Contributors; Preface; Introduction; Part I. Instruments in Experiments: 1. Scientific instruments: models of brass and aids to discovery; 2. Glass works: Newton’s prisms and the uses of experiment; 3. A viol of water or a wedge of glass; Part II. Experiment and Argument: 4. Galileo’s experimental discourse; 5. Fresnel, Poisson and the white spot: the role of successful predictions in the acceptance of scientific theories; 6. The rhetoric of experiment; Part III. Representing and Realising: 7. ’Magnetic curves’ and the magnetic (...) field: experimentation and representation in the history of a theory; 8. Artificial clouds, real particles; 9. Living in the material world; 10. Justification and experimentation; Part IV. The Constituency of Experiment: 11. Extraordinary experiment: electricity and the creation of life in Victorian England; 12. Why did Britain join CERN?; Part V. Hallmarks of Experiment: 13. From Kwajalein to Armageddon? Testing and the social construction of missile accuracy; 14. The epistemology of experiment; Select bibliography; Name index; Subject index. (shrink)
This article explores testing as research site in the sociology of technology. A fully generalizable analysis is offered of testing in terms of a notion of projection. Prospective, current, and retrospective testing are identified The article is illustrated with examples of testing a clinical budgeting system in the United Kingdom National Health Service and the testing of the O-rings on the space shuttle Challenger. Lastly, the theme of "testing the user" is developed Some comments are offered on the pervasiveness of (...) testing in society at large. (shrink)
A B S T R A C T Detailed examination of audio recordings of business-to-business `field-sales' encounters are used to report one way in which salespeople elicit verbal expressions of affiliation from their prospective customers — by reciprocating second assessments which affiliate with, trade off and build on prospects' own assessments. This article outlines the prototypical features of these junctures of assessment-affiliation and describes how salespeople can mobilize such assessments to build extended sequences of `rapport' that take the form of (...) adjacent and mutual expressions of substantive verbal affiliation. Consideration is also given to explicating both the interactional basis of these sequences as well as the socially obligating influence such affiliation and rapport can have on sales outcomes. (shrink)
In this brief commentary, I suggest Selinger and Whyte are essentially correct in their criticism of the Nudge approach advocated by Thaler and Sunstein. I use some examples from road behavior and traffic planning to amplify the criticism that the simple behavioral economics approach fails to take account of the embedding of humans and technology in the wider social and cultural context.
In this paper I put in dialogue two areas of scholarship: Technology Studies and Sound Studies. Within Technology Studies I discuss the influential social construction of technology approach and illustrate it with the history of the moog electronic music synthesizer, the first commercial music synthesizer. I stress the role of standardization of keyboards and the key role played by users in the development of this technology. I examine certain iconic sounds that the moog synthesizer produces and discuss the stabilization of (...) sound. It is argued that just as technologies can be traced as stabilizing over time, sounds also can be traced with certain sounds stabilizing and being taken up by users whilst other sounds fail to stabilize. The technology required to produce a sound, performance practice, and wider cultural concerns such as the naming of sounds are crucial ingredients in the stabilization of sound. (shrink)
Dans cet article, j’examine les écrits influents de Harry Collins consacrés à la connaissance tacite. Je me penche en particulier sur son récent livre, Tacit and Explicit Knowledge [Collins 2010] ou TEK, qui est sans doute l’exposé le plus complet et le plus systématique de la manière dont Collins conçoit la connaissance tacite. Tout en examinant la connaissance tacite telle qu’elle est développée dans cette contribution, je dégage, au sein des contributions majeures de Collins à la sociologie de la connaissance (...) scientifique en général, une tension sous-jacente, entre d’un côté le réalisme qui sous-tend sa notion de « connaissance tacite », et, de l’autre, le constructivisme qui sous-tend son concept célèbre de « régression de l’expérimentateur ». Pour construire cet argument, j’accorde une attention particulière à un aspect des écrits de Collins sur la connaissance tacite qui, je pense, mérite un examen plus approfondi : à savoir les types de support empirique qui sont invoqués en faveur des caractéristiques et des propriétés de la connaissance tacite visée. En bref, je pose des questions à propos de certains des exemples empiriques spécifiques invoqués et des conclusions qui en sont tirées.In this paper I examine Harry Collins’s influential writing on tacit knowledge. In particular I turn my attention to his recent book, Tacit and Explicit Knowledge [Collins 2010], or TEK, which is arguably the most complete and systematic statement of what he means by the term “tacit knowledge”. As well as examining tacit knowledge as elaborated in this contribution, I draw out an underlying tension in Collins’s major contributions to the sociology of scientific knowledge in general between the realism underlying his notion of “tacit knowledge” and the constructivism underlying his other well-known concept, “the experimenters’ regress”. In order to make this argument I pay particular attention to an aspect of his writings on tacit knowledge which I think is worthy of closer examination: namely the sorts of empirical support claimed for the features and properties of tacit knowledge to which he attends. In short I ask questions concerning some of the specific empirical examples and the conclusions he draws from them. (shrink)
This response to a recent article in ST&HV by Woolgar investigates Woolgar's concept of analytic ambivalence. The response points out how this notion originates in a formula applied to social problems research and how this formula is used as the basis for Woolgar's critique of work in the social studies of technology. The response then goes on to show that Woolgar's own application of the formula of analytic ambivalence is formulaic and glosses over many of the interesting features of the (...) social studies of technology. Woolgar's article seems set to become another exemplification of the reflexivist formula rather than an occasion for questioning the idea of applying formulas altogether. (shrink)