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The Oxford Companion to Scottish History interprets 'history' broadly, including archaeology, architecture, climate, culture, folk belief, geology, and the languages of Scotland. It covers more than 20 centuries of history, including immigrants, migrants, and emigrants. It extends from Orkney and Shetland to Galloway, the Western Isles to the Borders. It deals extensively with Scots abroad, from Canada to Russia to New Zealand. It includes entries on historical figures from Columba, Macbeth, and William Wallace to James (Paraffin) Young. It covers Burns Clubs, curling, and shinty. It ranges from clans to Clearances and Covenanters. Over 500,000 words in length, and written by more than 70 distinguished contributors, it aims to explain as well as describe. It is more than a historical dictionary or an encyclopedia. Multi-authored entries analyse key themes such as kingship, national identity, women and society, urban and rural life, the economy, housing, living standards, and religious belief across the centuries in an authoritative but approachable way. The Oxford Companion to Scottish History has a broader range of topics and approaches, and a more authoritative list of contributors than any of its competitors. It also stands alone in providing analysis of issues such as national identity and living standards.
DNA profiling--commonly known as DNA fingerprinting--is often heralded as unassailable criminal evidence, a veritable "truth machine" that can overturn convictions based on eyewitness testimony, confessions, and other forms of forensic evidence. But DNA evidence is far from infallible. It is subject to the same possibilities for error--in sample collection, forensic analysis, and clerical record keeping--as any other aspect of criminal justice practice. Truth Machine traces the controversial history of DNA fingerprinting by looking at court cases in the United States and United Kingdom beginning in the mid-1980s, when the practice was invented, and continuing until the present. Using interviews, observations of courtroom trials and laboratory processes, and documentary reconstruction, the authors provide a nuanced, theoretically sophisticated, and original ethnographic account of DNA fingerprinting and its evolution. Ultimately, Truth Machine presents compelling evidence of the obstacles and opportunities at the intersection of science, technology, sociology, and law.
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