Deflating Information: From Science Studies to Documentation

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University of Toronto Press, 2004 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 311 pages
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Is disseminating information the main purpose of scholarly scientific literature? Recent work in science studies signals a shift of emphasis from conceptual to material sources, from thinking to doing, and from representing the world to intervening in it. Scientific knowledge production is no longer seen as a process of seeking, collecting, organizing, and processing abstract elements, but instead one of assembling the many different material 'bits and pieces' of scientific culture in order to make things work.

In Deflating Information, Bernd Frohmann draws on recent work in the social studies of science, finding the most significant material in the coordination of research work, the stabilization of matters of fact, and the manufacture of objectivity. Arguing for a 'deflationary' account of information, Frohmann challenges the central concept of information studies, thereby laying a foundation for a documentalist approach to emerging issues in the field.

 

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Contents

Epistemic Narratives of the Social Life of Science
23
Scientists and Other Information Users
53
Epistemology versus Practice
92
Studies of Scientific Practices
114
Literary Technologies of Science
159
Documenting Universality
199
Documenting Stability
239
notes
261
works cited
287
INDEX
303
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About the author (2004)

Bernd Frohmann is an associate professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario.

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