I've just downloaded my copy from Amazon, looks very intersesting.
The Sounding of the Whale is a remarkable book, an astounding piece of research that presents subtle, original arguments in a stylish and readable (if sometimes mannered) prose. Burnett's subject is the development of whale science in the 20th century, which takes in the work of zoologists, paleontologists, biological oceanographers, ecologists, neurologists and mathematicians, among others. The individual scientists are brought to life and their work is beautifully contextualised. Burnett shows us the many ties that bound whale scientists, disastrously, to the whaling industry. He also does a wonderful job of placing the science of cetology in its institutional settings, both academic and political