Synopses & Reviews
This volume examines scientific practice through studies of research tools in an array of twentieth-century life sciences. The contributors draw upon and extend the multidisciplinary perspectives in current science studies to understand the processes through which scientific researchers constructed the right--and, in some cases, the wrong--tools for the job. The articles portray the crafting or accessing of specific materials, techniques, instruments, models, funds, and work arrangements involved in doing scientific work. They demonstrate the historical and local contingencies of scientific problem construction and solving by highlighting the articulation between the tools and jobs. Indeed, the very "rightness" of the tools is contingently constructed, maintained, lost, and refashioned.
The cases examined include evolutionary biology laboratory systems (James R. Griesemer), the plasmid prep procedure in molecular biology (Kathleen Jordan and Michael Lynch), models in the human ecology of African pastoralists (Peter Taylor), the micromanometer in metabolic studies (Frederic L. Holmes), genetics research and the role played by Planaria (Gregg Mitman and Anne Fausto-Sterling) and by corn (Barbara A. Kimmelman), quantitative data in field biology (Yrj Haila), taxidermy in natural history (Susan Leigh Star), technical standardization in bacteriology (Patricia Peck Gossell), and the discipline of immunology as the tool for stabilizing conceptual definitions in the field (Peter Keating, Alberto Cambrosio, and Michael Mackenzie).
Originally published in 1992.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Table of Contents
|1||What Tools? Which Jobs? Why Right?||3|
|Pt. II||Co-Constructing Tools, Jobs, and Rightness|
|2||The Role of Instruments in the Generative Analysis of Science||47|
|3||The Sociology of a Genetic Engineering Technique: Ritual and Rationality in the Performance of the "Plasmid Prep"||77|
|4||Re/constructing Socioecologies: System Dynamics Modeling of Nomadic Pastoralists in Sub-Saharan Africa||115|
|Pt. III||Disciplining the Tools|
|5||Manometers, Tissue Slices, and Intermediary Metabolism||151|
|6||Whatever Happened to Planaria? C. M. Child and the Physiology of Inheritance||172|
|7||Organisms and Interests in Scientific Research: R. A. Emerson's Claims for the Unique Contributions of Agricultural Genetics||198|
|8||Measuring Nature: Quantitative Data in Field Biology||233|
|Pt. IV||Changing Constructions of Tools, Jobs, and Rightness|
|9||Craft vs. Commodity, Mess vs. Transcendence: How the Right Tool Became the Wrong One in the Case of Taxidermy and Natural History||257|
|10||A Need for Standard Methods: The Case of American Bacteriology||287|
|11||The Tools of the Discipline: Standards, Models, and Measures in the Affinity/Avidity Controversy in Immunology||312|