metaphor201.06

metaphor201.06 - 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 the What Do Scientists Do most in the Lab? Lab? Observe? Experiment? Theorize? Read and Write?
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Scientists are literary reasoners (Bruno Latour) They read and write lab notes, scientific papers, grant applications, data tables, and, charts. They read and write referee comments, lectures, power points, e-mails, letters of recommendation, memos, 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 and/or digital outputs.
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An important aspect of scientific activity involves reading, writing and inscriptions. We will return to inscriptions later in the course – they are obviously crucial to understand – but first we have to deal with reading and writing. This is carried out by language – the world of words (and in science numbers and symbols).
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Language is indexical – in other words the meaning of a word depends on the context in which it is uttered/written. Most obvious for spoken language
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This note was uploaded on 04/01/2008 for the course S&TS 2011 taught by Professor Pinch,t. during the Spring '06 term at Cornell.

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metaphor201.06 - Language and metaphor in understanding...

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