The Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter, University of Pennsylvania, was built in 1965 as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency's Interdisciplinary Laboratories program intended to foster interdisciplinary research and training in materialsscience. The process that led to the construction of the four-story structure served as the focus of intense debates over the meaning and process of interdisciplinary research in universities. The location of the building, its size, internal design, and functionalities were all subject (...) to heated negotiations among patrons, scientists, and university administrators, to find the proper place of interdisciplinary materialsscience on the University of Pennsylvania's campus. Building on the recent work on laboratory architecture, this paper argues that the negotiations and controversies over the LRSM building were concrete representations of the broader struggle over the appropriate place of interdisciplinary research and training within a university. (shrink)
The ambiguous material identity of nanotechnology is a minor mystery of the history of contemporary science. This paper argues that nanotechnology functioned primarily in discourses of social, not physical or biological science, the problematic knowledge at stake concerning the economic value of state-supported basic science. The politics of taxonomy in the United States Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences in the 1990s reveals how scientists invoked the term as one of several competing and equally valid (...) candidates for reframing materials sciences in ways believed consonant with the political tenor of the time. The resulting loss of conceptual clarity in the sociology of science traces ultimately to the struggle to bridge the disjunction between the promissory economy of federal basic science and the industrial economy, manifested in attempts to reconcile the precepts of linearity and interdisciplinarity in changing socio-economic conditions over a half century. (shrink)
Herbert Gleiter promoted the development of nanostructured materials on a variety of levels. In 1981 already, he formulated research visions and produced experimental as well as theoretical results. Still he is known only to a small community of materials scientists. That this is so is itself a telling feature of the imagined community of nanoscale research. After establishing the plausibility of the claim that Herbert Gleiter provided a major impetus, a second step will show just how deeply Gleiter (...) shaped (and ceased to influence) the vision of the National Nanotechnology Initiative in the US. Finally, then, the apparent invisibility of Gleiter's importance needs to be understood. This leads to the main question of this investigation. Though materials research meets even the more stringent definitions of nanotechnology, there remains a systematic tension between materialsscience and the device-centered visions of nanotechnology. Though it turned the tables on the scientific prestige of physics, materialsscience runs up against the engineering prestige of the machine. (shrink)
Resolving conflicts between different measurements ofa property of a physical system may be a key step in a discoveryprocess. With the emergence of large-scale databases and knowledgebases with property measurements, computer support for the task ofconflict resolution has become highly desirable. We will describe amethod for model-based conflict resolution and the accompanyingcomputer tool KIMA, which have been applied in a case-study inmaterials science. In order to be a useful aid to scientists, the toolneeds to be integrated with other tools (...) in a computer-supporteddiscovery environment. We will give an outline of such acomputer-supported discovery environment and argue that its use mightlead to new ways of doing science, so-called computer regimes. (shrink)
(1983). Children's Perception of Science: an analysis of the notion of infallibility in the coverage of evolution in ‘textbooks’ and some other teaching materials. Educational Studies: Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 93-103.
