Mismeasure of Man/partial response to Sonya/general question    
Reading (author, page#) AGENDA ITEM (questions, comments, ideas, screeds, manifestos, etc.)
1 jess (thinking aloud)
The American Development of Biology
So the scientists with the writing style that best fit the political environment of the time was the successful scientist? Were the scientists aware that their theories reflected personal politics and was that a motivation in the development of their studies?

2 Keith Reflections on Gender and Science p.163

Is it fair to say that Keller's description of McClintock's 'difference rather than division' runs parallel to the debate of objectivity (in this case an 'ideal' nature) and social constructionists' concepts of nominalism? 


Funny how this could be yet again visualized by the post-modern bubble diagram that seems to sufficiently describe nearly everything I encounter these days.

3 Keith
Detecting Gravitational Radiation

Maybe STS agenda should be more in line with conflict management in this article. 


I will admit, however, that such proactive scientific work done to prove somebody else wrong has to occasionally promote new science as a by product.  Who would fund that type of project though, i.e. meaning a smear campaign, or would it be funded as the original research topic?

5 Denver
Keller The Construction of Feminist Scientist. Thanks to Keller's interpretation, McClintock inevitably becomes a feminist scientist.
First, on McClintock's emphasis of complexity, complexity was interpreted as the opposition of hierarchy, a very postmodernist theme.
Second, because McClintock is a female scientist in a male-dominated scientific filed, she was marginalized because of her gender. in P173, Keller defines "feminist science" as emphasis on intuition, on feeling, on connection and relateness. Although she realizes that McClintock may not agree with her labelling of such a "feminist scientist", the disagreement is attributed to the influences from the male peers.
Third, in P 175, Keller claims that “she had to insist on a different meaning of mind, of nature, and of the relation between them.” Yes, if she insists on this, she is a feminist scientist, if she doesn't, it is because of the external pressure.

6 Ross
American Development of Biology, Keller, Gould, and Jess

Going off of Jess with some somewhat rambling comments…Using some of the thoughts of this week about embedding culture inside of cells…I was thinking about Langdon (of all people) and “Do Artifacts have Politics”…what political roles are the cultures and politics “in” cells still playing out to this day (Gould has one good example)? Thinking of my own work around chimeras and stem cells…what they actually “are” is still up in the air…meaning our future is still up in the air waiting for the “is” of stem cells to be stabilized. To add to Jess, I wouldn’t say they (the scientists) “got the politics right,” but I would say it is more of an interactive mutually enforcing process.

It was not that their politics fit "better"...it was that they are always already caught in a political environment...which affects their thinking...their science then reinforces the politics...It is not bad science, just science...one can only think with their own brain.

7 Jon
Collins and Gould in response to Ross and Jess
It's interesting because Collins argues that because of experimenters regress, scientists need to search for evaluative criteria outside experimental data. It might be a trifle more complex, viz. that scientists need to insert external evaluative criteria into the methods and data. This is certainly what Gould is describing, i.e. reification in IQ factor analysis is a way of inserting political imperatives into test results and statistical analyses.

(I'll leave it to the ueber-Ross to better explain the process involved in the transevaluation of all evalues.)

9 Bess
Reflections on Gender and Science
"...the individual and communal conceptions of nature need to be examined for their role in the history of science..."  Keller's statement illustrates the social factors reminiscent of the mangle: we have to understand the perceptions, values and motives of society at the time, all of which could have altered the course of science...Almost like an emergence of unpredictable scientific values.

I also wonder how McClintock's lack of communication with the public or even the scientific community hindered scientific progress? the public understanding of science?  her career?

the american development of biology  333 and 336

In physiological democracy of Just, which political or social actors are playing the roles of genes? has Just determined any role for genes? since Goldschmidt consider genes as controllers of cytoplasm and Just consider cytoplasm as controlling  the nucleus , so what about gene in Just physiological democracy?

general idea and question

Papers which depicting disputes on the superiority of genetics or embryology or considering difference on science not division , in my opinion, are portraying struggles toward increasing human being’ knowledge. Are these papers are trying to prove that scientific facts, theories or – or any other elevated words that we can use here- are affected by subjectivity of their authors?

