infectious cause, but the path to that understanding was twisting and turbulent.

A Contagious Cause is the first book to trace the century-long hunt for a human cancer virus in America, an effort whose scale exceeded that of the Human Genome Project. The government’s campaign merged the worlds of molecular biology, public health, and military planning in the name of translating laboratory discoveries into useful medical therapies. However, its expansion into biomedical research sparked fierce conflict. Many biologists dismissed the suggestion that research should be planned and the idea of curing cancer by a vaccine or any other means as unrealistic, if not dangerous. Although the American hunt was ultimately fruitless, this effort nonetheless profoundly shaped our understanding of life at its most fundamental levels. A Contagious Cause links laboratory and legislature as has rarely been done before, creating a new chapter in the histories of science and American politics.


About the Author:
Robin Wolfe Scheffler is the Leo Marx Career Development Chair in the History and Culture of Science and Technology at the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT.

May 2019
Cornell University Press
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A Field in Flux

Robert B. McKersie
Sixty Years of Industrial Relations
A Field in Flux chronicles the extraordinary journey of industrial and labor relations expert Robert McKersie. One of the most important industrial relations scholars and leaders of our time, McKersie pioneered the study of labor negotiations, helping to formulate the concepts of distributive and integrative bargaining that have served as analytical tools for understanding the bargaining process more generally.

The book provides a window into McKersie's life and work and its impact on the evolution of labor and industrial relations. Spanning six decades, the reader learns about the intersection of labor and the Civil Rights movement, the watershed moment of the Air Traffic Controller's Strike, his relationship with George Schultz, the shift from labor relations to human resource management, and McKersie's role in the seminal cases (Motorola, GM, Toyota) of the labor movement.

A Field in Flux serves two important functions: it demonstrates how people have influenced past employment policies and practices when called to action in critical situations, and it seeks to instill confidence in those who will be called on to address the big challenges facing the future of work today and in the years to come.

During a time when the basic values of industrial relations are being challenged and violated, McKersie argues that the profession must adapt to the changing world of work and not forget about the value placed on efficiency, equity, and inclusive employment policies and practices.


About the Author
Robert McKersie is Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Foreword by Thomas A. Kochan, the George M. Bunker Professor of Management at MIT Sloan School of Management.


April 2019
WW Norton & Company
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The Age of Living Machines

Susan Hockfield
How Biology Will Build the Next Technology Revolution
From the former president of MIT, the story of the next technology revolution, and how it will change our lives.

A century ago, discoveries in physics came together with engineering to produce an array of astonishing new technologies: radios, telephones, televisions, aircraft, radar, nuclear power, computers, the Internet, and a host of still-evolving digital tools. These technologies so radically reshaped our world that we can no longer conceive of life without them.

Today, the world’s population is projected to rise to well over 9.5 billion by 2050, and we are currently faced with the consequences of producing the energy that fuels, heats, and cools us. With temperatures and sea levels rising, and large portions of the globe plagued with drought, famine, and drug-resistant diseases, we need new technologies to tackle these problems.

But we are on the cusp of a new convergence, argues world-renowned neuroscientist Susan Hockfield, with discoveries in biology coming together with engineering to produce another array of almost inconceivable technologies—next-generation products that have the potential to be every bit as paradigm shifting as the twentieth century’s digital wonders.

The Age of Living Machines describes some of the most exciting new developments and the scientists and engineers who helped create them. Virus-built batteries. Protein-based water filters. Cancer-detecting nanoparticles. Mind-reading bionic limbs. Computer-engineered crops. Together they highlight the promise of the technology revolution of the twenty-first century to overcome some of the greatest humanitarian, medical, and environmental challenges of our time.



About the Author:
Susan Hockfield is president emerita and professor of neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was the first woman and first life scientist to lead MIT. She is a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.

April 2019
PublicAffairs Books-Hachette Book Group
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Jump-Starting America

Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson
How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream
The untold story of how America once created the most successful economy the world has ever seen and how we can do it again.

The American economy glitters on the outside, but the reality is quite different. Job opportunities and economic growth are increasingly concentrated in a few crowded coastal enclaves. Corporations and investors are disproportionately developing technologies that benefit the wealthiest Americans in the most prosperous areas–and destroying middle class jobs elsewhere. To turn this tide, we must look to a brilliant and all-but-forgotten American success story and embark on a plan that will create the industries of the future–and the jobs that go with them.

Beginning in 1940, massive public investment generated breakthroughs in science and technology that first helped win WWII and then created the most successful economy the world has ever seen. Private enterprise then built on these breakthroughs to create new industries–such as radar, jet engines, digital computers, mobile telecommunications, life-saving medicines, and the internet– that became the catalyst for broader economic growth that generated millions of good jobs. We lifted almost all boats, not just the yachts.

Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson tell the story of this first American growth engine and provide the blueprint for a second. It’s a visionary, pragmatic, sure-to-be controversial plan that will lead to job growth and a new American economy in places now left behind.



About the Authors:
Simon Johnson is the Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT and a former chief economist to the IMF. His much-viewed opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Atlantic, and elsewhere. With law professor James Kwak, Simon is the co-author of the bestsellers 13 Bankers and White House Burning and a founder of the widely-cited economics blog The Baseline Scenario.

Jonathan Gruber is the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT. A key architect of both Romneycare and Obamacare, he appears regularly on both Fox News and MSNBC. Slate has named him one of the top twenty-five “Most Innovative and Practical Thinkers of Our Time.” In addition to over 160 academic articles, he is the author of Health Care Reform (Hill & Wang), a graphic novel about the Affordable Care Act.

April 2019
MIT Press
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International Relations in the Cyber Age

Nazli Choucri and David D. Clark
The Co-Evolution Dilemma
A foundational analysis of the co-evolution of the internet and international relations, examining resultant challenges for individuals, organizations, firms, and states.

In our increasingly digital world, data flows define the international landscape as much as the flow of materials and people. How is cyberspace shaping international relations, and how are international relations shaping cyberspace? In this book, Nazli Choucri and David D. Clark offer a foundational analysis of the co-evolution of cyberspace (with the internet as its core) and international relations, examining resultant challenges for individuals, organizations, and states.

The authors examine the pervasiveness of power and politics in the digital realm, finding that the internet is evolving much faster than the tools for regulating it. This creates a “co-evolution dilemma”—a new reality in which digital interactions have enabled weaker actors to influence or threaten stronger actors, including the traditional state powers. Choucri and Clark develop a new method for addressing control in the internet age, “control point analysis,” and apply it to a variety of situations, including major actors in the international and digital realms: the United States, China, and Google. In doing so they lay the groundwork for a new international relations theory that reflects the reality in which we live—one in which the international and digital realms are inextricably linked and evolving together.


About the Authors:
Nazli Choucri is Professor of Political Science at MIT, Director of the Global System for Sustainable Development (GSSD), and the author of Cyberpolitics in International Relations (MIT Press).

David D. Clark is a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and a leader in the design of the Internet since the 1970s.