The article addresses the issue of dynamics of science, in particular of new sciences born in twentieth century and developed after the Second World War (information science, materialsscience, life science). The article develops the notion of search regime as an abstract characterization of dynamic patterns, based on three dimensions: the rate of growth, the degree of internal diversity of science and the associated dynamics (convergent vs. proliferating), and the nature of complementarity. The article (...) offers a conceptual discussion for the argument that new sciences follow a different pattern than established sciences and presents preliminary evidence drawn from original data in particle physics, computer science and nanoscience. (shrink)
This paper describes the French initiative in materials research against both a national and an international background, in an attempt to disentangle the local circumstances, which prompted this governmental initiative, and to characterize the specific profile of materials research in France. In presenting a biography of the interdisciplinary program in materials research (PIRMAT), we argue that: i) the PIRMAT denotes a failure of the French science policy in materials research; ii) the leadership of the CNRS (...) led to a specific style of research, quite different from the engineering approach of MaterialsScience and Engineering, and characteristic of a French style in materials research. (shrink)
This paper describes issues associated with integrating the study of Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (ELSI) into ongoing scientific and technical research and describes an approach adopted by the authors for their own work with the center for nanophase materials sciences (CNMS) at the Oak Ridge national laboratory (ORNL). Four key questions are considered: (a) What is ELSI and how should it identify and address topics of interest for the CNMS? (b) What advantages accrue to incorporating ELSI into the (...) CNMS? (c) How should the integration of ELSI into the CNMS take place? (d) How should one judge the effectiveness of the activity? We conclude that ELSI research is not a monolithic body of knowledge, but should be adapted to the question at hand. Our approach focuses on junctures in the R&D continuum at which key decisions occur, avoids topics of a purely ethical nature or advocacy, and seeks to gather data in ways that permit testing the validity of generalization. Integrating ELSI into the CNMS allows dealing with topics firmly grounded in science, offers concrete examples of potential downstream applications and provides access to the scientists using the CNMS and their insights and observations. As well, integration provides the opportunity for R&D managers to benefit from ELSI insights and the potential to modify R&D agendas. Successful integration is dependent on the particular ELSI question set that drives the project. In this case questions sought to identify key choices, information of value to scientists, institutional attributes, key attributes of the CNMS culture, and alternatives for communicating results. The opportunity to consult with scientists on ELSI implications is offered, but not promoted. Finally, ELSI effectiveness is judged by observing the use to which research products are put within the CNMS, ORNL, and the community of external scholars. (shrink)
The development of manufacturing technologies for new materials involves the generation of a large and continually evolving volume of information. The analysis, integration and management of such large volumes of data, typically stored in multiple independently developed databases, creates significant challenges for practitioners. There is a critical need especially for open-sharing of data pertaining to engineering design which together with effective decision support tools can enable innovation. We believe that ontology applied to engineering (OE) represents a viable strategy for (...) the alignment, reconciliation and integration of diverse and disparate data. The scope of OE includes: consistent capture of knowledge pertaining to the types of entities involved; facilitation of cooperation among diverse group of experts; more effective ongoing curation, and update of manufacturing data; collaborative design and knowledge reuse. As an illustrative case study we propose an ontology focused on the representation of composite materials focusing in particular on the class of Functionally Graded Materials (FGM) in particular. The scope of the ontology is to provide information about the components of such materials, the manufacturing processes involved in creation, and diversity of application ranging from additive manufacturing to restorative dentistry. The ontology is developed using Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) and the Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI). (shrink)
