Metaphor Lecture - Language and metaphor in understanding...

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Language and metaphor in Language and metaphor in understanding science and the understanding science and the study of science study of science
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What Do Scientists Do most in their What Do Scientists Do most in their Work? Work? Observe? Experiment? Theorize? Speak? Write?
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Scientists are literary reasoners (Bruno Latour) They write grant applications, lab notes, scientific papers, refereeing comments on others’ papers and grant applications, lectures, letters of recommendation, other bureaucratic stuff, etc
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Inscription Devices Inscription Devices Often scientific data take a graphical or printed form produced by what Latour calls “inscription devices”. An inscription device is: an item of apparatus or configuration of such items which can transform a material substance into a figure or diagram which is directly usable by other scientists. Inscriptions are Reproducible and Transportable
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Inscription devices include electron microscopes, and mass spectrometers, most devices which have graphical outputs.
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An important aspect of scientific activity involves thinking about writing and incriptions. We will return to inscriptions later in the course – they are obviously crucial to understand – but first we have to deal with language – the world of words
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  • Spring '06
  • PINCH,T.
  • Writing, Metaphor, Genetically modified organism, inscription devices

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