Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Virtual Witnessing in a Virtual Age: A Prospectus for Social Studies of E-Science

Virtual Witnessing in a Virtual Age: A Prospectus for Social Studies of E-Science
View Sample PDF
Author(s): Steve Woolgar (University of Oxford, UK) and Catelijne Coopmans (Imperial College London, UK)
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 18
Source title: Virtual Technologies: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Jerzy Kisielnicki (Warsaw University, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-955-7.ch067


View Virtual Witnessing in a Virtual Age: A Prospectus for Social Studies of E-Science on the publisher's website for pricing and purchasing information.


Despite a substantial unfolding investment in Grid technologies (for the development of cyberinfrastructures or e-science), little is known about how, why and by whom these new technologies are being adopted or will be taken up. This chapter argues for the importance of addressing these questions from an STS (science and technology studies) perspective, which develops and maintains a working scepticism with respect to the claims and attributions of scientific and technical capacity. We identify three interconnected topics with particular salience for Grid technologies: data, networks, and accountability. The chapter provides an illustration of howthese topics might be approached from an STS perspective, by revisiting the idea of “virtual witnessing”—a key idea in understanding the early emergence of criteria of adequacy in experiments and demonstrations at the birth of modern science—and by drawing upon preliminary interviews with prospective scientist users of Grid technologies. The chapter concludes that, against the temptation to represent the effects of new technologies on the growth of scientific knowledge as straightforward and determinate, e-scientists are immersed in structures of interlocking accountabilities which leave the effects uncertain.

Related Content

Xiaoxiao Liu, Ka Yin Chau, Hoi Sze Chan, Yan Wan. © 2022. 20 pages.
Jiancong Ye, Junpei Zhong. © 2022. 20 pages.
Yui-yip Lau, Ivy Chan. © 2022. 22 pages.
Haoyu Liu, Bowen Dong, Pi-Ying Yen. © 2022. 22 pages.
Karen Sie, Yuk Ming Tang, Kenneth Nai Kuen Fong. © 2022. 25 pages.
N. Raghavendra Rao. © 2022. 21 pages.
Yuk Ming Tang, Hoi Sze Chan, Wei Ting Kuo. © 2022. 29 pages.
Body Bottom