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  1.  71
    Overcoming the underdetermination of specimens.Caitlin Donahue Wylie - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (2):24.
    Philosophers of science are well aware that theories are underdetermined by data. But what about the data? Scientific data are selected and processed representations or pieces of nature. What is useless context and what is valuable specimen, as well as how specimens are processed for study, are not obvious or predetermined givens. Instead, they are decisions made by scientists and other research workers, such as technicians, that produce different outcomes for the data. Vertebrate fossils provide a revealing case of this (...)
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  2.  9
    Preparing dinosaurs: the work behind the scenes.Caitlin Donahue Wylie - 2021 - Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
    Detailed and in-depth investigation of the important but often unappreciated work done by science technicians, in this case in the context of paleontology.
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  3.  29
    The plurality of assumptions about fossils and time.Caitlin Donahue Wylie - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (2):21.
    A research community must share assumptions, such as about accepted knowledge, appropriate research practices, and good evidence. However, community members also hold some divergent assumptions, which they—and we, as analysts of science—tend to overlook. Communities with different assumed values, knowledge, and goals must negotiate to achieve compromises that make their conflicting goals complementary. This negotiation guards against the extremes of each group’s desired outcomes, which, if achieved, would make other groups’ goals impossible. I argue that this diversity, as a form (...)
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  4.  16
    Trust in Technicians in Paleontology Laboratories.Caitlin Donahue Wylie - 2018 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 43 (2):324-348.
    New technologies can upset scientific workplaces’ established practices and social order. Scientists may therefore prefer preserving skilled manual work and the social status quo to revolutionary technological change. For example, digital imaging of rock-encased fossils is a valuable way for scientists to “see” a specimen without traditional rock removal. However, interviews in vertebrate paleontology laboratories reveal workers’ skepticism toward computed tomography imaging. Scientists criticize replacing physical fossils with digital images because, they say, images are more subjective than the “real thing.” (...)
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  5.  23
    Setting a standard for a “silent” disease: defining osteoporosis in the 1980s and 1990s.Caitlin Donahue Wylie - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (4):376-385.
    Osteoporosis, a disease of bone loss associated with aging and estrogen loss, can be crippling but is ‘silent’ prior to bone fracture. Despite its disastrous health effects, high prevalence, and enormous associated health care costs, osteoporosis lacked a universally accepted definition until 1992. In the 1980s, the development of more accurate medical imaging technologies to measure bone density spurred the medical community’s need and demand for a common definition. The medical community tried, and failed, to resolve these differing definitions several (...)
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  6.  7
    Setting a standard for a “silent” disease: defining osteoporosis in the 1980s and 1990s.Caitlin Donahue Wylie - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (4):376-385.
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  7.  30
    Glass-boxing Science: Laboratory Work on Display in Museums.Caitlin Donahue Wylie - 2020 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 45 (4):618-635.
    Museum displays tend to black-box science, by displaying scientific facts without explanations of how those facts were made. A recent trend in exhibit design upends this omission by putting scientists, technicians, and volunteers to work in glass-walled laboratories, just a window away from visitors. How is science conceived, portrayed, and performed in glass-walled laboratories? Interviews and participant observation in several “fishbowl” paleontology laboratories reveal that glass walls alter lab workers’ typical tasks and behavior. However, despite glass-walled labs’ incomplete and edited (...)
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  8.  19
    ‘I just Love Research’: Beliefs about What Makes Researchers Successful.Caitlin Donahue Wylie - 2018 - Social Epistemology 32 (4):262-271.
    There is a longstanding belief that research should be a calling more than a job. How does this expectation shape the selection of future researchers? Specifically, undergraduate research experience is credited with increasing students’ success in science and engineering majors and their likelihood to choose careers in science and engineering; thus, how researchers select student laboratory workers has implications for the future population of researchers. After all, because research communities construct knowledge collectively, researchers’ identities and experiences crucially shape knowledge. This (...)
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  9.  2
    Setting a Standard for a Silent Disease: Defining Osteoporosis in the 1980s and 1990s.Caitlin Donahue Wylie - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (4):376-385.
    Osteoporosis, a disease of bone loss associated with aging and estrogen loss, can be crippling but is 'silent' prior to bone fracture. Osteoporosis lacked a universally accepted definition until 1992. In the 1980s, the development of more accurate medical imaging technologies to measure bone density spurred the medical community's need and demand for a common definition. The medical community tried, and failed, to resolve these differing definitions several times at consensus conferences and through published articles. These experts finally accepted a (...)
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  10.  3
    The Epistemic Importance of Novices: How Undergraduate Students Contribute to Engineering Laboratory Communities.Caitlin Donahue Wylie - 2021 - In Karen Kastenhofer & Susan Molyneux-Hodgson (eds.), Community and Identity in Contemporary Technosciences. Springer Verlag. pp. 145-162.
    Scholars and practitioners have long viewed learners as works-in-progress and as somewhat empty vessels to be filled with appropriate knowledge and skills to become future expert practitioners. However, based on an ethnography of two engineering laboratories, I found that laboratory members regularly swap the roles of learner and instructor, regardless of their status as an undergraduate student, a graduate student, or a faculty member. Furthermore, undergraduate students make crucial contributions to their research communities in the form of knowledge, creativity, and (...)
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