In diesem Beitrag lege ich dar, dass in der zweiten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts das Konzept von Werkstoffen (materials) als charakteristischer ontologischer Typus eines neuen Forschungs- und Wissenschaftsstils aufkam. Das soll nicht heißen, dass Werkstoffe niemals zuvor wissenschaftlich bearbeitet worden wären. Zweifellos hatten sich zahlreiche wissenschaftliche Disziplinen mit den Eigenschaften einer ganzen Reihe von Werkstoffen befasst. Doch wurden dabei Werkstoffe nicht als generische, also alle Arten von Stoffen umfassende, Entität betrachtet.Ziel dieses Aufsatzes ist zu verstehen, wie Werkstoffe als Gattungseinheit (...) entstanden sind und zu Objekten einer Wissenschaft wurden, die so unterschiedliche Dinge wie Papier, Holz, Metalle, Beton, Keramik, Polymere, Halbleiter und Kohlenstoff-Nanoröhren umfasst. Im Bemühen, die historischen Begleitumstände des Auftretens von Werkstoffen zu bestimmen, werde ich diese zunächst in historischer und ontologischer Hinsicht einordnen. Wie war es möglich, all diese Dinge in einer einzigen Gattung zu vereinigen? Dann wende ich mich dem sich verändernden Status von Werkstoffen zu, ein Resultat der erfolgreichen Materialforschung. Werkstoffe sind nicht länger die Vorbedingungen, die dem Entwurfsprozess Beschränkungen auferlegen, sondern werden nun selbst spezifisch entworfen. Solche materials by design sind echte, individuell zugeschnittene Schöpfungen und nicht nur einfach Handelsprodukte. Zudem birgt der Wandel ihres ontologischer Status ein Paradox mit seiner Tendenz zur Entmaterialisierung von Technik. (shrink)
Feminist contributions to the science curricula in higher education constitute invaluable but often overlooked resources for truly effective communication about science. Here I share a sampling of feminist science studies and discuss the origins of this effort to create inclusive and less biased science curricula that serve all students and citizens. Challenges from scientists center on assumptions and values about the appropriate relationship between science and politics, while challenges from educators extend to assumptions about how (...)science has been taught. Currently, national and local curriculum transformation efforts are producing useful insights and materials. (shrink)
hilosophy of history and history of philosophy of science make for an interesting case of “mutual containment”: the former is an object of inquiry for the latter, and the latter is subject to the demands of the former. This article discusses a seminal turn in past philosophy of history with an eye to the practice of historians of philosophy of science. The narrative turn by Danto and Mink represents both a liberation for historians and a new challenge to (...) the objectivity of their findings. I will claim that good sense can be made of “working historical veins of possibility” (contrary to how the phrase was originally intended) and that already Danto and Mink provided materials (although they did not quite advertise them as such) to assuage fears of a constructivist free-for-all. (shrink)
How does the research performed by a government mission agency contribute to useable technologies for its constituents? Is it possible to incorporate science policy mechanisms for increasing benefits to users in the decision process? The United States National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) promises research directed towards industrial application. This paper considers the processes that produce science and technology at NIST. The institute’s policies for science provide robust examples for how effective science policies can contribute (...) to the emergence of useful technologies. To progress towards technologies that can be years away, the agency uses several means for integrating the needs of eventual information users into the prioritization process. To accomplish this, NIST units, such as the MaterialsScience and Engineering Laboratory, incorporate mechanisms for considering user need and project impact into different stages of its scientific decision processes. This, and other specific strategies that the agency utilizes for connecting the supply of science to information demand, provide lessons for generating useable science. (shrink)
Although the push to get universities to accumulate IP by commercializing their scientific research was a conscious movement, dealing with the blowback in the form of contracts over the transfer of research tools and inputs, called materials transfer agreements (MTAs), was greeted by universities as an afterthought. Faculty often regarded them as an irritant, and TTOs were not much more welcoming. One reason universities could initially ignore the obvious connection between the pursuit of patents and the prior promulgation of (...) MTAs was a legalistic distinction made between intellectual property and contract law, which of course is of direct concern to a lawyer, but should be less compelling for anyone trying to understand the big picture surrounding the commercialization of academic science. However, as a subset of scientists were increasingly drawn into the commercial sphere, they tended to attach MTAs to research inputs requested by other academics; and this began a tidal wave of MTAs which shows no sign of abating. Furthermore, many IP-related restrictions have been loaded into individual MTAs, including the stipulation that the existence and content of MTAs themselves be treated as secret and proprietary. The paper closes by looking at recent arguments that the growth of MTAs has not actually harmed the research process, and rejects them. (shrink)
This paper describes the major components of ImpactCS, a program to develop strategies and curriculum materials for integrating social and ethical considerations into the computer science curriculum. It presents, in particular, the content recommendations of a subcommittee of ImpactCS; and it illustrates the interdisciplinary nature of the field, drawing upon concepts from computer science, sociology, philosophy, psychology, history and economics.
