448 results match your criteria Social studies of science[Journal]


Fraught claims at the intersection of biology and sociality: Managing controversy in the neuroscience of poverty and adversity.

Authors:
Kasia Tolwinski

Soc Stud Sci 2019 Apr;49(2):141-161

Biomedical Ethics Unit, Department of the Social Studies of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.

In this article, I examine how a subfield of researchers studying the impact of poverty and adversity on the developing brain, cognitive abilities and mental health respond to criticism that their research is racist and eugenicist, and implies that affected children are broken on a biological level. My interviewees use a number of strategies to respond to these resurfacing criticisms. They maintain that the controversy rests upon a fundamental misunderstanding of their work. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312719839149DOI Listing

Access, accountability, and the proliferation of psychological therapy: On the introduction of the IAPT initiative and the transformation of mental healthcare.

Soc Stud Sci 2019 Mar 25:306312719834070. Epub 2019 Mar 25.

Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society, Usher Institute, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Psychological therapy today plays a key role in UK public mental health. In large part, this has been through the development of the (specifically English) Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme. Through IAPT, millions of citizens have encountered interventions such as cognitive behaviour therapy, largely for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Read More

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http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0306312719834070
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312719834070DOI Listing
March 2019
3 Reads

Life in the cryo-kennel: The 'exceptional' life of frozen pet DNA.

Soc Stud Sci 2019 Apr 19;49(2):162-179. Epub 2019 Mar 19.

Department for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark.

This article employs a feminist science and technology studies perspective to investigate how the cryo-vitality of frozen pet DNA is potentialized and animated. This is accomplished by empirically foregrounding the marketing material and online presence of two genetic pet preservation companies: PerPETuate and ViaGen Pets. While the allure of cryopreservation for pet owners is situated in light of the ability to re-animate and re-entangle biological matter into future (old) pets, the preservation of pet DNA is potentialized through the logics of love, sameness, purity, and kinship. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312719837610DOI Listing

Fictions and frictions: Promises, transaction costs and the innovation of network technologies.

Soc Stud Sci 2019 Apr 18;49(2):264-277. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

Faculty of Technology, Policy & Management, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands.

New network technologies are framed as eliminating 'transaction costs', a notion first developed in economic theory that now drives the design of market systems. However, the actual promise of the elimination of transaction costs seems unfeasible, because of a cyclical pattern in which network technologies that make that promise create processes of institutionalization that create new forms transaction costs. Nonetheless, the promises legitimize the exemption of innovations of network technologies from critical scrutiny. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312719838339DOI Listing

Microeconomic forecasting: Constructing commensurable futures of educational reforms.

Authors:
Guus Dix

Soc Stud Sci 2019 Apr 18;49(2):180-207. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung, Köln, Germany; Center for Science and Technology Studies - Science and Evaluation Studies, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands.

According to economists from the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, the introduction of performance pay for primary and secondary school teachers would lead to an increase in Dutch GDP of one-and-a-half percent in 2070. A new epistemic practice of microeconomic forecasting undergirded this attempt to make the distant future part of the political present. Taking the construction of the economic growth potential of performance pay as a starting point, this article analyzes how microeconomic forecasting emerged in one of the world's oldest forecasting bureaus - and to what consequences. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312719837364DOI Listing

Constructing contentious and noncontentious facts: How gynecology textbooks create certainty around pharma-contraceptive safety.

Soc Stud Sci 2019 Apr 7;49(2):245-263. Epub 2019 Mar 7.

Department of Sociology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Using critical discourse analysis, we examine how seven popular gynecology textbooks use sociolinguistic devices to describe the health effects of pharma-contraception (intrauterine and hormonal methods). Though previous studies have noted that textbooks generally use neutral language, we find that gynecology textbooks differentially deployed linguistic devices, framing pharma-contraceptive benefits as certain and risks as doubtful. These discursive strategies transform pharma-contraceptive safety into fact. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312719834676DOI Listing
April 2019
1 Read

Somaticization, the making and unmaking of minded persons and the fabrication of dementia.

Soc Stud Sci 2019 Apr 5;49(2):208-226. Epub 2019 Mar 5.

