March books: Design for a Better World, Fertility Technology, More than a Glitch, and more

Explore some of our most anticipated new releases for March

New books this month: a concise history of fertility tools and their ethical and social implications; an exploration of how human behavior brought the world to the brink—and how it can save us; and a study of how technology reinforces inequality. Explore these books and a selection of our new and soon-to-be-published titles below.

More than a Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech by Meredith Broussard

The word “glitch” implies an incidental error, as easy to patch up as it is to identify. But what if racism, sexism, and ableism aren’t just bugs in mostly functional machinery—they’re coded into the system itself? In More Than a Glitch, Meredith Broussard demonstrates how technological neutrality is a myth and why algorithms need to be held accountable. With sweeping implications for disciplines ranging from jurisprudence to medicine, the simultaneously pathbreaking and practical insights of More Than a Glitch are essential reading for anyone invested in building a more equitable future.

“Everyone who cares about the future of tech and society should read this book yesterday.” —Ruha Benjamin, author of Race after Technology and Viral Justice

You might also like Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard

Athena Unbound: Why and How Scholarly Knowledge Should Be Free for All by Peter Baldwin

Open access (OA) could one day put the sum of human knowledge at our fingertips. But the goal of allowing everyone to read everything faces fierce resistance. In Athena Unbound, Peter Baldwin offers an up-to-date look at the ideals and history behind OA, and unpacks the controversies that arise when the dream of limitless information slams into entrenched interests in favor of the status quo. In addition to providing a clear analysis of the debates, Baldwin focuses on thorny issues such as copyright and ways to pay for “free” knowledge. He also provides a roadmap that would make OA economically viable and, as a result, advance one of humanity’s age-old ambitions.

“In Athena Unbound, Peter Baldwin offers an admirably pragmatic yet principled approach to the perennial problem of encouraging both the production and distribution of knowledge.” —Paul Romer, Nobel Laureate 

You might also like Living Books: Experiments in the Posthumanities by Janneke Adema

Design for a Better World: Meaningful, Sustainable, Humanity Centered by Don Norman

The world is a mess. Our dire predicament, from collapsing social structures to the climate crisis, has been millennia in the making and can be traced back to the erroneous belief that the earth’s resources are infinite. The key to change, says Don Norman, is human behavior, covered in the book’s three major themes: meaning, sustainability, and humanity-centeredness. Emphasize quality of life, not monetary rewards; restructure how we live to better protect the environment; and focus on all of humanity. Design for a Better World presents an eye-opening diagnosis of where we’ve gone wrong and a clear prescription for making things better.

“Norman’s book shifts focus from the human to humanity, cracking the code on what values ought to be at the center when driving sustainable design. The message is loud and clear—the future of humanity is the future of the planet.” —Payal Arora, Erasmus University; author of The Next Billion Users

You might also like The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

Boston in Transit: Mapping the History of Public Transportation in The Hub by Steven Beaucher

A lively tour of public transportation in Boston over the years, Boston in Transit maps the complete history of the modes of transportation that have kept the city moving and expanding since its founding in 1630—from the simple ferry serving an English settlement to the expansive network of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, or MBTA. The story of public transit in Boston—once dubbed the Hub of the Universe—is a journey through the history of the American metropolis.

You might also like Riding the New York Subway: The Invention of the Modern Passenger by Stefan Höhne

Fertility Technology by Donna J. Drucker

In the late 1850s, a physician in New York City used a syringe and glass tube to inject half a drop of sperm into a woman’s uterus, marking the first recorded instance of artificial insemination. From that day forward, doctors and scientists have turned to technology in ever more innovative ways to facilitate conception. Fertility Technology surveys this history in all its medical, practical, and ethical complexity, and offers a look at state-of-the-art fertility technology in various social and political contexts around the world.

You might also like Contraception: A Concise History by Donna J. Drucker

Sentience: The Invention of Consciousness by Nicholas Humphrey

We feel, therefore we are. Conscious sensations ground our sense of self. They are crucial to our idea of ourselves as psychic beings: present, existent, and mattering. But is it only humans who feel this way? Do other animals? Will future machines? Weaving together intellectual adventure and cutting-edge science, Nicholas Humphrey describes in Sentience his quest for answers: from his discovery of blindsight in monkeys and his pioneering work on social intelligence to breakthroughs in the philosophy of mind.

“A compelling treatise on the evolution of consciousness from one our finest psychologists.” —Anil Seth, author of Being You

You might also like Body Am I: The New Science of Self-Consciousness by Moheb Costandi

Socializing Architecture: Top-Down / Bottom-Up by Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman

Situated at the intersection of architecture, art, public culture, and political theory, Socializing Architecture urges architects and urbanists to intervene in the contested space between public and private interests, to design political and civic processes that mediate top-down and bottom-up urban resources, and to mobilize a new public imagination toward a more just and equitable urbanization. Drawn from decades of lived experience, Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman engage the San Diego–Tijuana border region as a global laboratory to address the central challenges of urbanization today: deepening social and economic inequality, dramatic migratory shifts, explosive urban informality, climate disruption, the thickening of border walls, and the decline of public thinking.

You might also like Spatializing Justice: Building Blocks by Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman

Technology’s Child: Digital Media’s Role in the Ages and Stages of Growing Up by Katie Davis

What happens to the little ones, the tweens, and the teenagers, when technology—ubiquitous in the world they inhabit—becomes a critical part of their lives? Technology’s Child brings much-needed clarity to what we know about technology’s role in child development. Better yet, it provides guidance on how to use what we know to help children of all ages make the most of their digital experiences.

“Refusing to succumb to either technology panic or boosterism, Davis offers advice that is balanced, sensible, and grounded in deep listening to both young people and grown-up experts.” —Mizuko Ito, UC Irvine

You might also like Behind Their Screens: What Teens Are Facing (and Adults Are Missing) by Emily Weinstein and Carrie James

Explore more new and forthcoming books from the MIT Press