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Memory Practices in the Sciences
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Mit Pr
Publication date April 30, 2008
Pages 261
Binding Paperback
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9780262524896
ISBN-10 0262524899
Dimensions 0.75 by 6 by 9 in.
Weight 0.82 lbs.
Original list price $22.95
Other format details university press
Summaries and Reviews
Amazon.com description: Product Description:

The way we record knowledge, and the web of technical, formal, and social practices that surrounds it, inevitably affects the knowledge that we record. The ways we hold knowledge about the past -- in handwritten manuscripts, in printed books, in file folders, in databases -- shape the kind of stories we tell about that past. In this lively and erudite look at the relation of our information infrastructures to our information, Geoffrey Bowker examines how, over the past two hundred years, information technology has converged with the nature and production of scientific knowledge. His story weaves a path between the social and political work of creating an explicit, indexical memory for science -- the making of infrastructures -- and the variety of ways we continually reconfigure, lose, and regain the past.

At a time when memory is so cheap and its recording is so protean, Bowker reminds us of the centrality of what and how we choose to forget. In Memory Practices in the Sciences he looks at three "memory epochs" of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries and their particular reconstructions and reconfigurations of scientific knowledge. The nineteenth century's central science, geology, mapped both the social and the natural world into a single time package (despite apparent discontinuities), as, in a different way, did mid-twentieth-century cybernetics. Both, Bowker argues, packaged time in ways indexed by their information technologies to permit traffic between the social and natural worlds. Today's sciences of biodiversity, meanwhile, "database the world" in a way that excludes certain spaces, entities, and times. We use the tools of the present to look at the past, says Bowker; we project onto nature our modes of organizing our own affairs.



Editions
Hardcover
Book cover for 9780262025898
 
from Mit Pr (March 30, 2006)
9780262025898 | details & prices | 312 pages | 6.50 × 9.25 × 0.75 in. | 1.10 lbs | List price $34.95
About: Winner, 2007 Ludwig Fleck Prize given by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S).
Paperback
Book cover for 9780262524896
 
The price comparison is for this edition
from Mit Pr (April 30, 2008)
9780262524896 | details & prices | 261 pages | 6.00 × 9.00 × 0.75 in. | 0.82 lbs | List price $22.95
About: The way we record knowledge, and the web of technical, formal, and social practices that surrounds it, inevitably affects the knowledge that we record.

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