Department of Sociology, University of York, York, UK.

This article examines the strategies by which the different and variable signs of failing mental powers become known sufficiently for 'dementia' to be made into a stable bio-clinical entity, that can be tested, diagnosed and perhaps one day even treated. Drawing on data from ethnographic observations in memory clinics, together with interviews with associated scientists and clinicians, we document the challenges that clinicians face across the clinical and research domain in making dementia a stable object of their investigation. We illustrate how the pressure for early diagnoses of dementia creates tensions between the scientific representations of early dementia and its diagnosis in the clinic. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312719834069DOI Listing
April 2019
8 Reads

Situating science in Africa: The dynamics of computing research in Nairobi and Kampala.

Soc Stud Sci 2019 Feb;49(1):52-76

Centre for Engineering in Society, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Since the turn of the century, both Kampala and Nairobi have experienced a dramatic growth of computer science research, challenging accepted views of science in Africa. We deploy qualitative methods to follow active computer science researchers, graduate students, policy makers, administrators and entrepreneurs, in order to understand how computer science is enacted in these two cities. Our analysis focuses on four interrelated areas of labor, institutions, identities and scale. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312719829595DOI Listing
February 2019

Contested credibility economies of nuclear power in India.

Soc Stud Sci 2019 Feb;49(1):29-51

Sociology, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

STS scholars studying anti-nuclear activism in the context of nations in the Global North have observed the critical role of science to mediate relations of domination and resistance. Through a historical examination of anti-nuclear activism in India, this article investigates the instrumentalization of science as a liberal democratic rationality. In doing so, the article shows how elite Indian activists - many of whom are scientists, engineers, journalists and academic professionals - will never be seen as scientifically knowledgeable in nuclear matters, because of their non-state educational pedigrees. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312719827114DOI Listing
February 2019
2 Reads

Devicing future populations: Problematizing the relationship between quantity and quality of life.

Authors:
Tiago Moreira

Soc Stud Sci 2019 Feb;49(1):118-137

Department of Sociology, Durham University, Durham, UK.

Taking as point of departure the claim that, in late modern societies, there has been shift from a focus on producing measures of life and death towards metrics of health and disability, this paper investigates how, through what means and processes was this transition achieved. It proposes that such questions can be addressed by analysing the transcripts and sociotechnical network of a meeting held at the United States Senate on July 15th 1983 to assess the validity and sensitivity of life expectancy forecasts. The paper analyses how members of the Hearing transformed a weakly articulated set of differing life expectancy projections into a controversy about the issue of vitality and health in populations. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312719829841DOI Listing
February 2019
6 Reads

Under repair: A publication ethics and research record in the making.

Soc Stud Sci 2019 Feb 17;49(1):77-101. Epub 2019 Jan 17.

School of Law, University of Leeds, UK.

Based on fieldwork in the Committee on Publication Ethics, this paper offers an analysis of the forms of doings that publication ethics in action can take during what is called the 'Forum', a space where allegations of dubious research conduct get aired and debated between editors and publishers. This article examines recurring motifs within the review of publication practices whose ethics are called into. These motifs include: the shaping of publication ethics as an expertise that can be standardized across locations and disciplines, the separation of the research record from relations that produce it, and the divisibility of the scientific paper. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718824663DOI Listing
February 2019
2 Reads

Seeing power with a flashlight: DIY thermal sensing technology in the classroom.

Soc Stud Sci 2019 Feb 16;49(1):3-28. Epub 2019 Jan 16.

Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA.

This paper contributes to the growing literature on 'making and doing' in Science and Technology Studies (STS) by describing and theorizing the teaching of making and doing. We describe a collaborative do-it-yourself (DIY) technology project taught simultaneously in Canada and the United States, in sociology and public health, to undergraduates with no prior electronics experience. Students built thermal flashlights - low cost digital tools for making thermal images - and employed them to research their surrounding environments. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718823282DOI Listing
February 2019
2 Reads

The social life of data points: Antecedents of digital technologies.

Authors:
David Armstrong

Soc Stud Sci 2019 Feb 12;49(1):102-117. Epub 2019 Jan 12.

