Amit PrasadApr 18, 2017
Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India
MIT Press 2014
Amit Prasad is widely admired for using Postcolonial Studies to explore questions about science, technology and medicine. In Imperial Technoscience: Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India (MIT, 2014), Prasad looks at the linked histories of MRI research and development in India, UK, the USA to show how the patterns of exclusions created by imperialism continue to shape the topography of high-tech medicine. Pushing back against diffusion of science narratives, Prasad shows how the current story of the West (read: USA) as the center of MRI research and development was far from inevitable. The story was retrospectively, collectively created and has had the effect of obscuring the importance of transnational networks, idiosyncratic federal laws, corporate investments, and everyday habits of imagination in the production of medical technology. Prasad himself resists simple dichotomies because, as he writes, "The issue here is not simply the elision of the history of science in the non-West or its entrapment in within Eurocentric temporarily, but the very categories that the history of science takes as its objects of inquiry (80)."