New sciences born or developed in the 20th century (information, materials, life science) are based on forms of complementarity that differ from the past. The paper discusses cognitive, or disciplinary, institutional, and technical complementarity. It argues that new sciences apply a reductionist explanatory strategy to complex multi-layered systems. In doing so the reductionist promise is falsified, generating the need for multi-level kinds of explanation (e.g. in post-genomic molecular biology), new forms of complementarity between scientific and non-scientific organizations, and (...) new forms of experimental and informational facilities. The paper develops the argument in theoretical terms, comparing it with the STS literature, and offers preliminary evidence based on the experience of Networks of Excellence. (shrink)
Historians have long since rejected the dubious assertions of the conflict model, with its narratives of perennial religion versus science combat. Nonetheless, this theory persists in various academic disciplines, and it is still presented to university students as the authoritative historical account of religion–science interactions. Cases of this can be identified within modern anthropology textbooks and reference materials, which often recapitulate claims once made by John W. Draper and Andrew D. White. This article examines 21st-century introductory anthropology (...) publications, demonstrating how such works perpetuate religion–science myths and the notion that history has been replete with inevitable religion versus science warfare. In particular, this study reveals how such introductory materials propagate discord narratives associated with the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. Affiliated with these anecdotes are oversimplified accounts of religious responses to heliocentrism and evolutionary theory, as well as claims that science has invariably led to the usurpation of religious belief and secularization from Galileo onwards. (shrink)
In this paper I assess the relation between philosophy of chemistry and philosophy of science, focusing on those themes in the philosophy of chemistry that may bring about major revisions or extensions of current philosophy of science. Three themes can claim to make a unique contribution to philosophy of science: first, the variety of materials in the world; second, extending the world by making new stuff; and, third, specific features of the relations between chemistry and physics.
There is widespread recognition at universities that a proper understanding of science is needed for all undergraduates. Good jobs are increasingly found in fields related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine, and science now enters almost all aspects of our daily lives. For these reasons, scientific literacy and an understanding of scientific methodology are a foundational part of any undergraduate education. Recipes for Science provides an accessible introduction to the main concepts and methods of scientific reasoning. (...) With the help of an array of contemporary and historical examples, definitions, visual aids, and exercises for active learning, the textbook helps to increase students’ scientific literacy. The first part of the book covers the definitive features of science: naturalism, experimentation, modeling, and the merits and shortcomings of both activities. The second part covers the main forms of inference in science: deductive, inductive, abductive, probabilistic, statistical, and causal. The book concludes with a discussion of explanation, theorizing and theory-change, and the relationship between science and society. The textbook is designed to be adaptable to a wide variety of different kinds of courses. In any of these different uses, the book helps students better navigate our scientific, 21st-century world, and it lays the foundation for more advanced undergraduate coursework in a wide variety of liberal arts and science courses. Selling Points Helps students develop scientific literacy—an essential aspect of _any_ undergraduate education in the 21 st century, including a broad understanding of scientific reasoning, methods, and concepts Written for all beginning college students: preparing science majors for more focused work in particular science; introducing the humanities’ investigations of science; and helping non-science majors become more sophisticated consumers of scientific information Provides an abundance of both contemporary and historical examples Covers reasoning strategies and norms applicable in all fields of physical, life, and social sciences, _as well as_ strategies and norms distinctive of specific sciences Includes visual aids to clarify and illustrate ideas Provides text boxes with related topics and helpful definitions of key terms, and includes a final Glossary with all key terms Includes Exercises for Active Learning at the end of each chapter, which will ensure full student engagement and mastery of the information include earlier in the chapter Provides annotated ‘For Further Reading’ sections at the end of each chapter, guiding students to the best primary and secondary sources available Offers a Companion Website, with: For Students: direct links to many of the primary sources discussed in the text, student self-check assessments, a bank of exam questions, and ideas for extended out-of-class projects For Instructors: a password-protected Teacher’s Manual, which provides student exam questions with answers, extensive lecture notes, classroom-ready Power Point presentations, and sample syllabi Extensive Curricular Development materials, helping any instructor who needs to create a Scientific Reasoning Course, ex nihilo. (shrink)
