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The meaning of data: Open and closed evidential cultures in the search for gravitational waves

Collins, Harold Maurice 1998. The meaning of data: Open and closed evidential cultures in the search for gravitational waves. American Journal of Sociology 104 (2) , pp. 293-338. 10.1086/210040

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Abstract

The meaning of scientific "data" depends on the "evidential culture" of laboratories. Using transcripts of interviews and conversations with scientists, open and closed evidential cultures are analyzed under three dimensions. For example, an Italian laboratory's evidential collectivism and an American laboratory's evidential individualism are contrasted. In this case–the detection of gravitational radiation–evidential cultures are found to be homologous with institutional settings. The data interpretation of the long‐standing small science is being influenced by the growing global dominance of a new big science. The interesting technique of "involuntary blinding" has been used to enforce a uniform approach.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISSN: 0002-9602
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2017 00:55
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/89216

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