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Laboratory Life by Bruno Latour

Laboratory Life

by Bruno Latour

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This anthropological study of scientists is at times thought-provoking and at times, it seems, intentionally obtuse. Latour and Woolgar's argument on the construction of facts (rather than their discovery) is well supported; their portrayal of the chaos of the daily life in a lab, in which "scientific reality is a pocket of order, created out of disorder by seizing on any signal which fits what has already been enclosed and by encolosing it, albeit at a cost", is useful and fair. But their dismissal of epistemologists that have addressed the same issues is unwarranted, their flirting with relativism is irresponsible, and their emphasis on literary inscriptions (scientific papers) and career advancement, paired with their dismissal of the meaning of those inscriptions and of any motivations of scientists beyond social recognition, are fundamentally misguided. ( )
  jorgearanda | Sep 9, 2009 |
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