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Social Studies of Science

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28056721/controlling-new-knowledge-genomic-science-governance-and-the-politics-of-bioinformatics
#1
Brian Salter, Charlotte Salter
The rise of bioinformatics is a direct response to the political difficulties faced by genomics in its quest to be a new biomedical innovation, and the value of bioinformatics lies in its role as the bridge between the promise of genomics and its realization in the form of health benefits. Western scientific elites are able to use their close relationship with the state to control and facilitate the emergence of new domains compatible with the existing distribution of epistemic power - all within the embrace of public trust...
January 1, 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28050931/scientists-as-citizens-and-knowers-in-the-detection-of-deforestation-in-the-amazon
#2
Marko Monteiro, Raoni Raj√£o
This paper examines how scientists deal with tensions emerging from their role as providers of objective knowledge and as citizens concerned with how their research influences policy and politics in Brazil. This is accomplished through an ethnographic account of scientists using remote sensing technology, of their knowledge-making activities and of the broader socio-political controversies that permeate the detection of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Strategies for mitigating uncertainty are central aspects of the knowledge practices analyzed, bringing controversies 'external' to the laboratory 'into' the lab, making these boundaries conceptually problematic...
January 1, 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28032532/the-missing-the-martyred-and-the-disappeared-global-networks-technical-intensification-and-the-end-of-human-rights-genetics
#3
Lindsay A Smith
In 1984, a group of Argentine students, trained by US academics, formed the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team to apply the latest scientific techniques to the excavation of mass graves and identification of the dead, and to work toward transitional justice. This inaugurated a new era in global forensic science, as groups of scientists in the Global South worked outside of and often against local governments to document war crimes in post-conflict settings. After 2001, however, with the inauguration of the war on terror following the September 11(th) attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, global forensic science was again remade through US and European investment to increase preparedness in the face of potential terrorist attacks...
December 1, 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28032526/it-s-not-just-about-speed-reviewing-the-recumbent-bicycle-once-more
#4
Bernhard Wieser
Why did the recumbent bicycle never become a dominant design, despite the fact that it was faster than the safety bicycle on the racetrack? Hassaan Ahmed et al. argue in their recently published paper that the main reason for the marginalization of the recumbent bicycle was semiotic power deployed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). Here, I demonstrate that the authors drew their conclusions from an incomplete application of the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) framework. Understanding the diffusion of alternative bicycle designs requires considering more than speed, and more than the UCI as a powerful actor...
December 1, 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28032525/the-breakdown-of-galileo-s-roman-network-crisis-and-community-ca-1633
#5
Paula Findlen, Hannah Marcus
Rome has long been central to the story of Galileo's life and scientific work. Through an analysis of the metadata of Galileo's surviving letters, combined with a close reading of the letters themselves, we discuss how Galileo used correspondence to build a Roman network. Galileo initially assembled this network around the members of the Lincean Academy, a few carefully nurtured relationships with important ecclesiastics, and the expertise of well positioned Tuscan diplomats in the Eternal City. However, an analysis of Galileo's correspondence in the aftermath of the trial of 1633 provides us with a unique opportunity to interrogate how his altered circumstances transformed his social relations...
December 1, 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28025902/what-can-science-and-technology-studies-learn-from-art-and-design-reflections-on-synthetic-aesthetics
#6
Jane Calvert, Pablo Schyfter
In this paper we reflect on a project called 'Synthetic Aesthetics', which brought together synthetic biologists with artists and designers in paired exchanges. We - the STS researchers on the project - were quickly struck by the similarities between our objectives and those of the artists and designers. We shared interests in forging new collaborations with synthetic biologists, 'opening up' the science by exploring implicit assumptions, and interrogating dominant research agendas. But there were also differences between us, the most important being that the artists and designers made tangible artefacts, which had an immediacy and an ability to travel, and which seemed to allow different types of discussions from those initiated by our academic texts...