School of Population Health & Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, King's College London, London, UK.

Recent technological advances such as microprocessors and random-access memory have had a significant role in gathering, storing and processing digital data, but the basic principles underpinning such data management were established in the century preceding the digital revolution. This paper maps the emergence of those older technologies to show that the logic and imperative for the surveillance potential of more recent digital technologies was laid down in a pre-digital age. The paper focuses on the development of the data point from its use in punch cards in the late 19th century through its manipulation in ideas about correlation to its collection via self-completion questionnaires. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718821726DOI Listing
February 2019
2 Reads

Fear and anxiety: Affects, emotions and care practices in the memory clinic.

Soc Stud Sci 2019 Apr 25;49(2):227-244. Epub 2018 Dec 25.

School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.

This paper contributes to the growing recognition in Science and Technology Studies and medical sociology of the significant role of affect in scientific and clinical work. We show how feelings of fear and anxiety associated with dementia not only shape people's experiences and responses to a diagnosis, but also shape the practices and processes through which assessments and diagnoses are accomplished. What emerges from our research, and provides a distinct contribution to this growing field of study, is the relationship between the uncertainties that pervade the diagnosis of memory problems and the various strategies and practices employed to care for, divert, restrict or manage affective relations. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718820965DOI Listing
April 2019
2 Reads

Distributed corporeality: Anatomy, knowledge and the technological reconfiguration of bodies in ballet.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Nov 16:306312718811636. Epub 2018 Nov 16.

Institute for Sociology, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Various specialist cultures configure bodies as complex technological devices. We know little about how exactly this is done. I focus on one of these cultures, classical ballet, to praxeologically reconstruct the conceptual, situational and material configuration of bodies as particular instruments. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718811636DOI Listing
November 2018
2 Reads

Land as material, knowledge and relationships: Resource extraction and subsistence imaginaries in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Oct;48(5):715-739

Environmental Studies Program, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, The University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA.

This article examines the social, historical and political constitution of land and resource imaginaries in Bristol Bay, Alaska. We compare the dynamics of these different imaginaries in the region within the early permitting debates concerning the proposed Pebble Mine to understand the contemporary politics of defining and constructing ideologies of extractive resource use. We show that the civic epistemologies and ontologies embedded in different social, scientific and political practices help explain environmental actions and outcomes. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718803453DOI Listing
October 2018
2 Reads

Concealment and discovery: The role of information security in biomedical data re-use.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Oct;48(5):663-690

Egenis, The Centre for the Study of Life Sciences, Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK; School of Humanities, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

This paper analyses the role of information security (IS) in shaping the dissemination and re-use of biomedical data, as well as the embedding of such data in material, social and regulatory landscapes of research. We consider data management practices adopted by two UK-based data linkage infrastructures: the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage, a Welsh databank that facilitates appropriate re-use of health data derived from research and routine medical practice in the region, and the Medical and Environmental Data Mash-up Infrastructure, a project bringing together researchers to link and analyse complex meteorological, environmental and epidemiological data. Through an in-depth analysis of how data are sourced, processed and analysed in these two cases, we show that IS takes two distinct forms: epistemic IS, focused on protecting the reliability and reusability of data as they move across platforms and research contexts, and infrastructural IS, concerned with protecting data from external attacks, mishandling and use disruption. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718804875DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6193209PMC
October 2018
1 Read

Narrating ethnicity and diversity in Middle Eastern national genome projects.

Authors:
Elise K Burton

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Oct 5;48(5):762-786. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

Newnham College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Most Middle Eastern populations outside Israel have not been represented in Western-based international human genome sequencing efforts. In response, national-level projects have emerged throughout the Middle East to decode the Arab, Turkish and Iranian genomes. The discourses surrounding the 'national genome' that shape scientists' representation of their work to local and international audiences evoke three intersecting analytics of nationalism: methodological, postcolonial and diasporic. Read More

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http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0306312718804888
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718804888DOI Listing
October 2018
3 Reads

Bodily circulation and the measure of a life: Forensic identification and valuation after the Titanic disaster.

