Science in Action : How to Follow Scientists and Engineers by Bruno Latour

By Bruno Latour

technological know-how and expertise have enormous authority and impact in our society, but their operating is still little understood. the traditional belief of technology in Western societies has been transformed lately through the paintings of philosophers, sociologists and historians of technological know-how. during this ebook Bruno Latour brings jointly those assorted techniques to supply a full of life and tough research of technology, demonstrating how social context and technical content material are either necessary to a formal figuring out of clinical job. Emphasizing that technology can in basic terms be understood via its perform, the writer examines technology and expertise in motion: the position of clinical literature, the actions of laboratories, the institutional context of technology within the smooth global, and the potential during which innovations and discoveries turn into authorised. From the research of medical perform he develops an research of technology because the development of networks. all through, Bruno Latour indicates how a full of life and reasonable photo of technology in motion alters our belief of not just the typical sciences but additionally the social sciences and the sociology of information generally.

This stimulating e-book, drawing on a wealth of examples from quite a lot of clinical actions, will curiosity all philosophers, sociologists and historians of technological know-how, scientists and engineers, and scholars of the philosophy of social technological know-how and the sociology of data.

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As a consequence, listeners make sentences less of a fact if they take them back where they came from, to the mouths and hands of whoever made them, or more of a fact if they use it to reach another, more uncertain goal. The difference is as great as going up or down a river. Going downstream, listeners are led to a demonstration against the Russians- see (2), to clinical studies of dwarfism- see (6), to metallurgy- see (9). Upstream, they are directed to probe the CIA- see (3), to do research in Dr Schally's laboratory- see (7), or to investigations on what quantum physics can tell us about fuel cells-see (10).

You would be rather puzzled by now. When you believed (9) you were ready to invest in the one-pore electrode model as it was convincingly defined by metallurgists. antum physics, recruiting new physicists. But after listening to (14), you decided to buy shares in companies manufacturing traditional batteries. After listening to ( 15), though, if you believe it, you would be better not selling any of your General Motor shares. Who is right? Whom should you believe? The answer to this question is not in any one of the statements, but in what everyone is going to do with them later on.

Suppose that you 'bought the argument' presented in statement ( 10). You go for electric cars, you believe in fuel cells, and in quantum physics as the only way to Literature 29 get at them. All the other statements are made more wrong by this decision. The linkages between the future of the automobile, the electric engine, the fuel cells, and electrophysics are all conflated in one single black box which no one in the company is going to dispute. ' As we will see in Chapter 3, this does not mean that your company will win.

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