Representation in Scientific Practice, published by the MIT Press in 1990, helped coalesce a long-standing interest in scientific visualization among historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science and remains a touchstone for current investigations in science and technology studies. This volume revisits the topic, taking into account both the changing conceptual landscape of STS and the emergence of new imaging technologies in scientific practice. It offers cutting-edge research on a broad array of fields that study information as well as short reflections on the evolution of the field by leading scholars, including some of the contributors to the 1990 volume.
The essays consider the ways in which viewing experiences are crafted in the digital era; the embodied nature of work with digital technologies; the constitutive role of materials and technologies—from chalkboards to brain scans—in the production of new scientific knowledge; the metaphors and images mobilized by communities of practice; and the status and significance of scientific imagery in professional and popular culture.
Contributors Morana Alač, Michael Barany, Anne Beaulieu, Annamaria Carusi, Catelijne Coopmans, Lorraine Daston, Sarah de Rijcke, Joseph Dumit, Emma Frow, Yann Giraud, Aud Sissel Hoel, Martin Kemp, Bruno Latour, John Law, Michael Lynch, Donald MacKenzie, Cyrus Mody, Natasha Myers, Rachel Prentice, Arie Rip, Martin Ruivenkamp, Lucy Suchman, Janet Vertesi, Steve Woolgar
The essays in this book provide an excellent introduction to the means by which scientists convey their ideas. While diverse in their subject matter, the essays are unified in asserting that scientists compose and use particular representations in contextually organized and contextually sensitive ways, and that these representations - particularly visual displays such as graphs, diagrams, photographs, and drawings - depend for their meaning on the complex activities in which they are situated.The topics include sociological orientations to representational practice, representation and the realist-constructivist controversy, the fixation of evidence, time and documents in researcher interaction, selection and mathematization in the visual documentation of objects in the life sciences, the use of illustrations in texts (E.0. Wilson's Sociobiology, a field guide to the birds), representing practice in cognitive science, the iconography of scientific texts, and semiotic analysis of scientific, representation.The contributors are K. Amann, Ronald Amerine, Françoise Bastide, Jack Bilmes, K. Knorr, Bruno Latour, John Law, Michael Lynch, Greg Meyers, Lucy A. Suchman, Paul Tibbetts, Steve Woolgar, and Steven Yearley.Michael Lynch is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Boston University. Steve Woolgar is at the Centre for Research into Innovation Culture, and Technology at Brunel University, Uxbridge, England