Seeing Like a Rover: An Interview

Janet Vertesi’s fascinating new book is an ethnography of the Mars Rover mission that takes readers into the practices involved in working with the two robotic explorers Spirit and Opportunity. Based on two years of immersive ethnography from 2006-2008, Seeing like a Rover: How Robots, Teams, and Images Craft Knowledge of Mars (University of Chicago Press, 2015) focuses on the visuality of the mission, exploring “how scientists and engineers on Earth work with the digital images” sent by their robots to make sense of Mars and to work together to explore it. We talked about it for the New Books in STS podcast and you can listen to our conversation here.