Authors:
Jess Bier

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Oct 26;48(5):635-662. Epub 2018 Sep 26.

Department of Public Administration and Sociology, Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

This article analyzes the process of body recovery that took place after the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Focusing on how identification was intertwined with valuation, I show how notions of economic class informed decisions about which human bodies were fit for preservation as human bodies. The RMS Titanic steamship was a microcosm of social circulation in the early 20-century Atlantic, and life on board was systematically stratified according to economic class. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718801173DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6193206PMC
October 2018
2 Reads

Non-stick science: Sixty years of research and (in)action on fluorinated compounds.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Oct 20;48(5):691-714. Epub 2018 Sep 20.

Departments of Sociology and Anthropology and Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA.

Understandings of environmental governance both assume and challenge the relationship between expert knowledge and corresponding action. We explore this interplay by examining the context of knowledge production pertaining to a contested class of chemicals. Per-and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) are widely used industrial compounds containing chemical chains of carbon and fluorine that are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718799960DOI Listing
October 2018
1 Read

How to train your oracle: The Delphi method and its turbulent youth in operations research and the policy sciences.

Authors:
Christian Dayé

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Sep 19:306312718798497. Epub 2018 Sep 19.

Department of Sociology, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria.

Delphi is a procedure that produces forecasts on technological and social developments. This article traces the history of Delphi's development to the early 1950s, where a group of logicians and mathematicians working at the RAND Corporation carried out experiments to assess the predictive capacities of groups of experts. While Delphi now has a rather stable methodological shape, this was not so in its early years. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718798497DOI Listing
September 2018
2 Reads

Shortcut to success? Negotiating genetic uniqueness in global biomedicine.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Oct 19;48(5):740-761. Epub 2018 Sep 19.

Section for Health Services Research, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Since the sequencing of the human genome, as well as the completion of the first Human Genome Diversity Project, the benefits of studying one human population over another has been an ongoing debate relating to the replicability of findings in other populations. The leveraging of specific populations into research markets has made headlines in cases such as deCode in Iceland, Quebec Founder Population, and Generation Scotland. In such cases, researchers and policy makers have used the genetic and historical uniqueness of their populations to attract scientific, commercial and political interest. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718801165DOI Listing
October 2018
2 Reads

Making heart-lung machines work in India: Imports, indigenous innovation and the challenge of replicating cardiac surgery in Bombay, 1952-1962.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Aug;48(4):507-539

Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

In 1962, surgeons at two hospitals in Bombay used heart-lung machines to perform open-heart surgery. The devices that made this work possible had been developed in Minneapolis in 1955 and commercialized by 1957. However, restrictions on currency exchange and foreign imports made it difficult for surgeons in India to acquire this new technology. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718794034DOI Listing
August 2018
1 Read

'There's always a [white] man in the loop': The gendered and racialized politics of civilian drones.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Aug 7;48(4):540-563. Epub 2018 Aug 7.

Women's and Gender Studies Program, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, USA.

In 2014, the United States Federal Aviation Administration chose six sites at which to conduct research crucial to integrating unmanned aircraft systems into the nation's airspace. Analyzing data collected from five focus groups that we conducted at one of these test sites, this article centers on the gendered and racialized politics of civilian unmanned aircraft. Civilian drone use remains a relatively unchallenged space for displaying hypermasculinity via technological expertise. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718792619DOI Listing
August 2018
2 Reads

'The sun without a permit': Serbian solar politics, informational risk cascades, and the Great Disappearing Act of August 1999.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Aug 27;48(4):589-614. Epub 2018 Jul 27.

Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

In the summer of 1999, the Serbian Ministry of Health issued a public health warning about the environmental risks associated with the total solar eclipse to took place on 11 August. The warning contained a list of phantom symptoms unknown to medical profession. Some of these included severe itching, hypertension, cardiac palpitation and frequent urination. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718790812DOI Listing
August 2018
2 Reads

Evolution as a fact? A discourse analysis.

Authors:
Jason Jean Yixi Lu

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Aug 17;48(4):615-632. Epub 2018 Jul 17.

Institute of Development, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China.

