Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts

Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts

Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts

Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts

Synopsis

This highly original work presents laboratory science in a deliberately skeptical way: as an anthropological approach to the culture of the scientist. Drawing on recent work in literary criticism, the authors study how the social world of the laboratory produces papers and other "texts,"' and how the scientific vision of reality becomes that set of statements considered, for the time being, too expensive to change. The book is based on field work done by Bruno Latour in Roger Guillemin's laboratory at the Salk Institute and provides an important link between the sociology of modern sciences and laboratory studies in the history of science.

Excerpt

The most substantial change to the first edition is the addition of an extended postscript in which we set out some of the reactions to the book's first publication in the light of developments in the social study of science since 1979. The postscript also explains the omission of the term “social” from this edition's new subtitle. Other minor additions include a detailed Table of Contents, Additional References, and an Index. Readers tempted to conclude that the main body of the text replicates that of the original are advised to consult Borges (1981).

Wolvercote, August 1985 . . .

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