ISBN-13: 978-0-226-11360-9 (cloth : alk. paper) ISBN-10: 0-226-11360-4 ... HM651.C64 2007 158.1—dc22 2007022671 The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information ...
The phrase ‘trading zone’ is often used to denote any kind of interdisciplinary partnership in which two or more perspectives are combined and a new, shared language develops. In this paper we distinguish between different types of trading zone by asking whether the collaboration is co-operative or coerced and whether the end-state is a heterogeneous or homogeneous culture. In so doing, we find that the voluntary development of a new language community—what we call an inter-language trading zone—represents only one of (...) four possible configurations. In developing this argument we show how different modes of collaboration result in different kinds of trading zone, how different kinds of trading zone may be ‘nested’ inside each other and discuss how a single collaboration might move between different kinds of trading zone over time. One implication of our analysis is that interactional expertise is a central component of at least one class of trading zone.Keywords: Trading zones; Interactional expertise; Interdisciplinarity; Creole. (shrink)
‘Interactional expertise’ is developed through linguistic interaction without full scale practical immersion in a culture. Interactional expertise is the medium of communication in peer review in science, in review committees, and in interdisciplinary projects. It is also the medium of specialist journalists and of interpretative methods in the social sciences. We describe imitation game experiments designed to make concrete the idea of interactional expertise. The experiments show that the linguistic performance of those well socialized in the language of a specialist (...) group is indistinguishable from those with full blown practical socialization but distinguishable from those who are not well socialized. The imitation game can also be used to indicate whether an individual can enter an esoteric domain and master the interactional expertise, a skill required by interpretative sociologists of science, anthropologists, ethnographers, and the like.Keywords: Expertise; Interactional expertise; Imitation game; Turing test; Colour blindness; Interpretative methods. (shrink)
Within any organization (e.g. a hospital or clinic) the perception of the way things operate may vary dramatically as a function of one’s location in the organizational hierarchy as well as one’s professional discipline. Interorganizational variability depends on organizational coherence, safety, and stability. In this four-nation (Canada, Ireland, Australia, and Korea) qualitative study of 42 nurses, we explored their perception of how ethical decisions are made, the nurses’ hospital role, and the extent to which their voices were heard. These nurses (...) suggested that their voices were silenced (often voluntarily) or were not expressed in terms of ethical decision making. Finally, they perceived that their approach to ethical decision making differed from physicians. (shrink)
Individual athletes, coaches and sports teams seek continuously for ways to improve performance and accomplishment in elite competition. New techniques of performance analysis are a crucial part of the drive for athletic perfection. This paper discusses the ethical importance of one aspect of the future potential of performance analysis in sport, combining the field of biomedicine, sports engineering and nanotechnology in the form of ‘Nanobiosensors’. This innovative technology has the potential to revolutionise sport, enabling real time biological data to be (...) collected from athletes that can be electronically distributed. Enabling precise real time performance analysis is not without ethical problems. Arguments concerning data ownership and privacy; data confidentiality; and athlete welfare are presented alongside a discussion of the use of the Precautionary Principle in making ethical evaluations. We conclude, that although the future potential use of Nanobiosensors in sports analysis offers many potential benefits, there is also a fear that it could be abused at a sporting system level. Hence, it is essential for sporting bodies to consider the development of a robust ethically informed governance framework in advance of their proliferated use. (shrink)