Since the middle of the twentieth century, there has been a heated debate between evolutionists and antievolutionists regarding whether or not evolution is a 'fact'. The debate has spawned a number of court cases involving antievolutionists describing evolution as a 'theory, not a fact'. An analysis of the 'fact of biological evolution' discourse reveals several overarching agreements among its advocates, but also a contradictory morass of positions regarding how scientific theories, hypotheses and facts interrelate, how these terms are related to biological evolution, what a scientific fact is, and how science popularizers use the scientific and public vernaculars. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718785773DOI Listing
August 2018
4 Reads

The politics of a natural laboratory: Claiming territory and governing life in the Galápagos Islands.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Aug 17;48(4):483-506. Epub 2018 Jul 17.

Department of History and Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.

The Galápagos Islands are often called a natural laboratory of evolution. This metaphor provides a powerful way of understanding space that, through scientific research, conservation and tourism, has shaped the archipelago over the past century. Combining environmental histories of field science with political ecologies of conservation biopower, this article foregrounds the territorial production of the archipelago as a living laboratory. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718788179DOI Listing
August 2018
1 Read

Hypo-interventions: Intimate activism in toxic environments.

Authors:
Manuel Tironi

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Jun;48(3):438-455

Instituto de Sociología, Pontificia Universidad Católica, Santiago, Chile; Research Center for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (CIGIDEN), Santiago, Chile.

Chemical toxicity is part of everyday life in Puchuncaví. The most polluted industrial compound in Chile, Puchuncaví is home of fourteen industrial complexes, including the largest copper smelting plant in the country and four thermoelectric plants. Stories of biological mutation, corrosion and death among plants, humans, fishes and cattle are proliferate in Puchuncaví. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718784779DOI Listing
June 2018
3 Reads

Political airs: From monitoring to attuned sensing air pollution.

Authors:
Nerea Calvillo

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Jun;48(3):372-388

Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick, UK.

In Madrid, as in many European cities, air pollution is known about and made accountable through techno-scientific monitoring processes based on data, and the toxicity of the air is defined through epidemiological studies and made political through policy. In 2009, Madrid's City Council changed the location of its air quality monitoring stations without notice, reducing the average pollution of the city and therefore provoking a public scandal. This scandal challenged the monitoring process, as the data that used to be the evidence of pollution could not be relied on anymore. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718784656DOI Listing
June 2018
2 Reads

Toxic politics: Acting in a permanently polluted world.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Jun;48(3):331-349

Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.

Toxicity has become a ubiquitous, if uneven, condition. Toxicity can allow us to focus on how forms of life and their constituent relations, from the scale of cells to that of ways of life, are enabled, constrained and extinguished within broader power systems. Toxicity both disrupts existing orders and ways of life at some scales, while simultaneously enabling and maintaining ways of life at other scales. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718783087DOI Listing
June 2018
9 Reads

Dirty hands: The toxic politics of denunciation.

Authors:
Amelia Fiske

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Jun 11;48(3):389-413. Epub 2018 Jun 11.

Division of Biomedical Ethics, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany.

In September 2013, President Correa balanced himself on a felled log over an oil waste pit in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Extending a bare hand dripping with crude, he launched La Mano Sucia de Chevron campaign, demanding accountability for decades of contamination. This article explores the role of bodily knowledge in witnessing industrial contamination and struggles for environmental justice. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718781505DOI Listing
June 2018
2 Reads

Sex, drugs, and rhetoric: The case of flibanserin for 'female sexual dysfunction'.

Authors:
Judy Z Segal

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Aug 3;48(4):459-482. Epub 2018 Jun 3.

Department of English Language & Literatures and Graduate Program in Science and Technology Studies, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

In August, 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Addyi (flibanserin) for the treatment of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder in premenopausal women. Ten months before that, the FDA had held a Patient-Focused Drug Development Public Meeting to address the 'unmet need' for a pharmaceutical to treat that condition. I attended that meeting as a rhetorical observer. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718778802DOI Listing
August 2018
5 Reads

Sensory politics: The tug-of-war between potability and palatability in municipal water production.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Jun 3;48(3):350-371. Epub 2018 Jun 3.

