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Institutional Ecology, `Translations' and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and Professionals in Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39

Institutional Ecology, `Translations' and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and Professionals in... Scientific work is heterogeneous, requiring many different actors and viewpoints. It also requires cooperation. The two create tension between divergent viewpoints and the need for generalizable findings. We present a model of how one group of actors managed this tension. It draws on the work of amateurs, professionals, administrators and others connected to the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, during its early years. Extending the Latour-Callon model of interessement, two major activities are central for translating between viewpoints: standardization of methods, and the development of `boundary objects'. Boundary objects are both adaptable to different viewpoints and robust enough to maintain identity across them. We distinguish four types of boundary objects: repositories, ideal types, coincident boundaries and standardized forms. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Studies of Science: An International Review of Research in the Social Dimensions of Science and Technology SAGE

Institutional Ecology, `Translations' and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and Professionals in Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39

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References (37)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0306-3127
eISSN
1460-3659
DOI
10.1177/030631289019003001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Scientific work is heterogeneous, requiring many different actors and viewpoints. It also requires cooperation. The two create tension between divergent viewpoints and the need for generalizable findings. We present a model of how one group of actors managed this tension. It draws on the work of amateurs, professionals, administrators and others connected to the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, during its early years. Extending the Latour-Callon model of interessement, two major activities are central for translating between viewpoints: standardization of methods, and the development of `boundary objects'. Boundary objects are both adaptable to different viewpoints and robust enough to maintain identity across them. We distinguish four types of boundary objects: repositories, ideal types, coincident boundaries and standardized forms.

Journal

Social Studies of Science: An International Review of Research in the Social Dimensions of Science and TechnologySAGE

Published: Aug 1, 1989

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