Scientific lifeworlds
Wakana Suzuki (Kyoto University)
Sho Morishita (Kyoto University / JSPS)
Multi Purpose Room
Start time:
18 May, 2014 at 13:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel invites thick descriptions of and new perspectives on science and scientific activities, with a view to further anthropological engagement with diverse styles of socio-scientific life, human and material.

Long abstract:

For a long time, science was regarded not as a cultural activity but as the self-explanatory endeavor of discovering truth. Even now, the anthropology of science is still an emerging area of inquiry. In recent years, however, the encounter of anthropology with science and technology studies has produced new perspectives for describing science. This encounter made interesting arena to understand science as culture. For example: (1) material life in scientific research: scientific research cannot be reduced to mere representing activity. It also contains various kinds of intervening activities into materiality. In everyday life, scientists take bodily and emotional interactions with nonhuman entities such as animals and even graphs and diagrams. Scientific life in such unique environment are enough interesting for anthropological research to be conducted. (2) symmetry of science and society: When science were identified as the "only one ultimate theory that corresponds to the world", social beliefs were in principle incompatible with them because they could not correspond to the real world. Contrary to universalist ideas, recent STS studies emphasize the symmetry of the practice of science and society. This perspective encourages to make revisions for conceptual frameworks in anthropology to understand socio-natural entanglements appropriately. This panel aims at thick description of the diverse forms of socio-scientific activity and explore further theoretical perspectives. Conveners would appreciate fresh perspectives for analyzing socio-scientific life. We hope this panel to be the opportunity to find the visions which invoke various possibilities of the styles of relationship between human and material world.