Philadelphia Water Department, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Sensory information signaled the acceptability of water for consumption for lay and professional people into the early twentieth century. Yet as the twentieth century progressed, professional efforts to standardize water-testing methods have increasingly excluded aesthetic information, preferring to rely on the objectivity of analytic information. Despite some highly publicized exceptions, consumer complaints remain peripheral to the making and regulating of drinking water. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718778358DOI Listing
June 2018
4 Reads

The epistemic culture in an online citizen science project: Programs, antiprograms and epistemic subjects.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Aug 23;48(4):564-588. Epub 2018 May 23.

Department of Education, Communication and Learning, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

In the past decade, some areas of science have begun turning to masses of online volunteers through open calls for generating and classifying very large sets of data. The purpose of this study is to investigate the epistemic culture of a large-scale online citizen science project, the Galaxy Zoo, that turns to volunteers for the classification of images of galaxies. For this task, we chose to apply the concepts of programs and antiprograms to examine the 'essential tensions' that arise in relation to the mobilizing values of a citizen science project and the epistemic subjects and cultures that are enacted by its volunteers. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718778806DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6108042PMC
August 2018
2 Reads

Algorithmic psychometrics and the scalable subject.

Authors:
Luke Stark

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Apr;48(2):204-231

Department of Sociology, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA.

Recent public controversies, ranging from the 2014 Facebook 'emotional contagion' study to psychographic data profiling by Cambridge Analytica in the 2016 American presidential election, Brexit referendum and elsewhere, signal watershed moments in which the intersecting trajectories of psychology and computer science have become matters of public concern. The entangled history of these two fields grounds the application of applied psychological techniques to digital technologies, and an investment in applying calculability to human subjectivity. Today, a quantifiable psychological subject position has been translated, via 'big data' sets and algorithmic analysis, into a model subject amenable to classification through digital media platforms. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718772094DOI Listing
April 2018
2 Reads

The future(s) of open science.

Authors:
Philip Mirowski

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Apr;48(2):171-203

John J. Reilly Center, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA.

Almost everyone is enthusiastic that 'open science' is the wave of the future. Yet when one looks seriously at the flaws in modern science that the movement proposes to remedy, the prospect for improvement in at least four areas are unimpressive. This suggests that the agenda is effectively to re-engineer science along the lines of platform capitalism, under the misleading banner of opening up science to the masses. Read More

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http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0306312718772086
Publisher Site
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718772086DOI Listing
April 2018
5 Reads

Tactics of material participation: How patients shape their engagement through e-health.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Apr 20;48(2):259-282. Epub 2018 Apr 20.

Department of Public Health, Centre for Medical Science and Technology Studies, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

The increasingly popular goal of 'patient participation' comes with a conceptual vagueness, at times rendering it an all-too flexible political trope or platitude and, in practice, resulting in unclear invitations to patients. We seek to open up the alluring yet troubling figure of patient participation, by inquiring into how patients enact participation in different ways. Based on close ethnographic engagement in a user test of the e-health system P-Record, we show how a group of heart patients shaped their participation along three lines of tactics of material participation: 'activism', 'partnership' and 'compliance'. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718769156DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5946664PMC
April 2018
2 Reads

'The biggest legal battle in UK casino history': Processes and politics of 'cheating' in sociotechnical networks.

Authors:
Mark R Johnson

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Apr 18;48(2):304-327. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Department of Political Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Previous literature on cheating has focused on defining the concept, assigning responsibility to individual players, collaborative social processes or technical faults in a game's rules. By contrast, this paper applies an actor-network perspective to understanding 'cheating' in games, and explores how the concept is rhetorically effective in sociotechnical controversies. The article identifies human and nonhuman actors whose interests and properties were translated in a case study of 'edge sorting' - identifying minor but crucial differences in tessellated patterns on the backs of playing cards, and using these to estimate their values. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718771212DOI Listing
April 2018
3 Reads

Creating energy citizenship through material participation.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Apr 12;48(2):283-303. Epub 2018 Apr 12.

Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture, Centre for Technology and Society, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.