The outputs of economic forecasting—predictions for national economic indicators such as GDP, unemployment rates and inflation—are all highly visible. The production of these forecasts is a much more private affair, however, typically being thought of as the work of individual forecasters or forecast teams using their economic model to produce a forecast that is then made public. This conception over-emphasises the individual and the technical whilst silencing the broader social context through which economic forecasters develop the expertise that is essential (...) for the credibility of their predictions. In particular, economic forecasts are given meaning and fine-tuned through the social and institutional networks that give forecasters access to the expertise of a heterogeneous mix of academics, policy-makers and business people. Within these broader groups, individual forecasters often create private forecast ‘clubs’, where subscribers have privileged access to the expertise of the economist, but where the forecasters also have privileged access to their clients’ own expert knowledge. In examining these aspects of the forecasters’ work I show that the visible and audible activities of modelling and forecasting are made possible and plausible by virtue of the modeller’s invisible interaction with a wider network.Keywords: Expertise; Economic forecasting; Periodic table of expertise; Judgement. (shrink)
In this paper we explore the practice of interdisciplinarity by examining how the UK research councils addressed the problem of the sustainable city during the 1990s. In developing their research programmes, the councils recognised that the problems of the sustainable city transcended conventional disciplinary boundaries and that an interdisciplinary approach was needed. In practice, however, initially radical proposals to research the city as a complex combination of science and technology and society contracted into more cognate collaborations that emphasised either science (...) or technology or society, with the result that interdisciplinarity came to be located within research councils rather than between them. This, in turn, led to the development of a third kind of interdisciplinarity as the responsibility for making the connections between the research programmes was outsourced to the user communities—the local authorities. Unfortunately, local authorities struggled to find the resources to conduct this work so that the radical interdisciplinarity recommended at the start of the decade remained unaccomplished at the end. In describing these events we emphasise roles of paradigms and epistemic cultures in shaping research approaches and the complications they raise for the triangulation between approaches that is assumed in the idea of interdisciplinarity. We do not wish to be entirely negative, however, and conclude by suggesting some ways in which the quality and success of this much-needed interdisciplinary work could be increased. (shrink)
Given what we know about the nature of knowledge and scientific work it no longer makes sense to think of scientific knowledge as demarcated from “ordinary” knowledge through its methods or the characteristics of the scientific community. As the social studies of science have shown, boundaries become ambiguous when viewed close up so that science merges with ordinary knowledge. But does this mean that distinctions between knowledge claims rest on nothing more than social conventions, powerful as these might be? The (...) articles in this special issue address this question from a variety of perspectives, while this introduction sets out this broader framework and highlights the themes that unite the individual articles. Our central argument is that although boundary work is difficult, complex, and contingent, it is too important to be left to chance or tradition. We need to rescue expertise from the antiessentialist consensus that there is nothing but attribution. (shrink)
‘Hypernormal science’ has minimal potential for contestation on matters of principle and practice so that information exchange can be unproblematic. Sciences comprise hypernormal domains and more contestable ‘normal’ domains where knowledge diffusion, like acquiring linguistic fluency, depends on face-to-face interaction. Hypernormal domains belonging to molecular biology are contrasted with normal domains in gravitational wave detection physics. Sciences as a whole should not be confused with their typical domains. The analysis has immediate implications for proposed transitions out of the Covid-19 lockdown, (...) proposed solutions to the replication crisis, and, perhaps, our understanding of the early development of social studies of science. (shrink)
The case method approach, effective in disciplines from business to law, forms the backbone of this classroom-proven work. Designed specifically for undergraduate courses this latest revision includes six topical new cases on issues such as gene therapy, national security, and the death penalty. The remaining cases have all been updated to keep the book contemporary with "real life" issues, for productive discussion and fruitful learning. Book jacket.