December 1, 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28025917/science-as-national-belonging-the-construction-of-svalbard-as-a-norwegian-space
#7
Peder Roberts, Eric Paglia
This article examines how science has been employed to establish, maintain, and contest senses of belonging on Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago administered by Norway since 1925 under an international treaty. Our central argument is that the process of constructing Svalbard as a space belonging to Norway has long been intertwined with the processes of describing and representing the archipelago and that participating in those processes has also permitted other states to articulate their own narratives of belonging - on Svalbard in particular and in the Arctic more generally...
December 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28025916/the-hospital-and-the-hospital-infrastructure-human-tissue-labour-and-the-scientific-production-of-relational-value
#8
Alice Street
How does science make a home for itself in a public hospital? This article explores how scientists working in 'resource poor' contexts of global health negotiate relationships with their hosts, in this case the doctors, nurses and patients who already inhabit a provincial-level hospital. Taking its lead from recent works on science, ethics and development, this article seeks to 'provincialize the laboratory' by focussing on the scientific tropics as a space of productive encounter and engagement. A view from the hospital reveals the tenuous process of 'setting up' a place for science, in a world that does not immediately recognize its value...
December 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28025915/field-station-as-stage-re-enacting-scientific-work-and-life-in-amani-tanzania
#9
P Wenzel Geissler, Ann H Kelly
Located high in Tanzania's Usambara Mountains, Amani Hill Station has been a site of progressive scientific endeavours for over a century, pushing the boundaries of botanical, zoological and medical knowledge, and providing expertise for imperial expansion, colonial welfare, national progress and international development efforts. The station's heyday was from the 1950s to the 1970s, a period of global disease eradication campaigns and the 'Africanization' of science. Today, Amani lies in a state of suspended motion...
December 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28025914/higher-and-colder-the-success-and-failure-of-boundaries-in-high-altitude-and-antarctic-research-stations
#10
Vanessa Heggie
This article offers a series of case studies of field stations and field laboratories based at high altitudes in the Alps, Himalayas and Antarctica, which have been used by Western scientists (largely physiologists and physicists) from circa 1820 to present. It rejects the common frame for work on such spaces that polarizes a set of generalizations about practices undertaken in 'the field' versus 'the laboratory'. Field sites are revealed as places that can be used to highlight common and crucial features of modern experimental science that are exposed by, but not uniquely the properties of, fieldwork...
December 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28025913/a-home-for-science-the-life-and-times-of-tropical-and-polar-field-stations
#11
P Wenzel Geissler, Ann H Kelly
A 'halfway house' between the generic, purified space of the laboratory and the varied and particular spaces of the field, the field station is a controlled yet uncontained setting from which nature can be accessed and anchored. As living quarters for visiting scientists, field stations are also enmeshed in the routine and rhythms of everyday domestic life, and in longer cycles of habitation, wear, and repair. This introduction considers the empirical and conceptual significance of Polar and Tropical field stations as homes for scientific work and scientific lives...
December 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28025912/of-spheres-and-squares-can-sloterdijk-help-us-rethink-the-architecture-of-climate-science
#12
Martin Skrydstrup
This article explores how different visions and values of science translate into different architectural shapes. I bring Peter Sloterdijk's 'spherology' to bear on my ethnographic fieldwork at the NEEM ice core base in Greenland, a significant node in the global infrastructure of climate science. I argue that the visual form of the geodesic dome of the camp materializes specific values and visions of this branch of paleoclimate science, which I elaborate vis-a-vis the pragmatic claims of the scientists/designers and the particular architectural history of Danish ice core drilling in Greenland...
December 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28025911/at-home-in-the-postcolony-ecology-empire-and-domesticity-at-the-lamto-field-station-ivory-coast
#13
Guillaume Lachenal
This article is a history of the field station Lamto, in Ivory Coast, which was created by French ecologists in 1962, after independence. It retraces the origins, the logics and the contradictions of an extraordinarily ambitious scientific project, which aimed at the systematic, holistic, quantitative and multi-disciplinary description of a unit of African nature - the savannah ecosystem. It explores how knowledge-making was articulated with work hierarchies and postcolonial politics, lifestyles, values and affects...
