The anthropological approach is the central focus of this study. Laboratories are looked upon with the innocent eye of the traveller in exotic lands, and the societies found in these places are observed with the objective yet compassionate eye of the visitor from a quite other cultural milieu. There are many surprises that await us if we enter a laboratory in this frame of mind... This study is a realistic enterprise, an attempt to truly represent the social order of life (...) in laboratories and institutes of research, just as they are. By bringing the philosophical issues to the surface as matters not of prejudgement but as matters of concern, Karin Knorr-Cetina has developed the first really positive challenge to the philosophy of science since the days of paradigms and internal definitions of meanings. (shrink)
Images are objects of work in the laboratory. On its face, this work is achieved through talk Yet the talk attached to these images makes reference to other images, which are drawn from varcous environments. In this article, four such environments are identified: the domain of laboratory practice; the context of invisible physical reactions; the future image as it will appear in publication; and the domain of case precedents and reference scenarios from the field. The work of image analysis brings (...) the outside of the image into it and takes the inside out. Thus it can be seen that images are not just taken, they are designed and made. (shrink)
In the sociology of knowledge, the relationship between society and knowledge —or rather what separates them — remains an unsolved problem. A critical analysis of various solutions that we must look for to this problem suggests the plausibility of a passage between social groups, styles of argumentation and objects of knowledge. An empirical model of “decision displacements” is proposed on the basis of a corpus of texts and of observations derived from concrete analysis of a laboratory situation.