Studying the similarities and differences in socio-communicative behavior between chimpanzees and bonobos is critical to increasing our understanding of the evolution of human sociality and communication. Both species rely heavily on the use of vocalizations during communicative interactions, although the form and function of these signals may vary between the two ape species. For example, bonobo vocalizations seem to be structurally more complex than those produced by chimpanzees, and calls seem to be directed to individuals not in immediate physical proximity. (...) Both species, however, make use of communicative signals from different modalities concurrently, particularly vocalizations and manual gestures. However, this multimodal communication is more commonly observed in chimpanzees when compared to bonobos, who more frequently use vocalizations exclusively, without signals from additional modalities. In addition, there are a number of marked differences in social characteristics between the two species. Though both species exhibit fission–fusion behavior, chimpanzees do so more often, potentially as a result of their habitat profile and foraging strategies. Differences also exist in terms of dominance and aggression. Chimpanzees live in largely patriarchal societies with strong male–male bonds, whereas bonobos tend to be matriarchal with strong female–female bonds. These differences in communicative and social characteristics are thought to be linked to the ecology of the respective habitats of the two apes and their strategies for resource exploitation. In all likelihood, similarities in feeding ecology played a crucial role in selecting for the advanced cognitive abilities of both species—e.g., producing meaningful communicative signals, regulating competition and group cohesion, and making and utilizing tools to aid in foraging. Similarly, differences in their respective habitats may have led to selection for characteristics resulting in the behavioral differences observed today between the two species. Therefore, a clearer understanding of the similarities and differences between the two species most closely related to humans will provide valuable information into our own evolution by elucidating those characteristics shared among humans and our ape ancestors and those derived in the hominin lineage. (shrink)
The risk of populism is ever-present in democratic societies. Here we argue that science provides one way in which this risk can be reduced. This is not because science provides a superior truth but because it preserves and celebrates values that are essential for democracy and contributes to the network of the checks and balances that constrain executive power. To make this argument, we draw on Wittgenstein’s idea of a form of life to characterize any social group as being composed (...) of two opposing elements: an organic aspect that defines what the group has in common and an enumerative aspect that describes the differing ways in which the organic core can be displayed. Whilst the organic faces of science and democracy are clearly different there are significant overlaps that include values such as disinterestedness, universalism and honesty. This overlap in values is the first way in which science can prevent populism: by providing moral leadership. The second, its role in a network of checks and balances, also depends on these values. Science does not contribute to the checks and balances because it provides epistemically superior knowledge; it contributes because it provides morally superior knowledge that, alongside institutions such a free press, independent judiciary and additional tiers of government, support the democratic ecosystem. Failures of democracy occur when this ecosystem is damaged – too much science leads to technocracy, but too little creates the conditions for populism. To prevent this, we argue that citizens must learn the value of democratic values. These include endorsing an independent judiciary and other state institutions, even when these hinder policies of which they might approve and, of particular concern in this context, recognizing that independent experts, of which scientists are the exemplar, are part of this network of checks and balances. (shrink)
Infrastructure management has traditionally been based on a logic of predict and provide in which rising demand was met with an increase in infrastructure capacity. However, recent changes in political, economic, and environmental priorities mean that projects such as new roads, which simply expand supply, have become more controversial, and that reducing demand is now a key challenge. This article is about the different ways in which infrastructure managers have tried to achieve reductions in demand, as well as the range (...) of plans that blend various proportions of technological and institutional innovation. For the sociology of science, the controversies over these urban environment plans are interesting not just because they are scientific controversies but because they are controversies over the relationships between science, expertise, technology, and society. As a result, the authors argue that sociologists of science have a contribution to make as experts in their own right. This article argues that the sociology of scientific knowledge needs to move beyond symmetry and neutrality and outlines some of the ways in which SSK can make a difference by repositioning itself at the center of contemporary policy debates. (shrink)
In general terms there are only three primary energy sources: fossil fuels, renewable energy, and nuclear fission. For fueling road transportation, there has been much speculation about the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier, which would usher in the “hydrogen economy.” A parallel situation would use a simple battery to store electricity directly in order to power vehicles. The efficiency of these two different approaches has been compared and shows that the hydrogen and fuel cell system would consume nearly (...) three times the primary energy required by a battery storage system. Successful introduction into the marketplace of the plug-in hybrid vehicle would eliminate the need for road vehicles to use petroleum fuels, at least for the majority of miles traveled. If electricity were to be generated primarily from sustainable primary energy sources, then road transportation would also become sustainable, resulting in an “electricity economy” rather than a “hydrogen economy.”. (shrink)
The Carolingian empire in western Europe has long been defined by its military expansion and Christian renewal. Carolingian historical narratives portrayed their victories as divine gifts and so encouraged soldiers and commanders to interpret their actions within a theological hermeneutic. Previous scholars have seen this hermeneutic as justifying war. This paper shall argue instead that these narratives reflected and reinforced the hermeneutic with which soldiers interpreted their campaigns and the military spirituality practised as a result. It shall examine how various (...) histories interpreted military events and how these interpretations related to their audiences’ spirituality and military experience. (shrink)