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August 12, 2020

Sketch 2: Peer Review for Jonathan Wald

Hi, Jonathan! Thank you for your contribution, it was very interesting. Although I am working on the phenomenon of Big Data and its technicians (especially in companies, where this phenomenon is very well established), and you are studying environmental scientists, I consider that there are some points where our work intersects, and where your contribution has led me to reflect.
You have pointed out that a rather large percentage of the work of these environmental scientists consists of the compilation of digital data. I am struck by the reflectivity of these scientists in relation to the data they handle. In the areas I work in, the technicians tend to be less reflective in relation to the data they handle, and there is even a certain tendency to forget that this data refers to people and their lives. It is therefore an object to be worked on, polished, maintained, improved or manufactured, and even a problem to be solved through a logical-mathematical language and the constant learning of new techniques. However, it seems that the data with which the technicians you refer to work are loaded with moral, ethical and political tensions. I wonder if this has to do with the political and environmental situation you describe, or if it is typical of environmental technicians.
On the other hand, and taking advantage of your philosophical formation, I wanted to share with you a reflection that has been with me for some time. As I said before, the data technicians I work with seem to have a certain tendency to ignore the person from whom the information they handle comes, which has serious consequences on decision making, algorithm design or maintenance tasks. I wonder, if, in this circulation of data, technicians tend to induce an ontological transformation of the data: an entity of its own? a representation? a reference?
Do you think that something similar happens among environmental scientists?

I apologise for the length of my questions, and, again, thank you for your insight!

August 11, 2020

Sketch 3: Peer Review for Kim Fernandes

Hi Kim! I saw that you have both handwritten and typed notes, and that you scan your handwritten notes. Whereas, when I have any handwritten notes lying around, I feel like I have to type them into digital documents thinking that I might need to search something in them, highlight them or code them. (But indeed it take more time/energy than just scanning them). Also, I realized that although I do enjoy keeping my field journal on an actual notebook, among all those data I gather digitally on my computer, I tend to resort to those handwritten notes less often as most of my data are digital. Like in other areas of my life, I neither feel like going for 100% digital nor 100% analogue, which can be super fine for personal note taking or other areas, but it troubles me when it comes to conducting an effective research. So I was wondering whether what I am talking about sounds any familiar to you, and if so, whether you have a way to deal with it? Thanks! 

August 11, 2020

Sketch 1: Peer Review for Clara Fernández

Hi Clara! My question is actually is not derived from your answers per se, I was already thinking about them while answering these questions myself, and now wanted to share them with you hoping that it would also resonate with you.

I wonder how easy it would be for researchers in STS (a field that -as far as I understand so far- tries to avoid imposing logics/big concepts over every-day practices while explaining them, challenges all those traditional over-arching arguments, and has an inclusive approach in general while reconsidering the stakeholders/actants etc.) to admit that for some topics/in some contexts they can also have these tendancies (e.g. being repulsed by the counter example, over generalizing etc.). Or even: Would it really be possible not to have those tendencies at all, or more specificallty not to create new big narratives, logics that would exclude some, that would not be open to all?

August 11, 2020

Sketch 4: Peer Review for Meg Wiessner

Hi Meg, thanks for sharing your wishlist! It was a pleasure to read especially because your potential projects seem to be bound up around one cluster of problematics. Since I don't know much about all of this, I'd just like to inquire broadly about your projects on enviromental design/biodesign/etc: do you anticipate epochal shifts in the way these designs are executed, or your interpretations of them, in the next 50 years? Do you think there is an identifiable telos in the history of environmental design and its present practice so far? How do you reckon with the chronology that might be incidentally produced as you track these questions across time? Thanks again!

August 11, 2020

Sketch 2 - Peer Review for Dan Santos

Hi Dan, thanks so much for sharing your project! It sounds fascinating. Both of us are concerned with how our respective scientific industries of study become implicated in various political projects: for you, how biotechnology becomes an object of "democratization" through the involvement of various actors. You hinted at the different positive and critical takes of those many actors, but I'd love to learn more about the specific arguments and practices coming from people along those lines. What are their motivations behind these practices (such as FBI support) and why?

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