About

S. Scott Graham is the director of the Public Engagement and Science Communication (PESC) Laboratory and an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He researches how experts and public stakeholders communicate about risk and uncertainty as part of science-policy decision making. Read about a recent project here.


Scott’s recent book, The Politics of Pain Medicine (2015, University of Chicago Press) chronicles three years of ethnographic research and nearly ten years archival research into interdisciplinary pain medicine and related public policy. He explores the resonance between pain science’s efforts to establish an integrated mind/body approach to treating pain and the new materialist movement in science and technology studies. (Sample.)

  • “The depth and rigor of the scholarship alone is worthy of admiration. Displaying extensive knowledge of his subject, Graham brings together “pain science’s biophysical model and rhetoric and STS’s [science and technology studies’] new materialisms” (7) in order to demonstrate that pain’s diverse materiality is “calibrated” (that is, sorted, arranged, justified) by multiple regimes of practices across institutions. As he makes this multiplicity visible to the reader, along with the tangled apparatuses that sustain it, he makes an energetic plea for improved dialogue between STS, rhetoric, and new materialism. It would be easy for such a complicated, multifocal study to jump the rails; however, Graham not only manages to keep the various purposes in contact with one another but also shows how they enrich one another. We have a better investigation of pain medicine, a better demonstration of methodology, and a better intervention into theory because of the synthesis he achieves.” Nathan Stormer, Philosophy & Rhetoric
  • “As a scholar who works at the intersection of rhetoric and STS, I am also glad to now have this book at my disposal when I make the argument that rhetoric of science and STS need each other to find theoretical purchase. Graham has long been a vocal proponent of continued uptake of STS into rhetoric of science, technology, and medicine (RSTM) and vice-versa. He is, for me and for others, a primary voice of materialist perspectives in our field and a voice of the emerging field of rhetoric of medicine…. The book is deftly organized, densely contextualized, and clear without being oversimplified. That is to say: minds will be bent, but backs will not be broken.” Kate Maddelena, Enculturation
  • “With the grace and precision Graham shows in his first book, readers can only hope that he has now carved out the space to take up other perplexing health and medical topics with the careful attention and parsing he has given to pain in this text but without the need to offer so much justification for the methods he uses beautifully.” Cathryn Molloy, Rhetoric Society Quarterly