Wild Science investigates the world-wide boom in 'health culture'. While self-help health books and medical dramas are popular around the globe, we are bombarded with daily media images of DNA research, and news reports about cloning, the fight against AIDS, cancer and depression. With popular culture now the principal means through which the non-scientific population encounters science why do certain images of science get promoted above others?
Contributors examine the public meanings of science, revealing the frictions and contradictions within popular representations of what medicine can and should do. Focusing on the visual culture of medicine, they show how representations of science have a direct impact on popular perceptions of the limits of science, and ultimately on health education, funding and research, and examine the belief that media literacy in popular representations of medicine makes an ethical public discourse on the aims of science possible.
With sections addressing the new visual technologies which make the human body into a virtual territory, the diagnostic and medical practices centered around women's bodies, and popular debates around genetics and identity, Wild Science argues that science is a practice bound in values and institutions, and argues for a responsible engagement with the public cultures of science and health.
Janine Marchessault is Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Video, York University, Ontario. She is President of the Film Studies Association of Canada. Kim Sawchuk is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies, Concordia University, Montreal.