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Social Studies of Science

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28950802/we-get-the-algorithms-of-our-ground-truths-designing-referential-databases-in-digital-image-processing
#1
Florian Jaton
This article documents the practical efforts of a group of scientists designing an image-processing algorithm for saliency detection. By following the actors of this computer science project, the article shows that the problems often considered to be the starting points of computational models are in fact provisional results of time-consuming, collective and highly material processes that engage habits, desires, skills and values. In the project being studied, problematization processes lead to the constitution of referential databases called 'ground truths' that enable both the effective shaping of algorithms and the evaluation of their performances...
September 1, 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28914174/-dis-entangling-barad-materialisms-and-ethics
#2
Gregory Hollin, Isla Forsyth, Eva Giraud, Tracey Potts
In the wake of the widespread uptake of and debate surrounding the work of Karen Barad, this article revisits her core conceptual contributions. We offer descriptions, elaborations, problematizations and provocations for those intrigued by or invested in this body of work. We examine Barad's use of quantum physics, which underpins her conception of the material world. We discuss the political strengths of this position but also note tensions associated with applying quantum physics to phenomena at macro-scales...
September 1, 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28825361/climate-state-science-state-struggles-and-the-formation-of-climate-science-in-the-us-from-the-1930s-to-1960s
#3
Zeke Baker
This article has two aims: first, to understand the co-production of climate science and the state, and second, to provide a test case for Pierre Bourdieu's field theory. To these ends, the article reconstructs the historical formation of a US climate science field, with an analytic focus on inter-field dynamics and heterogeneous networking practices. Drawing from primary- and secondary-source materials, the historical analysis focuses on relations between scientists and state actors from the 1930s to the 1960s...
August 1, 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28820018/evidence-based-creativity-working-between-art-and-science-in-the-field-of-fine-dining
#4
Chad Borkenhagen
This article examines how scientific knowledge drives creativity in the small but influential culinary movement of 'modernist cuisine'. Originating in the mid-1990s, modernist cuisine began with a small group of avant-garde chefs using science to produce wildly innovative culinary creations. Since then, many of the movement's innovations, as well as its more general 'science-based' approach to cooking, have gained adoption among a diverse range of culinary professionals. But while science has enabled modernist chefs to produce a wide array of innovations and refinements, the group's embrace of scientific values poses a potential threat to the subjective, intuition-driven logic of culinary creativity...
August 1, 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28782432/affect-technoscience-and-textual-analysis-interrogating-the-affective-dynamics-of-the-zika-epidemic-through-media-texts
#5
Venla Oikkonen
Science and Technology Studies has become increasingly interested in the roles of affect and emotions in science and technology. Researchers have examined, for example, emotions in the production of scientific knowledge, patients' or users' affective experiences of technologies, and emotionally charged cultural representations of science. However, less attention has been paid to the underlying affective dynamics that connect these sites, experiences and representations. This article builds on the premises that, first, unpacking these underlying affective dynamics is pivotal to understanding emerging technoscientific phenomena, and, second, that such affective dynamics often need to be accessed through cultural texts such as media...
August 1, 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29034796/no-funeral-bells-public-reason-in-a-post-truth-age
#6
Sheila Jasanoff, Hilton R Simmet
The label 'post-truth' signals for many a troubling turn away from principles of enlightened government. The word 'post', moreover, implies a past when things were radically different and whose loss should be universally mourned. In this paper, we argue that this framing of 'post-truth' is flawed because it is ahistorical and ignores the co-production of knowledge and norms in political contexts. Debates about public facts are necessarily debates about social meanings, rooted in realities that are subjectively experienced as all-encompassing and complete, even when they are partial and contingent...
October 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29034794/transmissions
#8
Sergio Sismondo
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28639539/foreskin-and-the-molecular-politics-of-risk
#9
Aaron T Norton
In this paper, I examine disputes over recent claims that male circumcision reduces HIV risk to suggest a complicated relationship between risk individualization and categorization. Whereas randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted in sub-Saharan Africa appear to have provided key evidence for the World Health Organization's endorsement of male circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy, RCTs alone did not provide evidence for the underlying causal mechanism. For that, medical authorities have turned to histo-immunological studies of the foreskin's biomolecular vulnerability to HIV, thus molecularizing risk...
October 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28791930/sts-symmetry-and-post-truth
#10
Michael Lynch
This essay takes up a series of questions about the connection between 'symmetry' in Science and Technology Studies (STS) and 'post-truth' in contemporary politics. A recent editorial in this journal by Sergio Sismondo argues that current discussions of 'post-truth' have little to do with conceptions of 'symmetry' or with concerns about 'epistemic democracy' in STS, while others, such as Steve Fuller and Harry Collins, insist that there are such connections. The present essay discusses a series of questions about the meaning of 'post-truth' and 'symmetry', and the connections of those concepts to each other and to 'epistemic democracy'...
August 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28791929/-anyone-can-edit-not-everyone-does-wikipedia-s-infrastructure-and-the-gender-gap
#11
Heather Ford, Judy Wajcman
Feminist STS has long established that science's provenance as a male domain continues to define what counts as knowledge and expertise. Wikipedia, arguably one of the most powerful sources of information today, was initially lauded as providing the opportunity to rebuild knowledge institutions by providing greater representation of multiple groups. However, less than ten percent of Wikipedia editors are women. At one level, this imbalance in contributions and therefore content is yet another case of the masculine culture of technoscience...
