ISBN-13: 978-0-226-11360-9 (cloth : alk. paper) ISBN-10: 0-226-11360-4 ... HM651.C64 2007 158.1—dc22 2007022671 The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information ...
The phrase ‘trading zone’ is often used to denote any kind of interdisciplinary partnership in which two or more perspectives are combined and a new, shared language develops. In this paper we distinguish between different types of trading zone by asking whether the collaboration is co-operative or coerced and whether the end-state is a heterogeneous or homogeneous culture. In so doing, we find that the voluntary development of a new language community—what we call an inter-language trading zone—represents only one of (...) four possible configurations. In developing this argument we show how different modes of collaboration result in different kinds of trading zone, how different kinds of trading zone may be ‘nested’ inside each other and discuss how a single collaboration might move between different kinds of trading zone over time. One implication of our analysis is that interactional expertise is a central component of at least one class of trading zone.Keywords: Trading zones; Interactional expertise; Interdisciplinarity; Creole. (shrink)
Individual athletes, coaches and sports teams seek continuously for ways to improve performance and accomplishment in elite competition. New techniques of performance analysis are a crucial part of the drive for athletic perfection. This paper discusses the ethical importance of one aspect of the future potential of performance analysis in sport, combining the field of biomedicine, sports engineering and nanotechnology in the form of ‘Nanobiosensors’. This innovative technology has the potential to revolutionise sport, enabling real time biological data to be (...) collected from athletes that can be electronically distributed. Enabling precise real time performance analysis is not without ethical problems. Arguments concerning data ownership and privacy; data confidentiality; and athlete welfare are presented alongside a discussion of the use of the Precautionary Principle in making ethical evaluations. We conclude, that although the future potential use of Nanobiosensors in sports analysis offers many potential benefits, there is also a fear that it could be abused at a sporting system level. Hence, it is essential for sporting bodies to consider the development of a robust ethically informed governance framework in advance of their proliferated use. (shrink)
The outputs of economic forecasting—predictions for national economic indicators such as GDP, unemployment rates and inflation—are all highly visible. The production of these forecasts is a much more private affair, however, typically being thought of as the work of individual forecasters or forecast teams using their economic model to produce a forecast that is then made public. This conception over-emphasises the individual and the technical whilst silencing the broader social context through which economic forecasters develop the expertise that is essential (...) for the credibility of their predictions. In particular, economic forecasts are given meaning and fine-tuned through the social and institutional networks that give forecasters access to the expertise of a heterogeneous mix of academics, policy-makers and business people. Within these broader groups, individual forecasters often create private forecast ‘clubs’, where subscribers have privileged access to the expertise of the economist, but where the forecasters also have privileged access to their clients’ own expert knowledge. In examining these aspects of the forecasters’ work I show that the visible and audible activities of modelling and forecasting are made possible and plausible by virtue of the modeller’s invisible interaction with a wider network.Keywords: Expertise; Economic forecasting; Periodic table of expertise; Judgement. (shrink)
In this paper we explore the practice of interdisciplinarity by examining how the UK research councils addressed the problem of the sustainable city during the 1990s. In developing their research programmes, the councils recognised that the problems of the sustainable city transcended conventional disciplinary boundaries and that an interdisciplinary approach was needed. In practice, however, initially radical proposals to research the city as a complex combination of science and technology and society contracted into more cognate collaborations that emphasised either science (...) or technology or society, with the result that interdisciplinarity came to be located within research councils rather than between them. This, in turn, led to the development of a third kind of interdisciplinarity as the responsibility for making the connections between the research programmes was outsourced to the user communities—the local authorities. Unfortunately, local authorities struggled to find the resources to conduct this work so that the radical interdisciplinarity recommended at the start of the decade remained unaccomplished at the end. In describing these events we emphasise roles of paradigms and epistemic cultures in shaping research approaches and the complications they raise for the triangulation between approaches that is assumed in the idea of interdisciplinarity. We do not wish to be entirely negative, however, and conclude by suggesting some ways in which the quality and success of this much-needed interdisciplinary work could be increased. (shrink)
The risk of populism is ever-present in democratic societies. Here we argue that science provides one way in which this risk can be reduced. This is not because science provides a superior truth but because it preserves and celebrates values that are essential for democracy and contributes to the network of the checks and balances that constrain executive power. To make this argument, we draw on Wittgenstein’s idea of a form of life to characterize any social group as being composed (...) of two opposing elements: an organic aspect that defines what the group has in common and an enumerative aspect that describes the differing ways in which the organic core can be displayed. Whilst the organic faces of science and democracy are clearly different there are significant overlaps that include values such as disinterestedness, universalism and honesty. This overlap in values is the first way in which science can prevent populism: by providing moral leadership. The second, its role in a network of checks and balances, also depends on these values. Science does not contribute to the checks and balances because it provides epistemically superior knowledge; it contributes because it provides morally superior knowledge that, alongside institutions such a free press, independent judiciary and additional tiers of government, support the democratic ecosystem. Failures of democracy occur when this ecosystem is damaged – too much science leads to technocracy, but too little creates the conditions for populism. To prevent this, we argue that citizens must learn the value of democratic values. These include endorsing an independent judiciary and other state institutions, even when these hinder policies of which they might approve and, of particular concern in this context, recognizing that independent experts, of which scientists are the exemplar, are part of this network of checks and balances. (shrink)