Why do some scholars think that subjectivity, for example, the Mc Clintocks’ sexuality or the skin color of Just and its socio political level in the society as a black American, has an impact on scientific discoveries? degrading their discoveries? Unmasking previous theories? Leading a scientific revolution?

 I myself disagree with the Just idea on the important role of marginalized populace or outer layer of cytoplasm on the functions of nucleuses or central government of the cell, or I agree with Mclcintocks that we should consider differences not divisions - maybe in future, if i become a famous scholar ;) you judge me because I am a female I agree with her , ha ha and because I am not black american i disagree with Just, just kidding, but I think we should prove or disprove scientific discoveries not based on the subjectivity of the authors, whereas all our claims should be based on the scientific theories and we should be as objective as we can.


Mismeasure of Man

I am very weak at mathematic and statistic, so it took me a long time to underestand the algebrics or mathematics described this paper, if I have underestood it, i doubt it :)) but I really did not get the relationship of the Gould paper to the other papers we were supposed to read thsi week. what this long paper on IQ and factor analysis is going to tell to its readers? The main goal is again about the subjectivity of a scientific knowledge on psychology and mathematic?

13 Nicole
I find it interesting to move beyond the (relatively basic) observation that there are subjective components to science to think about these papers (including Gould) as an example of the "paradigm wars" that Ron used to group these readings together.  Thinking about Gould's critique of Spearmen et. al. being based on the idea that the science is wrong in addition to the politics being reprehensible.  (And also about Cosma Shalizi's critique of the same (http://www.cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/weblog/523.html)  coming from a different scientific paradigm -- though both take issue with the math and the politics, the argument is actually in somewhat different scientific languages (per Galison) given that Gould is a biologist and Shalizi is a statistician.

I don't think, from these readings, once can draw a single bright line between the political and social influences and the scientific paradigms... but I'm not sure I would conclude, as Bess does, that the values are unpredictable -- just that the interactions are complex.  I think STS at its least useful has a tendency to seize on the pieces and miss the whole.  I sometimes wonder about the tendency to argue from outliers, as Keller's piece on McClintock does.  Does this just result in our own sort of reified causal explanations?

14 Mark
Gravitational Radiation
Caught part of the Marquez vs. Diaz fight on HBO last night. Wow! Those guys were awesome. Wasn't until this morning that I made a connection to the Weber vs. Q fight in the Collins piece. We love a good fight don't we? Why do we bristle at the notion that such blood lust might actually show its face in the laboratory? Sure, on one level, I question the scientific endeavor that seems hell bent on personal destruction (a la Q's preemptive attack on Weber), but on the other hand, was it any more personal than Diaz setting out to destroy Marquez? Bad analogy aside, I guess the real question is: What does it mean to science when a situation like the Weber/Q debacle occurs? Is the effect necessarily bad? Does it taint science?

15 Logan
Gilbert "Cellular Politics..."
Keller "A World of Difference..."
I am very interested in theories of organization, and it is curious to me that

hierarchical structures hold so much explanatory appeal in embryology/genetics/business everything.It makes you wonder how much exactly humanity is missing out on (as far as experiencing life) because our explanations are overly simplistic.

16 Mark
Mismeasure of Man p 269
I will now mark myself as a fool: If a) "no set of factors has any claim to exclusive concordance with the real world" and b) "any single set of factors can be interpreted in a variety of ways" - what then is the value of factoring?

17 Kelly
Development of Biology

Do scientists like Just and Goldschmidt lose credibility by attempting to graft inherently human social ordering systems onto the cellular level?  By advancing a particular social agenda in their work they risk being marginalized based on ideology rather than the science or even their ethnicity.  Similarly, by insisting that cellular components have one specific social order they limit the effectiveness of the metaphor by not carrying it to its logical conclusion.  Perhaps instead of arguing for an ideology on the cellular level, they should be arguing that cells have social order and differentiate hierarchical from non hierarchical operations or even social revolutions from one to the other.

18 Ross
To Mark
Yes...it was a good fight.

19 Kevin
Cellular Politics, 337 et al
Feminist STS scholars have long fought against the masculinist depictions of science, such as the dominant/submissive or kingdom forms proposed by both Just and Goldschmidt.  Has this trend reduced any in recent years, or is it still alive and well?