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|Born||16 May 1946|
|Awards||John Desmond Bernal Prize|
|Alma mater||University of Edinburgh|
|Thesis||Specialties in Science: A Sociological Study of X-ray Protein Crystallography|
|Discipline||Sociology, Science and technology studies|
|Main interests||Actor-network theory|
|Notable works||"Provincialising STS" (2015)|
"STS as Method" (2015)
After Method (2004)
Aircraft Stories (2002)
"Notes on Materiality and Sociality" (with Annemarie Mol, 1995)
A Sociology of Monsters (editor, 1991)
"Technology and Heterogeneous Engineering: the Case of the Portuguese Expansion" (1987, in The Social Construction of Technological Systems)
John Law (born 16 May 1946),is a sociologist and science and technology studies scholar, currently on the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Open University and key proponent of Actor-network theory. Actor-network theory, sometimes abbreviated to ANT, is a social science approach for describing and explaining social, organisational, scientific and technological structures, processes and events. It assumes that all the components of such structures (whether these are human or otherwise) form a network of relations that can be mapped and described in the same terms or vocabulary.
Developed by two leading French STS scholars, Michel Callon and Bruno Latour, Law himself, and others, ANT may alternatively be described as a 'material-semiotic' method. ANT strives to map relations that are simultaneously material (between things) and 'semiotic' (between concepts), for instance, the interactions in a bank involve both people and their ideas, and computers. Together these form a single network.
Professor John Law is one of the directors of the ESRC funded Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change.
Science studies is an interdisciplinary research area that seeks to situate scientific expertise in broad social, historical, and philosophical contexts. It uses various methods to analyze the production, representation and reception of scientific knowledge and its epistemic and semiotic role.
Bruno Latour is a French philosopher, anthropologist and sociologist. He is especially known for his work in the field of science and technology studies (STS). After teaching at the École des Mines de Paris from 1982 to 2006, he became Professor at Sciences Po Paris (2006–2017), where he was the scientific director of the Sciences Po Medialab. He retired from several university activities in 2017. He was also a Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics.
Science and technology studies, or science, technology and society studies is the study of how society, politics, and culture affect scientific research and technological innovation, and how these, in turn, affect society, politics and culture.
Actor–network theory (ANT) is a theoretical and methodological approach to social theory where everything in the social and natural worlds exists in constantly shifting networks of relationships. It posits that nothing exists outside those relationships. All the factors involved in a social situation are on the same level, and thus there are no external social forces beyond what and how the network participants interact at present. Thus, objects, ideas, processes, and any other relevant factors are seen as just as important in creating social situations as humans. ANT holds that social forces do not exist in themselves, and therefore cannot be used to explain social phenomena. Instead, strictly empirical analysis should be undertaken to "describe" rather than "explain" social activity. Only after this can one introduce the concept of social forces, and only as an abstract theoretical concept, not something which genuinely exists in the world. Although it is best known for its controversial insistence on the capacity of nonhumans to act or participate in systems or networks or both, ANT is also associated with forceful critiques of conventional and critical sociology. Developed by science and technology studies (STS) scholars Michel Callon and Bruno Latour, the sociologist John Law, and others, it can more technically be described as a "material-semiotic" method. This means that it maps relations that are simultaneously material and semiotic. It assumes that many relations are both material and semiotic.
The sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) is the study of science as a social activity, especially dealing with "the social conditions and effects of science, and with the social structures and processes of scientific activity." The sociology of scientific ignorance (SSI) is complementary to the sociology of scientific knowledge. For comparison, the sociology of knowledge studies the impact of human knowledge and the prevailing ideas on societies and relations between knowledge and the social context within which it arises.
David Bloor is a British sociologist. He is a professor in, and a former director of, the Science Studies Unit at the University of Edinburgh. He is a key figure in the Edinburgh School and played a major role in the development of the field of Science and Technology Studies. He is best known for advocating the Strong Programme in the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge, most notably in his book Knowledge and Social Imagery.
The strong programme or strong sociology is a variety of the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) particularly associated with David Bloor, Barry Barnes, Harry Collins, Donald A. MacKenzie, and John Henry. The strong programme's influence on Science and Technology Studies is credited as being unparalleled. The largely Edinburgh-based school of thought has illustrated how the existence of a scientific community, bound together by allegiance to a shared paradigm, is a prerequisite for normal scientific activity.
Theories of technology attempt to explain the factors that shape technological innovation as well as the impact of technology on society and culture. Most contemporary theories of technology reject two previous views: the linear model of technological innovation and technological determinism. To challenge the linear model, today's theories of technology point to the historical evidence that technological innovation often gives rise to new scientific fields, and emphasizes the important role that social networks and cultural values play in shaping technological artifacts. To challenge technological determinism, today's theories of technology emphasize the scope of technical choice, which is greater than most laypeople realize; as science and technology scholars like to say, "It could have been different." For this reason, theorists who take these positions typically argue for greater public involvement in technological decision-making.It also refers to a company name which usually provides the tech related content to the user
Michel Callon is a professor of sociology at the École des mines de Paris and member of the Centre de sociologie de l'innovation. He is an influential author in the field of Science and Technology Studies and one of the leading proponents of actor–network theory (ANT) with Bruno Latour.
The concept of Obligatory passage point (OPP) was developed by sociologist Michel Callon in a seminal contribution to actor–network theory: Callon, Michel (1986), "Elements of a sociology of translation: Domestication of the Scallops and the Fishermen of St Brieuc Bay". In John Law (Ed.), Power, Action and Belief: A New Sociology of Knowledge? London, Routledge: 196-233.
Wiebe E. Bijker is a Dutch professor Emeritus, former chair of the Department of Social Science and Technology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
According to Robin A. Williams and David Edge (1996), "Central to social shaping of technology (SST) is the concept that there are choices inherent in both the design of individual artifacts and systems, and in the direction or trajectory of innovation programs."
The Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation is a research center at the Mines ParisTech, France.
Annemarie Mol is a Dutch ethnographer and philosopher. She is the Professor of Anthropology of the Body at the University of Amsterdam.
Stephen William Woolgar is a British sociologist. He has worked closely with Bruno Latour, with whom he wrote Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts (1979).
In science studies, the social process of blackboxing is based on the abstract notion of a black box. To cite Bruno Latour, blackboxing is "the way scientific and technical work is made invisible by its own success. When a machine runs efficiently, when a matter of fact is settled, one need focus only on its inputs and outputs and not on its internal complexity. Thus, paradoxically, the more science and technology succeed, the more opaque and obscure they become."
In actor-network theory (ANT), translation is the process that allows a network to be represented by a single entity, which can in itself be an individual or another network.
The term 'interessement' is French-English, and is synonymous with the word 'interposition'. It was first used by Michel Callon. It is used within the scientific tradition known as actor-network theory, in association with translation and the formation of networks. Various devices can be used in the interessement phase of a translation process, to strengthen the association between actors, and support the structure of the network.
Cyborg anthropology is a discipline that studies the interaction between humanity and technology from an anthropological perspective. The discipline is relatively new, but offers novel insights on new technological advances and their effect on culture and society.
Engineering studies is an interdisciplinary branch of social sciences and humanities devoted to the study of engineers and their activities, often considered a part of science and technology studies (STS), and intersecting with and drawing from engineering education research. Studying engineers refers among other to the history and the sociology of their profession, its institutionalization and organization, the social composition and structure of the population of engineers, their training, their trajectory, etc. A subfield is for instance Women in engineering. Studying engineering refers to the study of engineering activities and practices, their knowledge and ontologies, their role into the society, their engagement.
data sheet (b. 5/16/46)
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