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Accepted Paper:

To trust, or not to trust – the role of scientific trust as collective frame within scientific communities  
Nathalie Schwichtenberg (German Center of Higher Education and Science Studies)

Short abstract:

Integrating scientific contributions into the research practice requires trust in the work of members of one's own community. Understanding receivers' trust in these contributions as frame helps not only conceptualize knowledge integration but also the overall production of scientific knowledge.

Long abstract:

The production of scientific knowledge relies to a great part on the integration of existing contributions (such as data, code, or material samples) into subsequent research processes. These integration processes are not yet fully understood in science studies. While Merton’s "organized skepticism" describes how researchers (should) respond to new knowledge claims, we know little about how scientists’ receive scientific contributions (of all sorts) and how they decide on their use in everyday research activities.

Based on ethnographic observations and interviews with members of two scientific communities (invasion biology and solar physics), I argue that (a lot of) these decisions are guided by a collective frame which I call “scientific trust”. Scientific trust is a community- specific frame that gets activated whenever the receiver of a scientific contribution has to decide on its use, but lacks relevant information regarding its use . According to the specific context of the reception the result of this activation can either lead to trust or mistrust in the contribution and thus guides the use decision.

I am going to present my methodological approach to collecting and analyzing data to identify collective frames, which remains a big challenge for empirical research. Doing so I will address the challenge of collecting data for studying a latent phenomenon like trust, and present the different types of scientific trust I identified in the reconstructioning of my empirical cases. Finally, I want to emphasize the value of the frame concept for theory building in science studies.

Traditional Open Panel P215
Frame analysis in science studies
  Session 2 Wednesday 17 July, 2024, -