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  1. “It Might Be This, It Should Be That…” Uncertainty and Doubt in Day-to-Day Research Practice.Jutta Schickore & Nora Hangel - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2):31.
    This paper examines how scientists conceptualize their research methodologies. Do scientists raise concerns about vague criteria and genuine uncertainties in experimental practice? If so, what sorts of issues do they identify as problematic? Do scientists acknowledge the presence of value judgments in scientific research, and do they reflect on the relation between epistemic and non-epistemic criteria for decisionmaking? We present findings from an analysis of qualitative interviews with 63 scientific researchers who talk about their views on good research practice. We (...)
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  • From Physics to Biology: Physicists in the Search for Systemic Biological Explanations.Leyla Mariane Joaquim, Olival Freire Jr & Charbel N. El-Hani - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2):30.
    This paper offers a contribution to debates around integrative aspects of systems biology and engages with issues related to the circumstances under which physicists look at biological problems. We use oral history as one of the methodological tools to gather the empirical material, conducting interviews with physicists working in systems biology. The interviews were conducted at several institutions in Brazil, Germany, Israel and the U.S. Biological research has been increasingly dependent on computational methods, high-throughput technologies, and multidisciplinary skills. Quantitative scientists (...)
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  • Interdisciplinarities in Action: Cognitive Ethnography of Bioengineering Sciences Research Laboratories.Nancy J. Nersessian - 2019 - Perspectives on Science 27 (4):553-581.
    The paper frames interdisciplinary research as creating complex, distributed cognitive-cultural systems. It introduces and elaborates on the method of cognitive ethnography as a primary means for investigating interdisciplinary cognitive and learning practices in situ. The analysis draws from findings of nearly 20 years of investigating such practices in research laboratories in pioneering bioengineering sciences. It examines goals and challenges of two quite different kinds of integrative problem-solving practices: biomedical engineering and integrative systems biology. Practical lessons for facilitating research and learning (...)
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  • Specialisation, Interdisciplinarity, and Incommensurability.Vincenzo Politi - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (3):301-317.
    Incommensurability may be regarded as driving specialisation, on the one hand, and as posing some problems to interdisciplinarity, on the other hand. It may be argued, however, that incommensurability plays no role in either specialisation or interdisciplinarity. Scientific specialties could be defined as simply 'different' (that is, about different things), rather than 'incommensurable' (that is, competing for the explanation of the same phenomena). Interdisciplinarity could be viewed as the co- ordinated effort of scientists possessing complemetary and interlocking skills, and not (...)
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  • Peeking Inside the Black Box: A New Kind of Scientific Visualization.Michael T. Stuart & Nancy J. Nersessian - 2018 - Minds and Machines 29 (1):87-107.
    Computational systems biologists create and manipulate computational models of biological systems, but they do not always have straightforward epistemic access to the content and behavioural profile of such models because of their length, coding idiosyncrasies, and formal complexity. This creates difficulties both for modellers in their research groups and for their bioscience collaborators who rely on these models. In this paper we introduce a new kind of visualization that was developed to address just this sort of epistemic opacity. The visualization (...)
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  • Pluralization through epistemic competition: scientific change in times of data-intensive biology.Fridolin Gross, Nina Kranke & Robert Meunier - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):1.
    We present two case studies from contemporary biology in which we observe conflicts between established and emerging approaches. The first case study discusses the relation between molecular biology and systems biology regarding the explanation of cellular processes, while the second deals with phylogenetic systematics and the challenge posed by recent network approaches to established ideas of evolutionary processes. We show that the emergence of new fields is in both cases driven by the development of high-throughput data generation technologies and the (...)
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  • How Mechanisms Explain Interfield Cooperation: Biological–Chemical Study of Plant Growth Hormones in Utrecht and Pasadena, 1930–1938.Caterina Schürch - 2017 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 39 (3):16.
    This article examines to what extent a particular case of cross-disciplinary research in the 1930s was structured by mechanistic reasoning. For this purpose, it identifies the interfield theories that allowed biologists and chemists to use each other’s techniques and findings, and that provided the basis for the experiments performed to identify plant growth hormones and to learn more about their role in the mechanism of plant growth. In 1930, chemists and biologists in Utrecht and Pasadena began to cooperatively study plant (...)
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