Repeatedly, this essay turns on figures of pregnancy and gestation. Zoe Sofia (1984) taught me that every technology is a reproductive technology. She and I have meant that literally; ways of life are at stake in the culture of science. I would, however, like to displace the terminology of reproduction with that of generation. Very rarely does anything really get reproduced; what's going on is much more polymorphous than that. Certainly people don~t reproduce, unless they get themselves cloned, which will always be very expensive and risky, not to mention boring. Even technoscience must be made into the paradigmatic model not of closure, but of that which is contestable and contested. That involves knowing how the world's agents and actants work; how they/we/it come into the world, and how they/we/it are reformed. Science becomes the myth not of what escapes agency and responsibility in a realm above the fray, but rather of accountability and responsibility for translations and solidarities linking the cacophonous visions and visionary voices that characterize the knowledges of the marked bodies of history. Actors, as well as actants, come in many and wonderful forms. And best of all, `'reproduction"-or less inaccurately, the generation of novel forms-need not be imagined in the stodgy bipolar terms of
By the 1970s, the budding environmental movement helped catalyze a growing awareness of the toxicity and wastefulness of synthetics—many of which were designed to be disposable. In this climate, the public started giving resins a second thought. Maybe those women who, in 1939, feared getting “cancer of the legs” from wearing Du Pont’s nylon pantyhose were right after all. Nevertheless, the plastics sector continued its expansion by aggressively taking over new markets, which facilitated major industry restructuring and further normalized resins as a part of everyday life.