December 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28025910/science-ethnography-art
#14
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28025909/habituating-field-scientists
#15
Lys Alcayna-Stevens
This article explores the sensory dimensions of scientific field research in the only region in the world where free-ranging bonobos ( Pan paniscus) can be studied in their natural environment; the equatorial rainforest of the Democratic Republic of Congo. If, as sensory anthropologists have argued, the senses are developed, grown and honed in a given cultural and environmental milieu, how is it that field scientists come to dwell among familiarity in a world which is, at first, unfamiliar? This article builds upon previous anthropological and philosophical engagements with habituation that have critically examined primatologists' attempts to become 'neutral objects in the environment' in order to habituate wild apes to their presence...
December 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27263241/a-thousand-words-is-worth-a-picture
#16
COMMENT
Harry Collins, Robert Evans
In this response to Ribeiro and Lima's paper on interactional expertise, we argue that, by not incorporating the insights of constructivist social science, their analysis goes backwards rather than advancing the debate. We show that much of the evidence they present does not lead to the conclusions they draw. We also critically examine the idea of physical contiguity, which forms a central part of Ribeiro and Lima's position. We show that its meaning is ambiguous. We conclude by suggesting that more research on the nature and influence of physical contiguity would be interesting in its own right but that it would not bear on the notion of interactional expertise...
April 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27263240/the-value-of-practice-a-critique-of-interactional-expertise
#17
Rodrigo Ribeiro, Francisco P A Lima
Collins and Evans have proposed a 'normative theory of expertise' as a way to solve the 'problem of demarcation' in public debates involving technical matters. Their argument is that all citizens have the right to participate in the 'political' phases of such debates, while only three types of experts should have a voice in the 'technical' phases. In this article, Collins and Evans' typology of expertise--in particular, the idea of 'interactional expertise'--is the focus of a detailed empirical, methodological and philosophical analysis...
April 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27263239/beyond-and-between-academia-and-business-how-austrian-biotechnology-researchers-describe-high-tech-startup-companies-as-spaces-of-knowledge-production
#18
Maximilian Fochler
Research and innovation policy has invested considerable effort in creating new institutional spaces at the interface of academia and business. High-tech startups founded by academic entrepreneurs have been central to these policy imaginaries. These companies offer researchers new possibilities beyond and between academia and larger industry. However, the field of science and technology studies has thus far shown only limited interest in understanding these companies as spaces of knowledge production. This article analyses how researchers working in small and medium-sized biotechnology companies in Vienna, Austria, describe the cultural characteristics of knowledge production in this particular institutional space...
April 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27263238/from-subjects-to-relations-bioethics-and-the-articulation-of-postcolonial-politics-in-the-cambodia-pre-exposure-prophylaxis-trial
#19
Jenna M Grant
Controversies about global clinical trials, particularly HIV trials, tend to be framed in terms of ethics. In this article, I explore debates about ethics in the Cambodia Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis trial, which was designed to test the safety and efficacy of tenofovir as a prevention for HIV infection. Bringing together studies of public participation in science with studies of bioethics, I show how activists around the Cambodian Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis trial circulated and provoked debates about standards of research ethics, as opposed to research methodology...
April 2016: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27263237/keeping-gay-and-bisexual-men-safe-the-arena-of-hiv-prevention-science-and-praxis
#20
Adam Isaiah Green
Abstract In this article, I draw from an ongoing ethnographic study of HIV prevention for gay, bisexual, and 'men who have sex with men' to develop an institutional analysis of HIV behavioral intervention science and praxis. I approach this analysis through the lens of the social worlds framework, focusing on the institutional arena in which HIV behavioral interventions are devised and executed. Toward this end, I focus on two fundamental points of contention that lie at the heart of the prevention enterprise and put its social organization in high relief: (1) conceptions of health and lifestyle practices and (2) attributions of expertise...
April 2016: Social Studies of Science
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