Transitions towards low-carbon energy systems will be comprehensive and demanding, requiring substantial public support. One important contribution from STS is to highlight the roles of citizens and public engagement. Until recently, energy users have often been treated as customers and passive market actors, or as recipients of technology at the margins of centralized systems. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718770286DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5977452PMC
April 2018
2 Reads

'Civil skepticism' and the social construction of knowledge: A case in dendroclimatology.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Mar 1:306312718763119. Epub 2018 Mar 1.

Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Early Science and Technology Studies (STS) scholars recognized that the social construction of knowledge depends on skepticism's parasitic relationship to background expectations and trust. Subsequent generations have paid less empirical attention to skepticism in science and its relationship with trust. I seek to rehabilitate skepticism in STS - particularly, Merton's view of skepticism as a scientific norm sustained by trust among status peers - with a study of what I call 'civil skepticism'. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718763119DOI Listing
March 2018
2 Reads

Chemical warfare in Colombia, evidentiary ecologies and senti-actuando practices of justice.

Authors:
Kristina Lyons

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Jun 23;48(3):414-437. Epub 2018 Mar 23.

Feminist Studies, University of California - Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, USA.

Between 1994 and 2015, militarized aerial fumigation was a central component of US-Colombia antidrug policy. Crop duster planes sprayed a concentrated formula of Monsanto's herbicide, glyphosate, over illicit crops, and also forests, soils, pastures, livestock, watersheds, subsistence food and human bodies. Given that a national peace agreement was signed in 2016 between FARC-EP guerrillas and the state to end Colombia's over five decades of war, certain government officials are quick to proclaim aerial fumigation of glyphosate an issue of the past. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718765375DOI Listing
June 2018
2 Reads

How experiments age: Gerontology, beagles, and species projection at Davis.

Authors:
Brad Bolman

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Apr 22;48(2):232-258. Epub 2018 Mar 22.

Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Cold War curiosities about the dangers of radiation generated significant funding for an array of biomedical projects as enticing as they were unpredictable, introducing newly standardized experimental animals into laboratories and a novel merging of scientific disciplines. The desire to understand radiation's effects on human longevity spurred a multi-sited, multi-decade project that subjected beagle dogs to varying degrees of irradiation. One of those laboratories, located at the southern tip of the campus of the University of California, Davis, eventually hosted an elaborate experimental breeding kennel and a population of 'control' dogs that set new milestones for canine longevity. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718759822DOI Listing
April 2018
2 Reads

Shifting syndromes: Sex chromosome variations and intersex classifications.

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Feb;48(1):125-148

Department of Sociology, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.

The 2006 'Consensus statement on management of intersex disorders' recommended moving to a new classification of intersex variations, framed in terms of 'disorders of sex development' or DSD. Part of the rationale for this change was to move away from associations with gender, and to increase clarity by grounding the classification system in genetics. While the medical community has largely accepted the move, some individuals from intersex activist communities have condemned it. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718757081DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5808814PMC
February 2018
3 Reads

Puncturing the pipeline: Do technology companies alienate women in recruiting sessions?

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Feb;48(1):149-164

Department of Sociology and Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

A 'chilly' environment limits women's advancement through the educational pipeline leading to jobs in science and technology. However, we know relatively little about the environment women encounter after making it through the educational pipeline. Do technology companies create environments that may dampen women's interest at the juncture when they are launching their careers? Using original observational data from 84 recruiting sessions hosted by technology companies at a prominent university on the US West Coast, we find that company representatives often engage in behaviors that are known to create a chilly environment for women. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718756766DOI Listing
February 2018
3 Reads

The new watchdogs' vision of science: A roundtable with Ivan Oransky ( Retraction Watch) and Brandon Stell ( PubPeer).

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Feb 30;48(1):165-167. Epub 2018 Jan 30.

Epigenetics, Data, Politics (EpiDaPo), CNRS/UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

On March 3rd, 2016, the authors of this note hosted a conference entitled 'Destabilized Science' at the University of California, Los Angeles, to which we invited two representatives of core actors within the new science watchdog pack: Ivan Oransky, co-founder in 2010 of Retraction Watch, and Brandon Stell, co-founder in 2012 of PubPeer. After the formal conference, we organized a roundtable to discuss these invitees' experience and their vision of contemporary science. Mario Biagioli (University of California, Davis), Michael Chwe (UCLA) and Aaron Panofsky (UCLA) participated to the conversation. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312718756202DOI Listing
February 2018
2 Reads

'We've been here for 2,000 years': White settlers, Native American DNA and the phenomenon of indigenization.

