SCIENTIFIC PRACTICE AS ORDINARY ACTION: AN INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON SCIENTISTS AT WORK
University of Fribourg, Switzerland, 22/23 March 2007
(Organised in cooperation with the Research Committee ‘Interpretive Sociologies’ of the Swiss Sociological Association)
CALL FOR PAPERS In the 1970s a number of social scientists aimed to demystify the idea of a ‘scientific method’ and to undermine the idea that there is a radical discontinuity between scientific and everyday practical reasoning. A strategic role for this project were anthropological and ethnographic studies of scientists involved in investigative work and the production of new knowledge.
Although these early ‘laboratory studies’ were highly influential in demonstrating that scientific work is also a social practice, not many researchers attempted to exhibit what may be distinctive about different scientific practices. In fact, as Lynch in his review of the development of science studies (‘Scientific Practice and Ordinary Action’, CUP, 1993) notes, most social scientists very quickly left the study of day-to-day investigative work behind and moved on to other, possibly wider or broader, issues of scientific practice. As a consequence, observational studies of scientists at work are nowadays less prominent in social studies of science. This workshop aims to discuss the present state and prospective of detailed ethnographies of scientific practice. The aim is to bring together researchers who have conducted recent observational studies on the ordinary, interactional, and practical aspects of scientific work, and to discuss the potential benefits of such studies.
Our aim is to have a small number of participants (10-15), so that there will be sufficient time for the presentation and discussion of each paper. We plan to publish an edited collection from the workshop papers.
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Michael Lynch (Cornell University) Lorenza Mondada (University of Lyon)
KEY DATES: October 16, 2006: submission of abstracts (500-700 words) November 15, 2006: answer about acceptance February 12, 2007: submission of papers (6000-8000 words) March 22/23, 2007: workshop in Fribourg
CONTACT DETAILS: Abstracts and requests for further information should be sent to: [email protected]
SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE: Alain Bovet (University of Fribourg) Christian Greiffenhagen (University of Manchester) Wes Sharrock (University of Manchester) Philippe Sormani (University of Lausanne) Jean Widmer (University of Fribourg)