The inclusion of the history and philosophy of science in science teaching is widely accepted, but the actual state of implementation in schools is still poor. This article investigates possible reasons for this discrepancy. The demands science teachers associate with HPS-based teaching play an important role, since these determine teachers’ decisions towards implementing its practices and ideas. We therefore investigate the perceptions of 8 HPS-experienced German middle school physics teachers within and beyond an HPS implementation project. Within (...) focused interviews these teachers describe and evaluate the challenges of planning and conducting HPS-based physics lessons using collaboratively developed HPS teaching materials. The teachers highlight a number of obstacles to the implementation of HPS specific to this approach: finding and adapting HPS teaching material, knowing and using instructional design principles for HPS lessons, presenting history in a motivating way, dealing with students’ problematic ideas about the history of science, conducting open-ended historical classroom investigations in the light of known historical outcomes, using historical investigations to teach modern science concepts, designing assessments to target HPS-specific learning outcomes, and justifying the HPS-approach against curriculum and colleagues. Teachers' perceived demands point out critical aspects of pedagogical content knowledge necessary for confident, comfortable and effective teaching of HPS-based science. They also indicate how HPS teacher education and the design of curricular materials can be improved to make implementing HPS into everyday teaching less demanding. (shrink)
Professionals in environmental fields engage with complex problems that involve stakeholders with different values, different forms of knowledge, and contentious decisions. There is increasing recognition of the need to train graduate students in interdisciplinary environmental science programs in these issues, which we refer to as “social ethics.” A literature review revealed topics and skills that should be included in such training, as well as potential challenges and barriers. From this review, we developed an online survey, which we administered to (...) faculty from 81 United States colleges and universities offering IESPs. Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that IESPs should address values in applying science to policy and management decisions. They also agreed that programs should engage students with issues related to norms of scientific practice. Agreement was slightly less strong that IESPs should train students in skills related to managing value conflicts among different stakeholders. The primary challenges to incorporating social ethics into the curriculum were related to the lack of materials and expertise for delivery, though challenges such as ethics being marginalized in relation to environmental science content were also prominent. Challenges related to students’ interest in ethics were considered less problematic. Respondents believed that social ethics are most effectively delivered when incorporated into existing courses, and they preferred case studies or problem-based learning for delivery. Student competence is generally not assessed, and respondents recognized a need for both curricular materials and assessment tools. (shrink)
The mismatch between common representations of “science” and the miscellany of materials typically studied by the historian of science is traced to a systematic ambiguity that may itself be traced to early modern Europe. In that cultural setting, natural philosophy came to be rearticulated as involving both contemplative and practical knowledge. The resulting tension and ambiguity are illustrated by the eighteenth‐century views of Buffon. In the nineteenth century, a new enterprise called “science” represents the establishment of (...) an unstable ideology of natural knowledge that was heavily indebted to those early modern developments. The two complementary and competing elements of the ideology of modern science are accordingly described as “natural philosophy” and “instrumentality” . The history of science in large part concerns the story of their shifting, often mutually denying, interrelations. (shrink)
Much of the history of physics at the beginning of the twentieth century has been written with a sharp focus on a few key figures and a handful of notable events. Einstein’s Generation offers a distinctive new approach to the origins of modern physics by exploring both the material culture that stimulated relativity and the reaction of Einstein’s colleagues to his pioneering work. Richard Staley weaves together the diverse strands of experimental and theoretical physics, commercial instrument making, and the sociology (...) of physics around 1900 to present a complete view of the collective efforts of a group whose work helped set the stage for Einstein’s revolutionary theories and the transition from classical to modern physics that followed. Collecting papers, talks, catalogues, conferences, and correspondence, Staley juxtaposes scientists’ views of relativity at the time to modern understandings of its history. Ultimately, Einstein’s Generation tells the story of a group of individuals whose work engendered some of the most significant advances of the twentieth century—and challenges our celebration of Einstein’s era above all others. (shrink)
: Although Galileo's struggle to mathematize the study of nature is well known and oft discussed, less discussed is the form this struggle takes in relation to Galileo's first new science, the science of the second day of the Discorsi. This essay argues that Galileo's first science ought to be understood as the science of matter—not, as it is usually understood, the science of the strength of materials. This understanding sheds light on the convoluted (...) structure of the Discorsi's first day. It suggests that the day's meandering discussions of the continuum, infinity, the vacuum, and condensation and rarefaction establish that a formal treatment of the "eternal and necessary" properties of matter is possible; i.e., that matter as such can be considered mathematically. This would have been a necessary, and indeed revolutionary, preliminary to the mathematical science of the second day because matter itself was thought in the Aristotelian tradition to be responsible for the departure of natural bodies from the unchanging and thus mathematizable character of abstract objects. In addition, the first day establishes that when considered physically, these properties account for matter's force of cohesion and resistance to fracture. This essay closes by showing that this dual style of reasoning accords with the conceptual structure of mixed mathematics. (shrink)