Minding Genomics: Care of the Data and the Impossible Sciences of GeneXEnvironment Interaction
Minding Genomics, analyzes the vital but often overlooked role played by care in science, particularly the contemporary sciences of “Big Data.” The book builds on a tradition of scholarship in the anthropology, philosophy, and history of science that has shown how scientific thought and practice are matters of more than logic and formal method, and rely as well upon tacit or craft knowledge, intuitive or speculative modes of thought, and resources for the scientific imagination harbored in the social and cultural domains. By adding care into this mix, the book also draws on recent feminist scholarship and related literature analyzing the affective dimensions of all forms of cognition and practice, including science. Care is a simple word for both a complex set of affects that drive scientists, and for a complex set of relations scientists have with their objects of study, including copious amounts of data, and with the methods that shape their understanding of those objects. Without care, the argument runs in brief, there are no scientific truths, no scientific methods, and no scientific “things.”
The Asthma Files is a digital humanities project begun with Kim Fortun: a collaborative ethnographic archive of text, still images, video, and audio, with each “file” illuminating asthma in its specificities and complexities, shaped by differences in geography, in sociocultural context, in political and national context, and in the disciplinary approaches of diverse scientific and public health researchers. The Asthma Files embodies a classic, “multi-sited” ethnography, following the condition of asthma into very different domains, from the research bench, to the clinic, to the public health apparatus of cities and nation-states. Research for this project is currently channeled through a National Science Foundation grant, "Environmental Health Governance in Six Cities: How Scientific Cultures, Practices and Infrastructure Shape Governance Styles."
The Platform for Experimental, Collaborative Ethnography (PECE: pronounced “peace”) is an open source (Drupal-based) digital platform that supports multi-sited, cross-scale ethnographic and historical research. The platform links researchers in new ways, enables new kinds of analyses and data visualization, and activates researchers’ engagement with public problems and diverse audiences. PECE is at the center of a research project that explores how digital infrastructure can be designed to support collaborative hermeneutics.
The Disaster-STS Research Network is an international network that connects researchers around the world studying how disasters of different types, in different regions of the world, are anticipated and managed.
STS Across Borders is a special exhibit organized by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) – an international scholarly society representing the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS), which brings together researchers who study how science, other forms of knowledge, technology, and culture entwine and develop in different contexts. STS Across Borders showcases how STS has developed across time and space, and the structures, infrastructures, and systems that have allowed–or worked against–the cultivation of STS modes of thinking. The STS Across Borders exhibit was built in keeping with the theme of 4S’s 2018 annual meeting in Sydney Australia, TRANSnational STS.
RDA’s Digital Practices in History and Ethnography Interest Group (DPHP-IG) works to advance data standards, practices and infrastructure for historical and ethnographic research, contributing to broader efforts in the digital humanities and social sciences.