Art and Artifact in Laboratory Science: A Study of Shop Work by Michael Lynch

By Michael Lynch

Michael Lynch's doctoral thesis and one of many first 3 laboratory reports along Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar's "Laboratory Life" and Karin Knorr-Cetina's "The Manufacture of Knowledge".

Credits for the experiment visit [email protected]

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Extra resources for Art and Artifact in Laboratory Science: A Study of Shop Work and Shop Talk in a Research Laboratory (Studies in Ethnomethodology)

Example text

A "task" appeared to be an achievement which relied upon the situated use of unformulated 65 ETHNOGRAPHIC ACCOUNTS OF SHOP WORK "common-sense" competences with the materials at hand, and was not simply the enactment of specific technical instructions. The "complicated" detail of tasks was a separate matter from the adequacy of a method's text in providing instructions to one acquainted with the practical arts of the lab's shop work. Tasks I have spoken of "tasks" as if they were irreducible procedural elements of projects.

These phenomena were noted with less care than were the terminals, and were less centrally featured in the written account of the project that eventually was produced. On some montages rather obvious instances of astroglial and microglial protoplasm remained unmarked, though a rough assessment of any marked changes in the frequency, size, and spatial distribution of the gha was made. In the final draft of the research report a few unquantified "noticings" on the increased size of astroglia during the sprouting period, and on differences in the observable protoplasmic make-up of the astrocytes (increase in glycogen gran­ ules, numerous filaments) were stated.

E. when "plans" were made or changed, projects initiated or "scrapped," and decisions made over the "present course" of the research. It is unknown at this point in my research whether members of the lab had access to the phenomenon of how the overall program of the lab achieved its direction. For many of the students and more recent members of the lab, the program was mostly available in terms of immediate sets of technical tasks, with a developing horizon of prior studies, and concurrent studies not related to those tasks becoming available at the scene of the work.

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