Authors:
Darryl Leroux

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Feb 9;48(1):80-100. Epub 2018 Jan 9.

Department of Social Justice & Community Studies, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, NS, Canada.

Relying on a populace well-educated in family history based in ancestral genealogy, a robust national genomics sector has developed in Québec over the past decade-and-a-half. The same period roughly coincides with a fourfold increase in the number of individuals and organizations in the region self-identifying with a mixed-race form of indigeneity that is counter to existing Indigenous understandings of kinship and citizenship. This paper examines how recent efforts by genetic scientists, working on a multi-year research project on the 'diversity' of the Québec gene pool, intervene in complex settler-Indigenous relations by redefining indigeneity according to the logics of 'Native American DNA'. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312717751863DOI Listing
February 2018
3 Reads

Cultures of caring: Healthcare 'scandals', inquiries, and the remaking of accountabilities.

Authors:
Dawn Goodwin

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Feb 9;48(1):101-124. Epub 2018 Jan 9.

Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK.

In the UK, a series of high-profile healthcare 'scandals' and subsequent inquiries repeatedly point to the pivotal role culture plays in producing and sustaining healthcare failures. Inquiries are a sociotechnology of accountability that signal a shift in how personal accountabilities of healthcare professionals are being configured. In focusing on problematic organizational cultures, these inquiries acknowledge, make visible, and seek to distribute a collective responsibility for healthcare failures. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312717751051DOI Listing
February 2018
10 Reads

Sticky technologies: Plumpy'nut, emergency feeding and the viscosity of humanitarian design.

Authors:
Tom Scott-Smith

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Feb 1;48(1):3-24. Epub 2018 Jan 1.

Department of International Development, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Inspired by de Laet and Mol's classic article on the Zimbabwean Bush Pump and Peter Redfield's revival of fluidity as a central characteristic of humanitarian design, this paper argues that many humanitarian technologies are characterized not so much by fluidity as by stickiness. Sticky technologies lie somewhere between fluid technologies and Latourian immutable mobiles: They work precisely because they are mobile and not overly adaptable, yet they retain some flexibility by reaching out to shape and be shaped by their users. The concept is introduced through a detailed study of Plumpy'nut, a peanut paste for therapeutic feeding that is materially sticky - much firmer than a fluid, yet still mutable - as well as conceptually sticky. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312717747418DOI Listing
February 2018
3 Reads

From ships to robots: The social relations of sensing the world ocean.

Authors:
Jessica Lehman

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Feb 4;48(1):57-79. Epub 2017 Dec 4.

Department of Geography, Environment & Society, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA; Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA; Marine Research Institute, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa.

The dominant practices of physical oceanography have recently shifted from being based on ship-based ocean sampling and sensing to being based on remote and robotic sensing using satellites, drifting floats and remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicles. What are the implications of this change for the social relations of oceanographic science? This paper contributes to efforts to address this question, pursuing a situated view of ocean sensing technologies so as to contextualize and analyze new representations of the sea, and interactions between individual scientists, technologies and the ocean. By taking a broad view on oceanography through a 50-year shift from ship-based to remote and robotic sensing, I show the ways in which new technologies may provide an opportunity to fight what Oreskes has called 'ideologies of scientific heroism'. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312717743579DOI Listing
February 2018
3 Reads

Machine learning, social learning and the governance of self-driving cars.

Authors:
Jack Stilgoe

Soc Stud Sci 2018 Feb 21;48(1):25-56. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London, London, UK.

Self-driving cars, a quintessentially 'smart' technology, are not born smart. The algorithms that control their movements are learning as the technology emerges. Self-driving cars represent a high-stakes test of the powers of machine learning, as well as a test case for social learning in technology governance. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312717741687DOI Listing
February 2018
2 Reads