Hubertus Nederbragt
Utrecht University
This paper analyzes the investigation of the distribution of the protein tenascin-C in canine mammary tumors. The method involved immunohistochemistry of tissue slices, performed by the application of an antibody to tenascin-C that specifically can be made visible for microscopic inspection. The first phase of the project is the making of the protocol, the second the deduction of a pattern of tenascin-C distribution in tumors and the third the writing of a paper. Each of the phases is analyzed separately, using the concept of resistance and accommodation. My purpose is to show that in each phase of the process of producing knowledge, the scientist meets resistances which force him to accommodate by changing his conceptual, technical and methodological approaches. In reverse, the details of the non-human agent have to be accommodated to the wishes and expectations of the scientist. Through this interaction a situation of stability of knowledge is reached at the end of each phase.In the protocol phase, resistance is found in the antibody and tissue slices. In the phase of pattern deduction the resistance is in the pathological diagnosis of the tumors and the expectations and hypothesis with which the scientist had entered the project; in the criteria to be used for assigning the slices to a tenascin-C pattern; and in the responses of colleagues and supervisor. In the paper-writing phase the interaction is between the scientist and the scientific community which should take on board the knowledge from the research project.When stabilization of knowledge is obtained in one of the phases, the agents of resistance turn into allies in the next phase, giving support to accommodating the resistances in this later phase. Second, the stabilization of knowledge of the protocol is further enhanced when stabilization of the pattern is achieved; in addition, knowledge of the pattern is more definite when it has become stabilized and closed knowledge within the science community
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2010.10.002
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Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact.Ludwik Fleck - 1979 - University of Chicago Press.
The Fixation of (Visual) Evidence.K. Amann & K. Knorr Cetina - 1988 - Human Studies 11 (2-3):133 - 169.

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