August 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28791928/casting-a-wider-net-a-reply-to-collins-evans-and-weinel
#12
Sergio Sismondo
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28791927/from-just-the-facts-to-more-theory-and-methods-please-the-evolution-of-the-research-article-in-administrative-science-quarterly-1956-2008
#13
David Strang, Kyle Siler
This paper analyzes the surface structure of research articles published in Administrative Science Quarterly between 1956 and 2008. The period is marked by a shift from essays that interweave theory, methods and results to experimental reports that separate them. There is dramatic growth in the size of theory, methods and discussion sections, accompanied by a shrinking results section. Bibliographic references and hypotheses expand in number and become concentrated in theory sections. Article structure varies primarily with historical time and also with research design (broadly, quantitative vs...
August 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28791926/the-science-of-value-economic-expertise-and-the-valuation-of-human-life-in-us-federal-regulatory-agencies
#14
Katherine Hood
This article explores efforts to apply economic logic to human life. To do so, it looks at federal regulatory agencies, where government planners and policy makers have spent over a century trying to devise a scientifically sound way to measure the economic value of lives lost or saved by public programs. The methods they have drawn on, however, have changed drastically in the past 40 years, shifting from a 'human capital' approach based on models of economic productivity and producing relatively low dollar values to a 'willingness-to-pay' approach reflecting consumer choice and producing much higher values...
August 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28791925/modernizing-the-flow-of-blood-biomedical-technicians-working-knowledge-and-the-transformation-of-swedish-blood-centre-practices
#15
Boel Berner, Maria Björkman
The early 1980s saw a 'paradigm change' in how donated blood was handled and used by blood centres, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. In Sweden, a five-year state-financed R&D programme initiated a swift modernization process, an alleged 'revolution' of existing blood centre practices. In this article, we use interviews and archival material to analyse the role of female biomedical technicians in this rapid technical and organizational change. In focus is their working knowledge, or savoir-faire, of blood, instruments and techniques...
August 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28641502/ordering-theories-typologies-and-conceptual-frameworks-for-sociotechnical-change
#16
Benjamin K Sovacool, David J Hess
What theories or concepts are most useful at explaining socio technical change? How can - or cannot - these be integrated? To provide an answer, this study presents the results from 35 semi-structured research interviews with social science experts who also shared more than two hundred articles, reports and books on the topic of the acceptance, adoption, use, or diffusion of technology. This material led to the identification of 96 theories and conceptual approaches spanning 22 identified disciplines. The article begins by explaining its research terms and methods before honing in on a combination of fourteen theories deemed most relevant and useful by the material...
June 1, 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28639540/sts-as-science-or-politics
#17
Harry Collins, Robert Evans, Martin Weinel
In a recent editorial for this journal, Sergio Sismondo makes two claims. First, he states that STS bears no responsibility for the emergence of post-truth politics. Second, he claims that debates about the nature of expertise that take place within STS are irrelevant in this context. In contrast, we argue that, whether or not STS had a causal influence on the emergence of post-truth politics, there is a clear resonance between the two positions and that the current political climate makes the empirically informed and scientific analysis of expertise and the form of life of science more important than ever...
June 1, 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28633611/rawification-and-the-careful-generation-of-open-government-data
#18
Jérôme Denis, Samuel Goëta
Drawing on a two-year ethnographic study within several French administrations involved in open data programs, this article aims to investigate the conditions of the release of government data - the rawness of which open data policies require. This article describes two sets of phenomena. First, far from being taken for granted, open data emerge in administrations through a progressive process that entails uncertain collective inquiries and extraction work. Second, the opening process draws on a series of transformations, as data are modified to satisfy an important criterion of open data policies: the need for both human and technical intelligibility...
June 1, 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28610553/zombie-projects-negative-networks-and-multigenerational-science-the-temporality-of-the-international-map-of-the-world
#19
William Rankin
The International Map of the World was a hugely ambitious scheme to create standardized maps of the entire world. It was first proposed in 1891 and remained a going concern until 1986. Over the course of the project's official life, nearly every country in the world took part, and map sheets were published showing all but a few areas of the planet. But the project ended quite unceremoniously, repudiated by cartographers and mapping institutions alike, and it is now remembered as a 'sad story' of network failure...
June 2017: Social Studies of Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28610552/a-fragile-assemblage-mutant-bird-flu-and-the-limits-of-risk-assessment
#20
Andrew Lakoff
This paper examines the recent public controversy sparked by the laboratory creation of a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza transmissible among mammals. The contours of the controversy can be understood by tracking the assemblage of actors, institutions and devices gathered together in response to the governmental problem of how to manage emerging diseases. The grouping is tenuously held together by a shared commitment to the project of 'pandemic preparedness'. However, as the controversy unfolds, it becomes clear that the main actors involved do not share a common understanding of the problem to be addressed by pandemic preparedness, and the assemblage threatens to decompose...
June 2017: Social Studies of Science
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