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Deliberation and aggregation in the scientific communication

Journal: The Digital Scholar: Philosopher’s Lab (Vol.2, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 29-37

Keywords : megascience; international collaboration; trading zones; political interests; collective agent; deliberation; aggregation; social roles and statuses; core and periphery; sociotechnical ensembles;

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The article represents a critical comment on the talk given by Vitaly Pronskikh at the Lobachevsky University of Nizhni Novgorod. His description and analysis of proto-megascience drawing on the historical case-study of Fermilab (USA) in the last third of the 20th century comes to some interesting conclusions. They require rethinking the picture of megascientific projects as a part of market economy and neoliberal ideology. Moreover, Pronskikh focuses on the structure of scientific communication, which reveals its key role in defining the peculiarity of the projects in question. The criticism of his position aims at specifying the communicative acts in the core of the international collaboration group. The collective epistemology, for instance, views scientific deliberation among specialists of high degree as aggregation that allows retaining one's theoretical position without groupthink attitude. Moreover, the structure of collaboration normally integrates political interests and the conflict of expert statuses to that extent that they acquire the primarily significance and give the research interests merely the secondary role. Mega-scientific projects seem to transform into sociotechnical ensembles (Wiebe Bijker), where no strict boundary can be drawn between the technical, the scientific and the social.

Last modified: 2020-03-02 02:26:11