—Emmanuel Didier, Catherine Guaspare-Cartron— On March 3rd, 2016, we hosted a conference entitled ‘Destabilized Science’ at the University of California, Los Angeles, to which we invited two representatives of core actors within the new science watchdog pack: Ivan Oransky, co-founder in 2010 of Retraction Watch, and Brandon Stell, co-founder in 2012 of PubPeer. After the … Continue reading The new watchdogs of science
—Tom Scott-Smith— It is easy to love fluidity. Fluid movement implies grace and effortless beauty. Fluid materials yield and flow. Fluids fill gaps, change in response to new conditions and are inherently smooth and adaptable. These qualities have seemed particularly useful in development and humanitarian aid. The Zimbabwe bush pump, as described in an article … Continue reading Sticky technologies
—Jack Stilgoe— In May 2016, a Tesla Model S was involved in what could be considered the world’s first self-driving car fatality. In the middle of a sunny afternoon, on a divided highway near Williston, Florida, Joshua Brown, an early adopter and Tesla enthusiast, died at the wheel of his car. The car failed to … Continue reading What can a self-driving car crash teach us about the politics of machine learning?
—Darryl Leroux— Relying on a populace well-educated in family history, a robust national genomics sector has developed in Québec. That development has coincided with a threefold increase in the number of individuals in the region self-identifying with a latent, mixed-race form of indigeneity that runs counter to existing Indigenous understandings of governance and kinship. Genetic … Continue reading ‘Native American DNA’ and the self-indigenization of French descendants
—Marko Monteiro— Forty-three years ago, Max Weber observed that ‘the belief in the value of scientific truth is not derived from nature but is a product of definite cultures.’ We may now add: and this belief is readily transmuted into doubt or disbelief. Robert K. Merton (1938: 321) Merton’s (1938) early comments on science and … Continue reading Science, politics and (post-)truth