Laboratory Life. The Social Construction of Scientific Facts

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  • Pages : 272
  • Collection : Sage Library of Social Research
  • Support : Print
  • Format : 22 cm.
  • Langues : Anglais
  • Édition : Original
  • Ville : Beverly Hills
  • ISBN : 0803909942
  • URL : Lien externe
  • Date de création : 04-01-2011
  • Dernière mise à jour : 19-11-2015



This work explores the different steps in the construction of scientific facts and frame the different issues of the then emerging science studies. It is the result of a two-year ethnographic enquiry into the neuroendocrinology laboratory of Professor Roger Guillemin at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. – Latour and Woolgar state that their work “concerns the way in which the daily activities of working scientists lead to the construction of scientific facts”. Laboratory Life therefore stands in opposition to the study of scandalous moments in which the so-called “normal” operation of science was disrupted by external forces. In contrast, Latour and Woolgar give an account of a how scientific facts are produced in a laboratory in situ, or as it happens. – This work advances a number of observations regarding how scientific work is conducted, including descriptions of the complex relationship between the routine lab practices performed by scientists, the publication of papers, scientific prestige, research finances and other elements of laboratory life. It is inspired but not entirely dependent on the ethnomethodological approach. In turn, it served as the inspiration for Actor-Network Theory (or ANT); many of ANT's core concepts (like transcription, inscription, translation, and the deployment of networks) are present in Laboratory Life. – Bibliography: p.263-271. M.-M. V.