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  1. Social Epistemology of Scientific Inquiry: Beyond Historical Vs. Philosophical Case Studies.Melinda Fagan - unknown
    In this paper, I propose a new way to integrate historical accounts of social interaction in scientific practice with philosophical examination of scientific knowledge. The relation between descriptive accounts of scientific practice, on the one hand, and normative accounts of scientific knowledge, on the other, is a vexed one. This vexatiousness is one instance of the gap between normative and descriptive domains. The general problem of the normative/descriptive divide takes striking and problematic form in the case of social aspects of (...)
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  • Stems and Standards: Social Interaction in the Search for Blood Stem Cells.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2010 - Journal of the History of Biology 43 (1):67 - 109.
    This essay examines the role of social interactions in the search for blood stem cells, in a recent episode of biomedical research. Linked to mid-20th century cell biology, genetics and radiation research, the search for blood stem cells coalesced in the 1960s and took a developmental turn in the late 1980s, with significant ramifications for immunology, stem cell and cancer biology. Like much contemporary biomedical research, this line of inquiry exhibits a complex social structure and includes several prominent scientific successes, (...)
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  • Moderate Epistemic Relativism and Our Epistemic Goals.Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2007 - Episteme 4 (1):66-92.
    Although radical forms of relativism are perhaps beyond the epistemological pale, I argue here that a more moderate form may be plausible, and articulate the conditions under which moderate epistemic relativism could well serve our epistemic goals. In particular, as a result of our limitations as human cognizers, we find ourselves needing to investigate the dappled and difficult world by means of competing communities of highly specialized researchers. We would do well, I argue, to admit of the existence of unresolvable (...)
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  • Immune System, Immune Self. Introduction.Bartłomiej Świątczak - 2012 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 3 (1):12-18.
    The idea that the immune system distinguishes between self and non-self was one of the central assumptions of immunology in the second half of 20th century. This idea influenced experimental design and data interpretation. However, in the face of new evidence there is a need for a new conceptual framework in immunology.
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  • System odpornościowy, ja immunologiczne. Wprowadzenie.Bartlomiej Swiatczak - 2012 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 3 (1).
    [Przekład] Pogląd głoszący, że układ odpornościowy rozróżnia to, co swoje, od tego, co obce, był jednym z centralnych założeń immunologii w drugiej połowie XX wieku. Pogląd ten miał wpływ na projekty eksperymentalne i interpretowanie danych. Jednakże w obliczu nowych dowodów empirycznych konieczny jest w immunologii nowy aparat konceptualny.
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  • Collaboration, Toward an Integrative Philosophy of Scientific Practice.Melinda Fagan - unknown
    Philosophical understanding of experimental scientific practice is impeded by disciplinary differences, notably that between philosophy and sociology of science. Severing the two limits the stock of philosophical case studies to narrowly circumscribed experimental episodes, centered on individual scientists or technologies. The complex relations between scientists and society that permeate experimental research are left unexamined. In consequence, experimental fields rich in social interactions have received only patchy attention from philosophers of science. This paper sketches a remedy for both the symptom and (...)
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  • Experimental Standards: Evaluating Success in Stem Cell Biology.Melinda Fagan - unknown
    This paper aims to bring the epistemic dimensions of stem cell experiments out of the background, and show that they can be critically evaluated. After introducing some basic concepts of stem cell biology, I set out the current “gold standard” for experimental success in that field (§2). I then trace the origin of this standard to a 1988 controversy over blood stem cells (§3). Understanding the outcome of this controversy requires attention to the details of experimental techniques, the organization of (...)
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  • Beyond Implications and Applications: The Story of 'Safety by Design'. [REVIEW]Christopher M. Kelty - 2009 - NanoEthics 3 (2):79-96.
    Using long-term anthropological observations at the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology in Houston, Texas, the article demonstrates in detail the creation of new objects, new venues and new modes of veridiction which have reoriented the disciplines of materials chemistry and nanotoxicology. Beginning with the confusion surrounding the meaning of ‘implications’ and ‘applications’ the article explores the creation of new venues (CBEN and its offshoot the International Council on Nanotechnology); it then demonstrates how the demands for a responsible, safe or (...)
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  • Accountability and Values in Radically Collaborative Research.Eric Winsberg, Bryce Huebner & Rebecca Kukla - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 46:16-23.
    This paper discusses a crisis of accountability that arises when scientific collaborations are massively epistemically distributed. We argue that social models of epistemic collaboration, which are social analogs to what Patrick Suppes called a “model of the experiment,” must play a role in creating accountability in these contexts. We also argue that these social models must accommodate the fact that the various agents in a collaborative project often have ineliminable, messy, and conflicting interests and values; any story about accountability in (...)
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  • Social Experiments in Stem Cell Biology.Melinda B. Fagan - 2011 - Perspectives on Science 19 (3):235-262.
    Stem cell biology is driven by experiment. Its major achievements are striking experimental productions: "immortal" human cell lines from spare embryos (Thomson et al. 1998); embryo-like cells from "reprogrammed" adult skin cells (Takahashi and Yamanaka 2006); muscle, blood and nerve tissue generated from stem cells in culture (Lanza et al. 2009, and references therein). Well-confirmed theories are not so prominent, though stem cell biologists do propose and test hypotheses at a profligate rate. 1 This paper aims to characterize the role (...)
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