Kenney’s article is very much a homage to Helen Verran and her wonderful book Science and an African Logic. She pays special attention to Verran’s efforts at decomposition and frames these through a lens of accountability. Care is given by Kenny to differentiate this kind of accounting from that of “contemporary neo-liberal bureaucracies” that run the risk of strengthening “the academic culture that privileges critique and revelation over other, more subtle and creative, approaches.” (more…)
Barry, as always, you’ve forced me to think more carefully about my meanderings. Indeed, my intention was to append a short reply to your comment, but your questions have demanded more and, predictably, words have got the better of me. This post, then, is my long-winded response. Thank you for giving me the chance to expand on my thoughts.
First, let me respond to your criticisms regarding the interminglings of humans and nonhumans. (more…)
The position papers — from a wonderful mix of people — are all online here. My own text was a short but rambling piece on some still underdeveloped ideas. I’ve been trying to think a little more critically about my role as a academician and a Microsoft researcher. Predictably, in combination, the roles raise all sorts of questions and frictions for me. Increasingly, I’ve directed my efforts at thinking about the worlds I’ve helped to enact and asking whether they are kinds of worlds that I would want to live in.
We present findings from a year-long engagement with a street and its community. The work explores how the production and use of data is bound up with place, both in terms of physical and social geography. We detail three strands of the project. First, we consider how residents have sought to curate existing data about the street in the form of an archive with physical and digital components. Second, we report endeavours to capture data about the street’s environment, especially of vehicle traffic. Third, we draw on the possibilities afforded by technologies for polling opinion. We reflect on how these engagements have: materialised distinctive relations between the community and their data; surfaced flows and contours of data, and spatial, temporal and social boundaries; and enacted a multiplicity of ‘small worlds’. We consider how such a conceptualisation of data-in-place is relevant to the design of technology.
Abstract: Computational biology is a nascent field reliant on software coding and modelling to produce insights into biological phenomena. Extreme claims cast it as a field set to replace conventional forms of experimental biology, seeing software modelling as a (more convenient) proxy for bench-work in the wet-lab. In this article, we deepen and complicate the relations between computation and scientific ways of knowing by discussing a computational biology tool, BMA, that models gene regulatory networks. We detail the instabilities and frictions that surface when computation is incorporated into scientific practice, framing the tensions as part of knowing-in-progress — the practical back and forth in working things out. The work exemplifies how software studies — and careful attention to the materialities of computation — can shed light on the emerging sciences that rely on coding and computation. Further, it puts to work a standpoint that sees computation as tightly entangled with forms of scientific knowing and doing, rather than a wholesale replacement of them.